Master’s programs merging accounting and analytics fields

Technology has changed every industry, and changed them rapidly. Even more seemingly traditional fields like accounting are experiencing growth — and growing pains — resulting from the rise of technology and, specifically, the onslaught of data.

Though not technically accurate, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt once said of the overwhelming influence of data, “There were five exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every two days.” To manage and dissect that much data requires entire sectors of economies. And in order to make an impact in those economic sectors, students need new training to become agile leaders of tomorrow.

MACC D&A students

Preparing students for the challenges ahead

Traditional accounting master’s degrees place an emphasis on preparing CPA-ready professionals. The curriculum is time-honored and tested, and accounting master’s graduates can find jobs throughout the private sector and in the public sector, as well. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 11 percent growth by 2024, which is steady and better than many fields.

However, as accounting has become more complex with the exponential growth of data, the field will also need professionals who possess the skills to advance in accounting as well as analytics. Schools such as the Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business are meeting that challenge with new degrees built around accounting acumen with a deeper focus on data and analytics.

New degrees highlight a dramatic change in the industry

To address the growing need, ASU partnered with KPMG to develop a Master of Accountancy — Data and Analytics (MACC D&A) program. “This unique partnership blends industry insight with academics — equipping tomorrow’s business leaders with the skills needed for the future of accounting,” says Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School.

“KPMG’s expanded investment in the data and analytics program demonstrates the firm’s commitment to the future of the audit and tax professions,” said Frank Casal, vice chair — audit at KPMG. “We’re pleased to include prestigious institutions like Arizona State University, who share this focus and are equally passionate about their students building advanced skills in accounting, tax and data analytics that they can bring into the marketplace.”

With a curriculum that includes five courses covering accounting topics and five courses introducing the latest developments in data — such as Innovation in Auditing Technologies, Data Mining, and Business Data Visualization — programs like the MACC D&A will give graduates the accounting foundation they need to succeed while also creating new, in-demand skills that will give them a competitive edge in the job market.

Take the next step

In only 12 months, the MACC D&A from ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business can help prepare you for accounting or consulting careers and develop deeper skills and knowledge in Big Data. Learn more about the MACC D&A and find out if you’re a good fit for this innovative program.