These Colleges Give Accounting Grads the Most Bang For Their Buck In the Real World

We’re less than two months away from the class of 2021 tossing their mortarboards high in the sky (either in-person with their classmates or virtually, not sure which at this point), thus signaling a new batch of eager beavers who will soon be starting their journeys in the meat grinder that is public accounting.

But as one class departs, another one will begin. And behind those college freshmen are high-schoolers who dream of capital market servitude and will start looking at and visiting colleges and universities that will help them achieve that dream—and make a decent living.

That decent living part is pretty important to most, if not all, people, so here’s an interesting report from the website Best Accounting Software on the best colleges for accountants based on earnings potential.

Best Accounting Software used the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard tool to figure out all of the colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees in accounting, then rated the colleges based on the median total debt students have, the monthly loan repayments students can expect, the college’s graduation rate, and how the average salary accounting students will receive after graduation compares to the state’s average salary for accountants.

Here are the top 10 colleges ranked by highest median earnings:

The report also notes that students who graduate from colleges in the District of Columbia have another advantage:

When it comes to average graduating salaries for accounting students and the annual mean wage for experienced accountants, the District of Columbia comes out on top for both.

Students graduating from colleges in the District of Columbia can expect to earn the highest graduating salaries with a state average starting salary of $55,700. Plus, they’ll enjoy the highest annual salary as their career progresses thanks to an annual mean wage for all accountants of $103,930. This means DC graduates could see their earnings almost doubling throughout their careers.

All told, Best Accounting Software ranked the median earnings of 598 colleges that offer bachelor of accounting degrees. You can find the entire list here.

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.


  1. This article is ridiculously misleading. The title is “These Colleges Give Accounting Grads the Most Bang For Their Buck” yet the ranks shown are purely on median earnings after graduation (completely ignoring the “Buck” and focusing only on the “Bang”). If you measure “Bang for Their Buck” by dividing the median earnings by the median debt, only one school(Georgetown) remains in the top 10.

  2. Also doing cost by median debt; thats just a measure of how many students have rich parents. Why not tuition cost?

Comments are closed.

Related articles

Compensation Watch ’22: Were Raises at RSM US Sketchy or No?

The 2022 comp thread for RSM US is out on r/accounting, and it’s pretty meaty—just like the Omaha Steaks the firm’s been giving to employees. Also meaty was RSM’s revenue for its 2022 fiscal year, which according to Accounting Today’s 2022 Top 100 Firms ranking, was $3.13 billion, up nearly 11% from 2021’s result of […]