Around 7,000 students are attending college in the U.S. at any given time. Maryville University has gained popularity among students in recent years. Many Maryville students have chosen to enroll in an online program, as the school offers 90 of them.

Near the end of 2014, it was noted that over 5 million students across the world had enrolled in an online class. Another 3 million more were said to be enrolled in nothing but online courses and programs.

The buzz surrounding online degrees is growing at a steady pace, and with this growth, come dozens of questions from prospective online students. To clear up some of the information about Maryville’s online courses, here is a helpful interview with Somer Anderson, the Assistant Professor of Accounting at Maryville.

How long have you been in higher education? What do you teach?

I’ve been involved in higher education for seven years. Beforehand, I was an Auditor at a public accounting firm and before that, I was employed as a finance manager at a large healthcare organization. At Maryville, I teach Financial Accounting, Auditing, Accounting Information Systems, and QuickBooks.

What led you to switch your focus to teaching full time?

While I was working as a finance manager, I started to teach a weekend accounting program. I quickly fell in love with the teaching job I had and got hired as a full-time teacher soon after, and as soon as a position was available.

What are the key components of the online Bachelor of Science in Accounting program at the school?

The key curriculum is based around student career goals. We have different pathways that can take students directly to the CPA exam, to forensic accounting, or to another accounting services career.

What makes this program different?

We’re focused on our students’ careers.  We have carefully designed the courses so that they are able to provide support and guidance to students who want it.

Why is now a good time to earn the degree?

The industry is constantly and quickly changing. Technology and cloud computing are technological leaders. Mobile devices and social media that improves our access to various financial data are also big in the accounting world.  This adds up to clients who are better informed, and to capable professionals who are highly knowledgeable.

What courses are the most sought after?

Forensic accounting courses are usually the most popular. We see the importance of developing forensic accounting skills and believe that is necessary for our students to take a forensics accounting class before they graduate.

Are there any other certifications or exams that are required in addition to the BSACC for a typical career?

Students are more than welcome to continue on to the Master of Science in Accounting degree so that they can be sure that they acquire the adequate credit hours needed to take the CPA exam. They are also encouraged to become QuickBooks certified.

What is the program’s teacher-student interaction like?

Our accounting professors are interested in each student’s individual success. We make connections with online students at different points during the week through in-depth discussions and videos.

Can you describe to us the educational backgrounds of the typical BSCAA student? Are they already interested in accounting before they sign up?

It depends on each student’s educational position upon entering into the program. If they enter as a freshman, students more than likely haven’t taken an accounting course and don’t realize their knack for it until they take ACCT 210. Students who are into their second and third years, have taken ACCT 210 and 211, and have already realized their love of accounting.

Do you have any good advice for new students?

Going through the motions won’t get you anywhere. Take your time learning and engage with the course material, ask enough questions, and video chat with your professors. You’ll get what you put into the education. If your teacher is aware that you are invested and understands your unique goals, he or she will strive help you to meet them.

Do graduates usually pursue a master’s degree? If yes, how come?

The answer is yes. Because the CPA exam requires 150 credit hours, and students typically only have around 128 credit hours upon completing their bachelor’s degree. They can get the rest through pursuing a Master of Science in Accounting. This program helps them to obtain the hours, and sharpens their previously learned skills at the same time.

 What are the most desirable career outcomes for BSACC students?

To become employed in their chosen career field. This is regardless of whether they wish to be a CPA at a firm, or as a forensic accountant for the FBI, or something else.

Which employers are the most open to students?

Accounting firms, corporations, banks, insurance firms and the government, in many cases. 

Does Maryville offer any career assistance?

Through the Maryville careers and services page, yes, they do.  Here, I can post jobs, events, internships onto the Accounting Program Canvas page.

What kind of feedback do you get from students?

Students are typically thankful for their experience at the university because they are employed at the end of their school career. They are also well prepared for the CPA exam that is to follow.