Accounting vs Computer Science

Accounting vs Computer Science | Accounting Smarts
Charles Hall

Last updated by

Charles Hall


June 10, 2022

Accounting vs. Computer Science – it's like comparing apples and oranges, but still an interesting comparison. So, which one should you choose?

Accounting vs. Computer Science – it's like comparing apples and oranges, but still an interesting comparison. So, which one should you choose?

Accounting entails recording, gathering, interpreting, and analyzing information and learning about risk and financial performance of an entity. On the other hand, a degree in computer science involves the use of advanced mathematics to develop and create computer software and programs.

It's no surprise that you've settled on these two possibilities, as both appear to have a promising future. However, while both professions require almost similar abilities and aptitudes to accomplish the job obligations, they are very different.

So, how do you know which profession is best for you? Our leading experts with years of experience in both fields have put together a side-by-side comparison to help you determine which field best fits your needs. So, let's get started with this accounting vs computer science comparison.

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Table of contents

Accounting vs. Computer Science – Which Is Better?

Accounting and computer science occupations both require a significant degree of math and analytical skills. You can consider yourself computer savvy and systematic, whether you're writing code in computer science or crunching statistics in accounting. You'll be well-equipped to excel in both fields.

However, before you can narrow down the winning profession, you'll need to do some more research on the accounting vs. computer science dilemma.

Accounting vs. Computer Science – Job Responsibilities

Before we move on, it's vital to comprehend what each of these positions entails. After all, you'll be doing this for 40 hours a week for who knows how many years, so you might as well like it!

Simply put, accountants will spend the majority of their days evaluating accounting systems and account books for productivity, computing taxes, and verifying the accuracy of financial statements.

While there are many different accounting professions and specialties, many of them will require you to evaluate the financial operations of businesses, government agencies, or even your own company if you work as an internal auditor.

The higher up the corporate ladder you go, the more managerial tasks you'll have to take on. Finding strategies to save costs, raise revenue, and manage other financial issues of an organization are all included in the job responsibilities of an accountant.

Conversely, the job responsibilities in the field of computer science vary substantially depending on the job title. For example, writing code to construct software programs, creating information systems solutions for an organization's current computer systems, and employing specialized software to store, manage, and safeguard data are all frequent responsibilities.

The roles and responsibilities of computer science graduates may include developing apps, constructing websites, and monitoring technical elements of computer systems such as capacity and performance.

Accounting vs. Computer Science – Educational Requirements

For both computer science and accounting careers, having an undergraduate degree is one of the most important certifications. Getting a formal education will improve your chances of landing a job in both areas. Many schools additionally have minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score requirements. Plus, there are additional certification options available to help you advance your education in both fields.

The CPA, CMA, and CIA are some of the most common accounting credentials. Other technical certifications available for computer science workers, CCNP, MCSE, and CompTIA A+, are the most common choices.

Independent research and study and collaborative projects will be required as part of your education. You will have to develop your teamwork abilities and learn to work well with your classmates. In order to express complicated concepts in a simple manner, individuals will need to develop sophisticated communication abilities. By efficiently using your creativity and imagination, you will be able to come up with innovative ways to address difficulties.


A graduate may opt to pursue a professional designation from a professional association or a certification organization after obtaining a bachelor's or master's degree. Each certification has its own criteria. The most common certification is Certified Public Accountant (CPA), which requires passing the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and is licensed by each state or territory.

Even though it is not compulsory, most accountants attend college and get a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree in accounting or a related discipline is considered the minimum educational requirement for individuals aspiring to be CPAs. Some states also demand advanced training in subjects such as auditing, financial reporting, taxation, and other non-accounting business fields beyond the standard bachelor's degree. In most cases, a total of 150 credit hours in accounting and related fields are required. Students interested in becoming a CPA should check their jurisdiction's unique schooling requirements. Many CPAs go on to get a master's degree after completing their post-secondary studies.

Accounting degree programs are extremely popular and widely offered at schools and universities around the United States, as well as online. Before starting a course of study, prospective students should always establish that the program is officially accredited.

Apart from CPA, accountants can also pursue the following certifications:

  • Auditor of Information Systems Certification (CISA)
  • Management Accountant (CMA) (CMA)
  • Internal Auditor Certification (CIA)

Computer Science

The majority of computer science degree admissions requirements emphasize additional mathematics, with some colleges requiring a physics background. A background in sociology or psychology can add depth to your studies by allowing you to grasp how people process information, and other natural disciplines can also be beneficial.

Computer science students are not typically expected to have previously studied the subject formally. However, learning a programming language is recommended to obtain a better knowledge of what is involved. While Python and C++ are often acknowledged as starter languages, you may also encounter Haskell, Java, and Pascal during your education. Some institutions, on the other hand, may restrict students from studying programming beforehand in order to prevent pupils from developing 'bad' programming habits early on. Computer science is studied alongside topics like mathematics, engineering, and computing in some institutions' joint curricula.

Accounting vs. Computer Science – Skills

You already know that getting a degree will help you succeed in the industry, but that's just the start. Your courses will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to get a job. But without having the right type of skill-set, you won't be able to enhance or grow in either field.

Accounting and Computer Science are both difficult majors that require individuals to have strong mathematical skills. Work on time management and organizational skills to ensure that you finish all of your projects and exam prep on time. You'll learn how to decipher complex algorithms and write software programs. This meticulous and comprehensive task necessitates analytical thinking as well as the capacity to comprehend abstract concepts.


Auditors and accountants work with financial documentation and must be able to arrange enormous data sets efficiently and precisely; as a result, they must be knowledgeable with a variety of financial management and budgeting tools, as well as GAAP and accounting processes.

Accountants examine and compile financial documents for businesses and individuals. In-demand accounting abilities, on the other hand, vary by job title. For example, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) specialize in balance statements, tax forms, and other financial data that their clients are required to provide by law. This position necessitates accuracy, analytic abilities, and a high level of ethical behavior.

These skills and additional knowledge pertaining to their professional expertise help other types of accountants. Management accountants, for example, must be well-versed in budgeting and corporate finance, whereas government accountants must be well-versed in taxation and financial reporting rules at the federal, state, and municipal levels.

Accounting professionals must analyze and compare complicated financial data and then explain their conclusions to clients in a clear and straightforward manner, regardless of their individual profession. Many accountants work in teams and work with customers on a regular basis, so they must have excellent interpersonal skills.

Computer Science

Computer science is becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. Societies have come to depend on the technology developed by this industry to carry out basic activities, resulting in interesting job options and above-average pay for those who choose to pursue a career in computer science.

While the job outlook remains mainly optimistic, the computer science field's expansion over the last few decades has produced a demand for people with more advanced coding skills. Professionals who want to succeed now need a strong mix of soft and technical skills that are unique to this industry.

If you like the concept of writing code and coming up with innovative tech solutions, a computer science major might be right for you.  

Types of Accounting and Computer Science Degrees

Accounting and computer science degrees are offered at various levels. The length of time it takes to earn your accounting and computer science degree is determined by the sort of accounting and computer science degree you pick.

A bachelor's degree is the most prevalent level of education for people working in accounting and finance, with around 49.4 percent of employees earning one. 80.8 percent of accounting and computer science workers have a bachelor's degree or higher. People who work in accounting and computer science tend to have the following educational backgrounds:

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Master's Degree
  • Diploma Courses
  • Additional Certifications
  • Associate's Degree

Accounting vs. Computer Science – Career Prospects

Multidisciplinary disciplines, such as Accounting and Computer Science, are popular among students who want to broaden their job prospects. Graduates of either field can work in accounting, computer programming, software development, or a combination of these fields.

You must pass the CPA Exam and obtain a master's degree in order to work as an accountant. Some Computer Science careers will additionally necessitate additional education. A few of the various occupations you could pursue are software developer, computer information systems manager, public accountant, management accountant, government accountant, financial clerk, and budget analyst.

Accounting and Computer Science Careers Growth Expectations

Want to get a job once you finish your accounting or computer science degree? Careers in accounting and computer science are anticipated to expand 9.9% between 2016 and 2026.

The occupations listed below are some of the most in-demand in the accounting and computer science fields:

  • Accountants
  • Auditors
  • Software Developers
  • Programmers

How much do accounting and computer science graduates earn?

In the year 2020, accounting and computer science graduates reported earning an average of $73,560. As you might anticipate, accounting and computer science graduates' incomes differ based on their level of schooling. Both c­omputer science and accounting encompass a wide range of occupations, each of which boasts outstanding statistics. This means that you may be assured of your earning potential and job chances for years to come, regardless of the professional path you choose.

Accounting and Computer Science Careers with the Highest Pay

Accounting and computer science graduates can earn generous salaries depending on their chosen profession. Here is a list of the highest paid jobs in the fields of accounting and computer science:

  • Computer workers
  • Accountants
  • Auditors
  • Engineer
  • Accounting manager
  • Analyst for computer systems
  • Manager of Taxation
  • Network administrator
  • Internal examiner
  • Accounting analyst and database administrator
  • Analyst for business intelligence

It's critical to know that the road you're on will not lead to a dead-end while choosing a new career. You want to know that you'll have options and prospects for progress once you get into the field. The good news is that accounting and computer science both have bright futures, with above-average wages and job growth.