Northwestern State University of Louisiana is set to offer a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree 100% online, meaning students can earn their four-year degree without setting foot in a traditional classroom.

As of fall 2013, upper-level classes will be added to the core accounting curriculum already available online, the university announced in a press release on March 7, 2013.

College officials said the online degree program will help nontraditional students, such as those already working full time, to prepare for roles in various fields, including finance, accounting and management.

With the addition of the BS in Accounting, Northwestern State University will offer 34 online degrees.

In a statement, Nat Briscoe, accounting professor at Northwestern State’s School of Business, said students have requested that classes be placed online to allow them to continue working while they finish their degree and take the CPA exam.

Briscoe also said that advancements in online resources and technology have made it easier for professors to teach distance-learning courses. The majority of the online accounting classes will feature recordings of actual classroom lectures, as well as supplemental resources.

The addition of the 100% online degree is projected to boost an already growing accounting program at Northwestern State; the school expects this spring’s class of graduates to be its largest yet and Briscoe anticipates program enrollment will double by 2014.

The university lists multiple reasons why students should choose to enroll in its BS in Accounting program, including the experienced faculty members and the College of Business’ accreditation through the Association for Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business, International (AACSB).

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of accountants nationwide will increase by 16% from 2010 to 2020, which is faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.

According to Briscoe, “demand is high and opportunities abundant” for accountants. In the past few years, he said, most accounting students at Northwestern State University have found jobs prior to graduation, often at business firms, financial institutions and industries such as oil and gas.

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