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A few schools offer graduate accounting Master's degrees in forensic accounting, while many more offer graduate level courses or certificates in forensics. The well-publicized failures of Enron, WorldComm, and Tyco spurred the advancement of the field of forensic accounting and fraud investigation. The passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 has opened up even more opportunities for those who have received specialized education in forensic accounting. Of course, forensic accounting has been performed for many years by both internal and external auditing professionals, but the very public accounting scandals of the past few years have caused a dramatic increase in the number of forensic accounting professionals (40 percent of the U.S. top accounting firms are expanding in this area) and the level of fraud and misinformation examination expertise needed by both CPA firms and internal auditors.
There are many new course offerings for those wishing to develop expertise in forensic accounting. It is important to note that many employers require a candidate to also have earned a CPA certificate. While it is not yet an across the board requirement for all forensic-related employment, some of the more challenging positions mandate the certificate.
There are now some Accounting MBA concentrations in forensic accounting. For example, you can earn an “MBA in Fraud Management” or a “Master of Science Degree in Economic Crime Management”. If you are sure that forensic accounting is your preferred career path, you should examine some of the newer Master's degrees available in this field.