Post # 1
I have 9 classes left until I graduate with my degree in Accounting. I anticipate beng done by the summer (taking a few winter and summer courses to avoid an extra semester). My fiancé just moved to another state and as soon as I finish my degree, I am moving to be with him.
Any advice on how to secure a position quickly with no formal accounting experience besides school?
I plan on continuing my education, so I do so right away or gain work experience in my field first? I would like to sit for the CPA within the next 5 years and although I have no definitive career plans, I really like taxes and would consider going to school to be a tax attorney.
Would the only jobs I qualify for be in the “Staff Accountant” range?
Since I will be in a new area and won’t have the help of my university to job search, any ideas on how to get that support? I don’t hear many good things about job fairs and staffing agencies but many that will be my only avenue til I am hired and get experience.
For what it is worth, I already have a degree in Criminology. I currently work as a contractor for the Army and they would move my position to the new state if a slot opens for me. If not, then I would resign and enter the ranks of the unemployed.
Post # 3
I’m not in accounting, but my husband and I just graduated from college. I went into grad school, but he was looking for a job. He just set up job alerts at all the websites (simplpy hired, monster etc.) and applied for everything he was remotely qualified for. I think it’s kind of a numbers game. It took a couple of months to find something. We went home for the wedding, and so even though he was applying before graduation, we think not being able to start for a couple months didn’t help his case. He’s in engineering, and eventually found a job that he loves (after hundres of applications and dozens of interviews). It’s time consuming, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t find anything at first (especially while you’re remote!)
Post # 4
That is what I am afraid off- I was recently looking for a job because of the whole government shut down issue and after many months of applying and going on a small few different interviews, I landed with nothing- hence my reasoning for going back to school. I am hoping a technical degree such as accounting will land me a job quicker than my crim degree.
There are many job postings out there for accounting and Fiance has a great job so he would be able to handle the household expenses while I search for work. I just have my own expenses, car loan and student loans, that I need to work to pay and it is making me quite nervous when that time comes. I will save up a few months of cash to relocate but I am hoping the job search won’t take too long.
I can’t apply yet to test out the waters since I don’t have my degree and not quite ready to relocate but the next 10 months will fly by. I hope the search is quicker the second time around when I am really going to need a job.
Thanks for responding!
Post # 5
My Fiance had an accounting job right out of his undergrad, because he got involved with the company before graduating (he works for McGladrey, they are all over the country). It wasn’t even an internship, just some program where they took a group of college students out to dinner of few times.
That said, it seems like all of the new hires at his work come straight out of undergrad. Then the company buys them amazingly expensive study materials and gives them a huge bonus if they pass the CPA within a year of starting (which the company also pays for). After that they pay for them to go get their MBT at night. He’s only been there a year and a half and already starting the MBT classes! He seems to think the “big five” in public accounting all work pretty similar.
Post # 6
Are you graduating with your masters or bachelors? I just graduated with by Bach in accounting and a minor in economics. I was offfered a position with a large local private company before I even graduated. I would say that with no actual accounting expierence you would not be qualified for a Staff Accountant positon. Try looking for an accounting assistant or associate accountant position just to get some expierence first.
Post # 7
This is for my Bachelors in Accounting. Thanks for the heads up you two.
Post # 8
I am assuming you are a veteran? If so, get on usajobs.gov. There are plenty of govt accounting jobs, and if you apply within the DoD then you get extra “points”. Pretty much all DoD accounting jobs will hire a veteran with a degree and no experience. It may take a while because the hiring process is slow, but you should try anyways.
Post # 9
If you are planning to take the CPA, you might want to check the requirements in your state. In Texas and Florida, where I went to school, you could graduate with a Bachelor’s in Accounting, but not have enough hours in Accounting to sit for the CPA. I chose to get my Masters, although you don’t have to have a Masters to be eligible, but you probably will need an extra 5th year of classes at either the undergrad or graduate level to be eligible.
I would continue my education right away. It will be easier and the questions on the CPA exam are based more on academics than on the work place, so you may forget information if you wait. Plus, if you continue your education at your new location, you will then be in a position to talk with firms while you are still in school and have the advantage of placement through your university.
Post # 10
If you can get any accounting experience while you’re still in school, it’d be great. Even bookkeeping work so you can learn some of the accounting programs out there (I basically got hired at my job now because I knew how to work Quickbooks!). If you have any kind of experience or internship, it looks good on a resume! My Bachelors was in business and finance, not accounting, but I got hired as a staff accountant because I had some accounting job experience.
As for the CPA exam, sure it’s great to do it ASAP while the info is still fresh and it’s probably the best route to go, but don’t beat yourself up if you have to take time off. I finished my MS in Accounting in December 2010 and didn’t start taking the CPA exams until April 2012 – I’ve passed 2 so far, both on the first attempt, using the Becker review course (pricey, yes, but it freaking works!). It all comes back if you study hard enough. And since I worked for a few years, some of the lessons I was studying made much more sense when I could actually connect them to real life work situations!
Post # 11
I agree with misspeanut, try to get some accounting experience before graduating, even if it means taking a part-time, unpaid internship. I graduated with my BS in accounting in Dec 2010. My first accounting job after graduation is the one I’m still at – I’m a Staff Accountant for a publicly traded manufacturer. I got that job based on my accounting internship I did while still in college.
Some people prefer to take the CPA exam ASAP after finishing their education. For me, I was ok with waiting. It’s just about 2 years post-graduation and I’m finally gearing up to take the exam.
Oh, and I completely agree with misspeanut’s statement about lessons making more sense when you can connect them to real world situations. When I graduated I only had 142 credit hours, and in WI you need 150 to sit for the exam. So I’m currently finishing up those credits. And man does accounting make more sense when you can apply it to practical situations! (At least for me!)
Post # 12
@OtterHalf: Trust me- I have tried USAJOBS, and I hasn’t worked so far. I will try again once I have the degree to see what happens, but my experience with them hasn’t been too positive 🙁
@hotpinkbride: I plan on taking the CPA after getting a Master’s in accounting. But I don’t know if I should go straight into the Master’s program or try to find a job in accounting first. I will check on the requirements for PA, but in my current state, you need only a BA and to have worked in accounting for at least a year or something like that. We use to have the 150 credit requirement, but CT changed it in 2007.Thank you for the advice- I was planning on doing school online for my Master’s, but the connections would be valuable if I go traditionally.
@misspeanut: Thank you!!! I hope I am able to land something right away, even if it is just an part time job! Good advice.
@doxielove: Good luck on the exam!!!
Unfortunatley I am not able to take on an internship as I work 30 hours a week and have 2 children plus going to school full time. I will do *something* though… even if it is taxes at the local H&R block or volunteering somewhere. I really just need more time and with my fiance relocating the focus is to finish and relocate with him before the next school year. My daughter will be in the 9th grade and my son will be turning 3, ready for preschool. I want to have us all settled in before the next school year.
Thanks for the advice ladies!!!! Please keep your fingers crossed for me.