Going Back to School

posted 1 week ago in Career
Post # 2
Member
600 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

If your goal is to be a CPA I’d look in to your states requirements for the exam and figure out how how long and how much money it will cost you to meet them. This will tell you if it’s better to get a second bachelors or get an MBA with an accounting focus. Or do something else entirely. The average wage for a CPA is 119k but I would check jobs in your local area.

Post # 3
Member
309 posts
Helper bee

newlywedbee2015 :  Since you already have your bachelor’s in business, why not get your masters in accounting? 

Post # 4
Member
13842 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

What’s your ultimate goal that getting your Accounting degree will help get you to? What is your career aspiration? Is it to be a CPA? Is it to work in the field, but not as a CPA? 

I work for a Big 4 firm. I’m not a CPA and I have never taken accounting. The vast majority of the accountants I work with never took the CPA because the ends didn’t justify the means (extra classes, study time, materials cost – for no real salary increase, just a small bonus). 

Post # 6
Member
1120 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019 - City, State

naturalbee18 :  I second this. If you already have a business BS, taking your MS in accounting. If you are interested in the CPA cert, in many states you could technically hit the 150 credit requirement with that. Also, the study programs will prepare you for the CPA exam from the ground up (so I’m told by my professors).

ETA: I’m also trying to decide whether or not to get my masters/CPA, and there are MANY more online options for a masters than an additional bachelor’s. That is very important to me, personally. 

Post # 8
Member
1120 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019 - City, State

newlywedbee2015 :  Awesome!!! And, having your master’s is great for middle/upper management positions as well. 

Post # 9
Member
600 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

I would apply to some of those jobs with your current degree and see what you hear back. There may be some open to your degree even though they don’t advertise it.

Post # 10
Member
3481 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I think you should go for an online Master’s in accounting. Since most states don’t charge out of state fees for online students, you can probably find a program for fairly cheap! I did my Master’s online through a school in Mississippi, which was way cheaper than if I would have used a local university. 

There are so many options for you. I’m sure you’ll find a good one!

Post # 11
Member
906 posts
Busy bee

Oh look, something I know a lot about. Definitely don’t do a second bachelors. Jobs that state “BA in Accounting” will happily take a masters, and I know this because I did the exact same thing you’re considering.

I have a BA in English and started a Master of Accounting the year after I graduated. I had never taken a single business class before in my life and it wasn’t a problem. Took me two years to get through, and I worked full time during the entirety of the program (mostly online, some classroom classes) to pay for it. 

I graduated with my MAcc in December 2014 and have been working in FP&A ever since, currently for a F500 media company in Manhattan. It’s a great degree with a lot of options, and no one cares about my unrelated undergrad. Feel free to ask questions if you have any! 

 

Post # 12
Member
473 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - York, ME

newlywedbee2015 :  I would look into just getting into an acccounting position without the extra schooling. Almost every accountant I’ve known doesn’t have their CPA or a degree in accounting. A good friend has a bachelors in economics and is now the controller of a 5 star hotel in Vail, CO.  If it’s a really competetive area maybe that changes things, but I think it’s a very “teachable” career if you’re not shooting to be a CPA.

Post # 13
Member
2449 posts
Buzzing bee

raliel :  This is really good to know! Did you need to research which masters in accounting programs would take non-accounting majors or did all programs seem to be open to people with any degree? There were no prerequisite classes for you to take before the master’s? I’m considering a career change and don’t have an accounting or business background at all, much like you with your English degree.

newlywedbee2015 :  I’m not an accountant (also thinking about it), but with your business background you should definitely look into master’s programs. I have heard of some master’s programs in other fields (i.e. engineering, nursing) that will take people with a different major but require some prerequisite classes. So that is also something to ask about. Even if the master’s programs recommend or require for you to take some accounting classes before enrolling, that is way cheaper than doing another bachelors in accounting, and the master’s degree should help open more opportunities for you than getting a second bachelor’s like a PP said.

As far as whether it’s “worth” it–look at how long it’d take you to pay the student loans off while maintaining your same standard of living and what you would be making after that. Even though the reality is that you’ll probably want to pay your student loans off sooner than that, knowing that for ex it might take me 10 years to pay these loans off but then I still have 20 years of making a $X higher salary (with more opportunities for advancement and salary growth), can really put things into perspective. At least for me it has been important to compare my current trajectory to a different trajectory that I’m considering. Other people might want to phrase it in a different way and that is okay.

Also, look at the situation in terms of opportunities for intellectual growth, not just in terms of $. I’m gonna go extreme again, but even if you have no change in overall $ made over time… if this opens up opportunities for intellectual growth such as solving interesting problems at work, being part of a team that you like, being able to manage other people, more career opportunities, etc. then it may still be worth it to go for the degree. A lot of times, people only think about $ made, and while I do think that that is a very important aspect of it, career and intellectual growth is also important. 

Post # 14
Member
906 posts
Busy bee

MissMarple :  I got lucky – my husband and I moved across the country so he could attend med school and the associated university had a master’s program geared at non-business majors. I had to take 7 pre-reqs as a part of the program. 

There are a lot of programs that are exclusive to business majors, though, so it is worth doing homework. 

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