December 26, 2011 1

Going back to school for Accounting ?

By in CPA Cash


Question by Walton: Going back to school for Accounting ?

I guess nobody can truly answer this question other than myself, but I wanted to test the Yahoo waters.

Currently I’m a professional in my late 20s and am very unsatisfied with my career. I’ve tried to take steps to correct this, without success. First, the economy is horrible so that my company – which isn’t exactly the best to begin with – has few growth/promotional opportunities. Second, my “skillset” if you will is semi-limited being that I’ve worked in the same industry for 6 years and is pretty operational in nature.I mean, I think I have a lot of aptitude combined with quality education, but experience wise its just not very transferrable to more lucrative lines of work.

In an effort to change my disposition/dead end career, I completed a regionally respected MBA (part time yes, but top ranked school in like a 300 mile radius). Since then I’ve been able to get in a LOT of doors for interviews, but just can’t close the deal b/c my experience is always cited as inadequate for finance & accounting related positions.

I’m toying with the idea of pursuing a more “technical” degree if you will, such as accounting.From what I can tell I wouldn’t be taking much of a step backwards in terms of salary, gain more vacation time, and if I plan on working until 65, if might provide better long term opportunities. I travel fairly extensively anyhow, so if I were to go into audit that part wouldn’t be foreign to me. I like accounting and was turned on to it in graduate school, although I’ll have to say – I’m the type of person that would like anything right now that isn’t back breaking labor and would pay a good salary !

My questions:

1) would it be wise to just take enough accounting in order to sit for the exam (I’m lacking roughly 12 hours in my state), or actually complete a full masters degree ? I know of others in my same GMAT range that passed all portions their first try after a study prep course, and they didn’t have accounting undergraduate degrees either if that matters.

2) will my opportunities be the same as someone, say, early 20s ? I’ll be almost 30 when completed and feel really stupid walking around at a career fair handing out resumes.Will I be discriminated against in an way ?

3) will a CPA be seen “as a CPA” or can I plan on encountering questions as to why I made a career change, why my undergrad is not in accounting, etc. ?

Any thoughts or comments, especially from those working in accounting, would be appreciated.

Best answer:

Answer by Othniel
Keep on with your current profession. Talk with some CPAs and ask them for advice if you are interested in that field. It may be tough to break into.

I’m not sure more education is what you need. You need focus and a goal but until you are at peace with that you are better off to keep doing what you are doing and finding satisfaction in doing it.

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One Response to “Going back to school for Accounting ?”

  1. SumDude says:

    There are already too many accountants in the world. If you pass the CPA exam you must ( ” ” -because there are exceptions) work for a CPA firm and pass continuing education classes to be designated as a CPA. CPA firms start their grunts out a bit low, but some grow up to make big bucks. [Others grew up to work for Enron, Arthur Anderson, and Washington Mutual Bank, so they get even bigger bucks, while it lasts - lol.]

    You should not be discriminated against (except by the fact that this is a lousy economy). You are still young enough to be trainable; and your MBA will give you an advantage.

    You might be best off keeping your current job for now – even if it does svck.