If I get a Bachelor's degree in accounting, do I have to attend Graduate school?
It depends on your end goal. For me, I knew I wanted to obtain my CPA license and needed 150 credits to do so. You graduate with 120 ( or more, depending if you take extra classes) credits for your Bachelor's degree, and Graduate school will give you 30 more. What I didn't know up until my first semester of sophomore year is that I could have obtained 150 credits in 4 years had I picked up more classes per semester. Students typically take 5 classes at UMASS Dartmouth, which is where I go, and you can take up to 7 classes per semester without paying extra money (meaning it's already included in the tuition you pay). If my plan works out I will graduate with 144 credits for my Bachelor's Degree, and I only need 2 more classes for 150 credits, which I will take at a community college. Also, I can't afford one more year of school so I found a way that worked for me. Maybe further down in my career I will decide to go back to school for my Master's.
I hope this helps you, and I wish you the best of luck!
Yamile recommends the following next steps:
Hi Tayla, great question! It totally depends on the path you want to take and you definitely don't HAVE to. If you want to become a CPA you need to have 150 credits but you don't have to get a separate degree in order to do so. Many CPA candidates finish their 150 credits in their undergrad, some take a second major or a minor to do so. This does require a great deal of planning though if you want to accomplish it in 4 years. It is common for CPA applicants to take a fifth year to get the extra 30 credits. Another option is to get a Masters degree which is the path I took. I overloaded on credits and took a couple summer courses so I was able to graduate with 120 credits in 3.5 years. My school (UMass Amherst) had a great masters program that made it easy to transition from undergrad to the graduate program. I finished this masters in the spring and summer so it took just over 4 years. If you do want to have your amsters degree I highly recommend this approach! It is not required to be a CPA but may be helpful down the road.
Great question! No, you do not necessarily have to attend graduate school in order to obtain a job outside of college. I myself have a bachelor's degree in accounting and have worked for 3 years at PwC, one of the Big 4 Accounting Firms. I did do my 150 credits within 4 years, in order to be eligible to sit for my CPA. It was quite common to do this at my university. I would say within my team at PwC, it's split evenly those of us who did and did not attend graduate school.
Although obtaining a bachelor's degree in accounting doesn't necessarily mean you have to attend Grad school, it depends on the goals you have for your future. If you intend to sit for the CPA exams, there is a 150 credit requirement, which means you need to take additional courses to be eligible, or most people complete their masters' degree to meet these requirements. Additionally, if you know you want to do accounting, a Master's in Accountancy can be really beneficial to your future career growth simultaneously preparing you for becoming a licensed CPA.
It depends on your interest at the graduate level. Do you want to master accounting i.e get your Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or master other fields like IT, MBA, marketing, finance or analytics? If you have your Bachelors in accounting, I'd suggest you check out other options ( try other fields aforementioned in graduate school or get some CPA class hours at community college or online school) Personally, I earned my Bachelors in accounting then went to grad school to earn my MS in IT and MBA. I didnt want to do accounting again at master's level based on my interest to learn about IT and other fields.
You don't have to go to graduate school. If you want to be an accountant, I strongly suggest becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) since then you'll be eligible for many more positions. One of the requirements of becoming a CPA is 150 credit hours. Some people choose to attend grand school to reach that, but if you find another way (through a minor, another major, or just other classes you take) you don't need to go to grad school.
Personally, I did attend grad school, and I'm really glad I did. I learned a lot and I was able to study for and pass 2/4 CPA exams while I was attending (I then took the last two between graduating and starting my full-time position with PricewaterhouseCoopers). It's great to have those done. Plus, because of my master degree, I had a higher starting salary.
Rachel recommends the following next steps:
It depends on your end goal and the licensing laws of your state. To be a licensed CPA in some states a masters (or 150 credits in upper level courses to the point you might as well get a masters) is required. A bachelors degree in some states is sufficient to obtain your license.