4 answers

Is it a good idea for an accounting major student to apply for graduate achool?

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Most of students will consider to further their education by applying for graduate school. However, from what I have heard, students who are majoring in accounting seldom apply for graduate school; instead, they will pursue a CPA license. #accounting

4 answers

Ly H.’s Answer

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Hello Carmen, from what I can gather from my peers, a lot are going into entry-level accounting jobs, and getting ready to take the CPA exam. The ones who are going into graduate school are doing so because they want to finish the 150-credit requirement, one of the criteria, for the CPA license.

Carmen, also take note that after obtaining the CPA license, in order to keep the license, accountants are required to take CPE (Continuing Professional Education). Often, these CPE are conferences/talks/etc., and are most likely encouraged/paid by the company you worked at.

In my opinion, Carmen, as an accounting major, you only have to go to graduate school if you NEED to. Otherwise, gaining experience from working would be more beneficial.

Best of luck to you, Carmen!

Updated
Thanks Ly H. Do for your suggestions!

Jasir’s Answer

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Hi Carmen, great question! Grad school for accounting is a great option if you are going to pursue a CPA since it helps you get the credit and course requirements in. I am an auditor who only recently passed all four sections of his CPA and I can confidently say that having a graduate degree in Accounting helped tremendously not just with understanding the CPA material but also meet the various CPA course requirements I needed.

Rose’s Answer

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Masters of Professional Accountancy (MPAc) degrees are becoming more common for students/professionals on the CPA track. They tend to be shorter and more specific than MBA programs, while fulfilling all the requirements for the CPA exam.

When I started business school, there was no MPAc program nearby. I was also interested in pursuing an MBA in Strategic Management, so I double-focused in that and Finance/Accounting. After graduation, I studied for the CPA exam, which took about nine months to pass all four sections plus the California ethics exam. I studied 20-30 hours a week and worked 50-60 hours per week. It's no joke.

Please keep in mind that both business school and CPA licensure requires work experience. I would advise working for a few years before deciding your next step.

Jason’s Answer

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Masters degree will not give you much benefit as an accountant. The CPA license is what you need to advance.

That said if you think you may want to pursue consulting, corporate finance, or something not related to posting journal entries then an MBA does help you stand out. And as mentioned if your state requires 150 credit hours to get CPA license then masters is a good way to Jill two birds with one stone and get MBA and 150 hours and then go into accounting and get CPA.

Of course the order is irrelevant and many firms and companies offer education reimbursement so you may have an option to start working and do part time MBA (with financial assistance from firm) to get the 150 hours and experience prior to taking CPA exam.