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how can someone go about getting into the Big 4 without having a finance degree and coming out of a college that did not have the big 4 recruiting from them.

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Andrew’s Answer

Hi Erie - Great question. The most common way to get into the big 4 is usually through studying a discipline of business during college (i.e. accounting or finance usually). One of the great parts about working at a large accounting firm is there are many different areas within an accounting firm and almost all business disciplines have a place at an accounting firm. That means you do not have to specialize in a specific area within business to be considered for an opportunity at a big 4 firm. Another great part about the big 4 is you do not even need to specialize in business to start a career at a big 4 firm as they are always looking for the best and brightest minds in any discipline as they are always growing and changing business plans.

There are many different ways to get into a big 4 after you start your career. The best thing you can do to make working at a big 4 happen is to have a plan. When having a plan you should consider what area at a big 4 you are interested in. I would recommend going through the web pages of the big 4 firms and finding an area that interests you. It sounds like management consulting is something you are interested in based on your hashtag and this is a career that is very broad with many people from different career backgrounds. Your path should focus on getting experience within the consulting industry at other firms and then tailoring your experience within your first few years of being in consulting towards the career path you found when researching about what the big 4 do.

Taking control of your career and guiding yourself towards a goal will help you to achieve breaking into a big 4 firm. You can discuss career plans with those around you (friends, teachers, mentors, etc.) and network your way into a discussion with someone who works at a big 4 firm. Ultimately, having a plan about where you want to go will help you take ownership of your career and will most likely answer the question of what to do now to get to where you want to go.
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Jeremy’s Answer

Hi Erie. To not risk repeating the helpful advice above, I'd also say there are many students who can receive an offer from one of the Big 4 without a traditional finance background and from a non-target school. As mentioned above, there are different areas at the firms you can go into without that finance background. Although being from a not heavily recruited school, you can still use your resources to make connections with recruiters and employees at the Big 4. If you don't already have a LinkedIn account, I would suggest making one and searching for recruiters or Big 4 professionals in the practice and city you are wanting to go into. You can send them a message introducing yourself and asking for advice with the application process. Recruiters and employees at the firms are eager to help and answer any questions you may have. Hope this helps!
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Kristina’s Answer

While the Big 4 is a common career choice for finance and accounting majors, these are not the only majors welcomed by the Big 4. There are a wide variety of needs to be met and a variety of career options within the Big 4. These are large companies with many different areas of work. I recommend checking out the Career sections of each of the Big 4 company websites. You will be able to see what types of job openings there are and what degrees are preferred for each. There are various resources specific for students as well. If the Big 4 does not specifically recruit at your school, you may have to take more initiatives to seek out the opportunities, but that does not mean there are not opportunities available to you. Each of the Big 4 websites should have all the information you need to get started and begin your networking or job-seeking process.
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Tommy’s Answer

The big 4 accounting firms hire people with all types of education backgrounds. I did not do an accounting degree but have worked at a big 4 form my whole career. You should look at job postings on the big 4 websites and internship opportunities. You could also consider taking some accounting courses if that is the particular area of the big 4 that interests you.
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Evan’s Answer

Most Big 4 firms can offer a job that doesn't necessarily require a finance degree. If you look at their job requisitions within the various websites, you might see jobs that are offered such as sales, marketing, and HR among others.
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John’s Answer

The Big public accounting firms have tons of opportunities for people without a finance degree. If you have an inquisitive spirt, are a critical thinker and have passion, enthusiasm and energy for serving clients and solving complex problems, then you will be great in any of the major public accounting firms. It's a great place for anyone with those traits.
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Munazza’s Answer

Maybe you can try applying for consulting roles in the some of these big 4 since some have a consulting dept. For that you dont need to be a finance major. And you can apply directly. Consulting roles do have openings for early professionals.
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Swati’s Answer

Hi Erie. Finance degrees are definitely not a requirement for Big 4 firms! I personally have a technology background, and I have colleagues with business, engineering, and even liberal arts backgrounds. I would recommend reaching out to people on LinkedIn who already work at the company - specifically recruiters. You can use advanced search functions on LinkedIn to look for people at the company and location you're interested in, and also search for "HR" or "Recruiter". You can also directly apply on the websites. Hope this helps!
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Justina’s Answer

I would also recommend finding volunteer or internship opportunities. This gives you a chance to build your skills as well as see what a typical day looks like. Talk to student career advisor at school, professors and ask them to help you navigate any opportunities within the Big4
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Ana’s Answer

Great question. Typically the Big 4 firms hold different departments, such as Business Services. These services are aligned with serving internal staff needs. It may involve information technology, human resources, sales, consulting, customer service amongst some others.

Ana recommends the following next steps:

Research the Big4 of choice, see what jobs are listed on their posting board that do not require a CPE / Finance background.
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Lindsey’s Answer

Don't underestimate the value of networking! Most jobs are secured by connecting with employees already in the company. I highly recommend connecting with & talking to people who work in roles you're interested in at those firms & learning how they got into those roles. Most people are more than willing to talk to you & help you out on your career.
I work in a Technical role with an undergraduate degree in English and Philosophy. Your background is less important than what you are willing to learn through experience in roles.
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Marco’s Answer

Great question Erie. Even if a Big 4 Firm didn't recruit at your school then you still have an opportunity to apply for a job through their career websites. Each Firm has one and you can search for jobs where you meet the skill sets. Not every job at a Big Four accounting firm will require you to have an accounting/auditing/finance degree when you join. You may need certain certifications in order to progress through the Firm, but generally Firms are good at providing benefits to help you through that process. Right now many firms have gone "Virtual" so this should really open up the opportunities available to you. Best of luck!
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Trevor’s Answer

I wouldn't worry in the slightest about the Finance degree as we hire from just about every major (I'm a Computer Science major). Just check out the career sites of most Big 4 and they should have a college hire section you can apply through.
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