Changing my life...entry level accounting GMAT and CPA

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Sundizz in Suwon, Korea, Republic of

47 months ago

I graduated with a business economics degree in December 2007, and did quite a lot of coursework in accounting (but chose not to get the emphasis at the time stupidly). I am currently teaching abroad but would like to get back into high paying jobs (accounting/business) when I return. I just re-contracted at my current teaching job for another year. I have a year to get everything in place for when I return to the U.S

I plan to take the GMAT in 4 months from now. After that, I plan to take two online accounting classes (maybe Peachtree/software) as I need another 8 accounting units to meet the CPA test requirement for California. Concurrently, I'd study for the CPA exam as well during that time.

I am just curious what would be a possible career path to take for me. I don't have any experience in accounting or much relevant experience in business since I graduated. Currently, I'm 26. I'd like to be in a 150k+ job by the time I'm 31.

My imagination paints a picture of this being realistic; but I truly don't know. I think if I get the CPA, work for a year and then go back to get my MBA I should have some viable options? I'd like to have a designation, such as CPA, to fortify my perceived ability to work on the finance side of a company.

Any insight or suggestions would be very helpful and appreciated =)

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Bean counter in San Jose, California

47 months ago

Read the online profiles of people in the field that you are interested in; see what positions they're in with their MBA and CPA.

Check out online for those companies and positions that pay $150K+ in the finance/accounting field. I would say typically you need to be a director.

Be realistic. The competition is fierce and I see folks with CPA and MBA get stuck at accountant level. Over supply.

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Sundizz in Suwon, Korea, Republic of

47 months ago

Thank you for the heads up. I guess my view is jaded by knowing people that have attended extremely good B-schools. Many of them receive offers of 125k + 30k signing bonuses. I feel that it is realistic to think I could earn 40-60k in the accounting side and 100k+ on the consulting side after the MBA. As you suggest, I will check out linkedin profiles to see what people have done.

I'm more curious as to what steps I should take (opinions). It is hard to gauge what is truly needed to be in high paying jobs, and what would just be 'nice to have'. I have a year before I plan to return and I want to make sure I spend my time as wisely as possible. Without experience I fully expect to go through a staffing agency when I return and be doing a $12-15/hour position for at least a few months.

The money isn't the only factor; I'd like to work at a small/medium sized company where I would actually be able to contribute to the success of the company. I'm just unfamiliar completely what is needed to be on the finance side of a company (maybe a controller type position). Even something as simple as what software people use..

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submuloc in Columbus, Ohio

31 months ago

so what did you do to reach the CPA test requirement? Did you take up some accounting course or did you write GMAT? does this accounting software course really cover the credit hours required for taking up CPA?

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sundizz in Seoul, Korea, Republic of

31 months ago

Wow, interesting to see where my mind was just 16 months ago. Helps me refocus and remind myself why I am working hard!

I ended up doing a MACC (Master of Accountancy) program (online, but regular university degree). About 3/5th of the way through right now and have a 3.9 GPA. I have 4 more classes, and an internship to do (likely with the Big 4, given my GPA and that I have connects I can ask to refer me).

The program I chose didn't require me to do a GMAT thankfully.

So, to answer your question, I just did a graduate MACC degree program. Doing individual classes didn't really make sense, and was too complex for me to really get anything out of it. I want to get into a high paying job eventually so going through a university makes sense (even tho initially it costs a lot more).

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jerryctwu in West Covina, California

27 months ago


Part I:
I highly doubt you gonna be able to get a internship with Big 4, even with 3.9 GPA, they typically are not interested in any online program grad. program. Your best chance would be the network your way into Big 4 hiring managers to already known you personally, and do an internal referral for you. It was in fact how I was able to get my friends interviewed with our division Directors when I was with PwC.

Part II:
If you were lucky enough to get an internship and a job offer, you will not like the 16 hrs per day workload, and likely to just quit in less than one year, because you then realized it is always your clients making the profit, twice your pay, half your work hours. You should have gone with an Engineering program 19 months ago, but it may be too late now.

To save you time, just aim one year experience with Big 4, and then do Banking job with Real Estate focus, that is where the money is if that is what you are looking for. Big 4 is good exp, but only as a stepping-stone because they simply don't pay enough~ you should have got an Engineering degree making 6 figures starting your 6th year, and then save money to purchase real estate investment properties for the next 15 years, and then retire on the passive income with over $10,000 USD per month, for the rest of your life. You will not like what I am telling you now, but in another 36 months from now, you will want to email me for more advice.

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jerryctwu in West Covina, California

27 months ago

By the way, for MBA degree, BIG 4 do not care at all. MBA can only be good for you, if you have 10+ yrs of Engineering exp and going into management position, which the company would even pay for your tuition. Or coming from top 10 MBA programs in the US, which would be all the IVY, plus CAL TECH, MIT, STDFD, for you to go int Investment Banking... Other than those two career path, MBA is just waste of money, because you only learn very little of everything in business, which makes you... not very useful for the employers. So, if you gonna do another degree, well... look at the founder of Space X, the guy was double major Business Adm. and Physics, so you will be 1/3 the way done once completed your Acct Master.

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thefinancewriter in Georgetown, Texas

27 months ago

In most states, you can take the CPA exam with only a bachelor's degree. A high quality -- and affordable -- review course at helps you pass the exam sections on first attempts. After subsequently meeting the education requirements, a CPA license is issued following completion of the state's experience requirements. The Big 4 accounting firms recruit at colleges. This is generally the most comprehensive path for experience, but not the only option. Working under the supervision of a local or regional CPA will also suffice.

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