Advice for a non-accounting major.

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AM1982 in Marietta, Georgia

52 months ago

Wow lots of variety here. Let me add my vibrant story to this mix.

When I graduated from High School, due to circumstances outside of my control I had limited choices for College. I got a BFA in Graphic Design. I had a high GPA in high school, I had scholarships, AP classes and graduated with honors. It wasn't my grades or money that was the problem but another variable. I have really worked this degree and have worked my way up to project/program management in IT industry (not bad for a BFA). I will have my PMP for PMI soon.

But I really want a "Smart" degree.I consider math and science "smart" degrees. I am a smart girl and I want my education to reflect that. And I am ready for new and challenging work. I really don't want to be a CPA but work more in the Financial industry. They all require a bachelors in accounting or finance with a CPA or CFA, ect..

Do I go back to school for a Bachelors in Accounting & finance? Or

Do I get a Post-baccalaureate certification in accounting (thinking about this online program:
Will a post-bacc accounting course work+ a Non-relevant bachelors degree be enough for a CPA in GA?
How will employers look upon this?

So would a BFA in Graphic Design + Post-Baccalaureate certification in accounting + CPA or CFA --- be enough to land a decent paying job, while I go to Grad school for MPA/MAcc/MSFIN/MSF?

I really WANT THIS! Is there someone I can talk to about this? Anyone have any insights?

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Karena in Atlanta, Georgia

51 months ago

DJ Drummond in Houston, Texas said: Perhaps I can be useful. I just earned my MBA from UH-Victoria, with a concentration in Accounting. UHV is AACSB accredited in Business, and the faculty is shared with the UH Bauer School of Business, so it's a decent school. My BA was ... English (don't ask me why) and it was back in 1983. I got the MBA because in addition to 30 hours upper-level Accounting courses you need 24 hours upper-level Business courses, so the MBA did that, mostly, and got me a higher degree as well. lemealone in Norfolk is right that the CPA license is HUGE, you get that and where you went to school is a lot less important.

I have 2 reasons for posting here. First, some encouragement: My undergrad GPA at Baylor was - gulp - 2.1! I only had a chance because I finished a LOT stronger and my last 60 hours BARELY met the 2.5 GPA requirement for consideration. What got me in was my GMAT; I got a 730 on my first and only try and the school gave me a chance to take part in the MBA program. I finished my MBA with a 3.941 GPA and here I am. There was no chance I could get into some of the top programs, not with my grades even so long ago, but a good GMAT score opened the door. So while grades are important and can limit schools or make some interested in you, there are options. Study for the GMAT unti you are sure you'll get an 800, then you're ready to start really studying the GMAT!

My other reason for posting is a question - does anyone know how someone can earn accounting experience for the CPA license without starting all over as an intern? I'm 49 and have a ton of management experience, and one reason I want the CPA is that my company considers it a must-have for all senior managers. Would SOx audits count as acceptable work for the Accountancy Board if a CPA supervised me?

Thanks and good luck!

Could you tell us about how your profesional life is going after get your Master done.
I studied engineering and Im planning to go 4 cp

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DJ Drummond in Houston, Texas

51 months ago

S E Smith, sorry for the delay. My company just finished month-end and quarter close, so we were very busy this week.

I am now the Global Credit Manager for a valve manufacturer and distributor, responsible for Credit and Collections, AR management and Revenue Recognition. I bring in roughly 1 to 1.2 million USD a weej in commercial collections, do T&C contract review and credit decisions on about two new accounts a week, apply for a new Letter of Credit about twice a month, and also work with credit insurance and INCOTERMS for international shipping and export compliance.

My superior is the VP of Finance, and a CPA. He will be able to certify my work experience when I sit for the CPA exam myself. My pay is 27% higher than the salary I held at my previous job. I started at this job last November and from what I hear from my boss and the senior management (Controller, COO, JV partners) I am meeting or surpassing all expectations.

The significance is that there is always a way to get where you want to go, if you are willing to do the work and are flexible enough to find ways to put your personal skill set to its best use.

Good luck!

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Purple Flaming Gal in Near Loaville, Kentucky

50 months ago

JDavisNJ in Fair Lawn, New Jersey said: Hell all, my name is Joe and was wondering if I can get some advice. I'm 22 and am about to graduate college with a History degree. Why would I be interested in accounting you ask? Well, I flip-flopped majors several times (stupid decision), and I will be graduating with a degree in history. I can't change that and have accepted it.

My plan, within the next two years is to attend graduate school for accounting. There are several good schools in my area and I'm confident that I can get into one. I expect my GPA to be around 3.3 upon graduation.

The problem I'm having is, how to find an entry level accounting position with no experience in the field, and without a business degree under my belt? I'm pretty good in Excel and am good with numbers, but am not sure who would hire me. I was told to look for "clerk" positions in accounts payable, or something related.

Basically, I want to gain some experience in a company before I apply to graduate school. I know this whole idea seems redundant and a stretch, but if anyone could help me out that would be much appreciated. Thanks,


I have been in accounting for 20 years. I'm a CPA MBA Controller. Yes, without a degree, just look for a clerk job (AP or AR) to get your foot in the door. I've hired employees for years. Believe me, it's hard to find an on time, loyal clerk, so if you fit that description and you can get past the HR "gate keepers" AND you interview well, you may have a chance. If you are GOOD (ie you can key, seem to have a brain, show up for work on time, don't have to smoke every hour, don't make a bee line for the door at 5pm), you may be successful. The market is saturated with accountants... notice I didn't say good accountants - they are still hard to come by. So if you will be a good, solid, accountant - there's still a market for them. I'm telling the truth! There are not that many solid performers out there... Good luck!

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haus in Rockford, Tennessee

47 months ago

Don't do accounting unless you have someone to give a job. Its a waste of time. Either you get a break or you don't. Regardless of others I know. Going on three years and can I even get a chance at a clerk that only requires a GED? No. I have a Bachelors suma cum laude. People don't want the best because I have seen many others where I can do a better job. But I don't get a chance to even have a job.

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Cody in Hawthorne, California

45 months ago

haus in Rockford, Tennessee said: Don't do accounting unless you have someone to give a job. Its a waste of time. Either you get a break or you don't. Regardless of others I know. Going on three years and can I even get a chance at a clerk that only requires a GED? No. I have a Bachelors suma cum laude. People don't want the best because I have seen many others where I can do a better job. But I don't get a chance to even have a job.

Please do not listen to this guy !

Accounting might be not a fun career, but it will give u a stable income. And yes, there are bad people in every jobs. What's news ? Grow up and start to be real ! Accounting is still good career no matter what. Read this article about accounting !

Here is the deal ! REMEMBER THIS : Doing good in school is not enough. You also need to get job experiences while u are in school. At this time, do not think about money, but experiences in accounting/business field ! This is really important. Most company won't hire a candidate who has no real life working experiences in his/her field even if you are summa cum laude. Experiences are what matters the most ! Stop complaining that noone hire me ! You just didn't look hard enough. Jobs in accounting sector are out there. I will not tell you where it is at. That's your job hunting skill. You are an adult now !

CPA is the most important thing if you are planning to become an accountant. CPA is weighed higher than MBA in accounting field ! So, try to get CPA, because it will open you many doors that you can't imagine !

Good luck !

Question ? email me at

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JHSCA in Newport Beach, California

45 months ago

This thread is exactly what I've been looking for. I recently started bookkeeping with 0 business or accounting in my background and a film degree and realized I should learn accounting and should aim a little higher than a bookkeeper. I am taking courses at a community college just to see if accounting is for me & I just can't quite figure out what the next step should be if I should take the GMAT and look for a MAcc program or take extension courses and sit for the CPA exam. I am on the same boat that I don't necessarily want to be a CPA/Accountant but this step will open the door to many other opportunities and I need to get my business sense in line for something more challenging. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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Unversity of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio

44 months ago

I thought this might be helpful.

Illinois CPA Exam requirements latest update (July 2010):

The IL State Board has decided (and approved by IL Governor) to postpone the cancellation of the CPA certificate for 2 years, which means that IL is still a 2-tier state and you can get the CPA certificate (not full license, but good enough for credential purposes) with 150 semester hours and NO experience. Please see the details below.

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JJ in Jupiter, Florida

38 months ago

This thread has been extremely helpful for me and I thank you all.
I have a mechanical engineering degree and I did work in the engineering field for a very long time. In addition, throughout the years, I have been running multiple home based businesses. I decided to go back to schoool and get a masters in forensic accounting at Florida Atlantic University (state university). They have an online program for this. I have very limited accounting experience, however, I have been doing my taxes in the past couple of years and I have been keeping a good eye on my accountant before that - reason for which I fired him because I caught big mistakes in the returns. The returns are complicated, NOL's carried forward, rentals, schedule C's etc
My main concern is if I will be able to "handle" the accounting master program. I have no idea how tough it is and how long it will take me to finish it.
My main goal is not to be able to work forever for a company and grow with it. I would like to be able to get the degree, gain some experience in a company and after that, open my own accounting firm. Is this something doable? I have to mention that I am 44 years old so obviously I need to move fast.
I always disliked the engineering field but I had to do it. I would like to finally get out of it and move into another field - as long as I can reach my final goal and have my own accounting firm.
Any suggestions, ideas, advice would be greatly appreciated.
Is there a chance that I can finish the program in 2 years while working 6 hours per day?

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TLee86 in Pasadena, California

20 months ago

Hi everyone,

I graduated in 2010 with a Poli Sci BS and I'm working at a law firm as a legal assistant right now. I originally wanted to go to law school but I realized that might not be the path for me.

Recently I've been thinking of going into accounting as I've been doing the accounting at my firm as well as light accounting when I was working in college. I'm a little lost on the whole process as I'm so new to this area and I've done some light research online and it's only confused me more. Can I get a Certified Management Accountant license without a degree in finance/business? I've read different things and as this thread seems to be rather informative and ppl have experience I'm hoping someone can give me a bit of help. I'm treading water a bit here and I would love if someone can steer me in the right direction and possibly mentor me a little.

Thanks guys! I'd appreciate any help! :)

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