History Major trying to begin a career in Accounting.

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John in Rosemead, California

61 months ago

I have a Bachelors in History (worst decision of my life) with a GPA of 3.6 and have been working in escrow for the last 5 years but want to begin a career in Accounting. I'm looking into getting a degree but want to get some feedback on whether I should pursue a Second Bachelors Degree in accounting or try to get into a Masters Accounting Program? I have no accounting experience and want to go with whatever degree will take me furthest on a good career path.

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vicque fassinger in Cleveland, Ohio

61 months ago

A baccalaureate in ANY field should not be regretted - it's something no one can take away from you and puts you one step closer to securing a position than a person with no degree.

If you can land acceptance into a Master's program without having to take too many prerequisite math courses, I would pursue that. A Master's typically pays more (and can lead to other positions and promotions) than a Bachelor's.

What made you select History initially? An interest? (The fact that you earned a 3.6 shows you must have enjoyed at least some of the courses!) Were you planning to go to law school or thinking of teaching?

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John in Rosemead, California

61 months ago

Hi Vicque,
I picked History because I liked the subject but really didnt know what I wanted to do with it. I had vague ideas about being a curator or teaching that didn't really work out. I regret History because of my lack of career options, especially in this market. Now I just want a career path where I can acquire marketable skills and have a stable job with good pay and a good working enviornment. Accounting seems to give you that.

On that note, does anyone know how employers see accounting certificate programs? UCLA extention has one that is completed after 21 courses. How does an accounting cert from UCLA compare with a bachelors or masters from Calstate LA?

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Louisa Sandsmark in Granville, Massachusetts

61 months ago

I did a double major in both History and Accounting in college years ago. I started on the path to an MBA but found that the accounting course required for the MBA was a repeat of what I had learned in intermediate accounting my sophomore year in college. I would suggest you take first year accounting with a couple basic business classes like econ, finance, statistics, business law or similar. Than after the first year go into an MBA program. It would save you time, and money.

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Katherine in Atlanta, Georgia

56 months ago

As an accounting professor who just found your posting, my advice is for you to look into the various career paths that accounting offers. If you decide you want to become a CPA, you need to determine what the education requirements are for the state where you wish to be licensed. Some states require a master's degree; others require a bachelor's degree; and, some require that you have 150 hours of college credit regardless of the degree as long as you meet the education requirements to sit for the CPA exam. The CPA exam requires 36 to 42 hours of coursework in accounting dependent on your state's requirements. You can find your state's requirements by going to www.nasba.org and looking at your state's information. NASBA is the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and they facilitate the examination process.
Accountants were the last group of students to find job hunting difficult and the last business employees to lose their jobs in the recession. Keep your job and go to night school. Hopefully, things will pick up by the time you finish your coursework.

Good luck!

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G in Brooklyn, New York

56 months ago

Katherine in Atlanta, Georgia said: As an accounting professor who just found your posting, my advice is for you to look into the various career paths that accounting offers. If you decide you want to become a CPA, you need to determine what the education requirements are for the state where you wish to be licensed. Some states require a master's degree; others require a bachelor's degree; and, some require that you have 150 hours of college credit regardless of the degree as long as you meet the education requirements to sit for the CPA exam. The CPA exam requires 36 to 42 hours of coursework in accounting dependent on your state's requirements. You can find your state's requirements by going to www.nasba.org and looking at your state's information. NASBA is the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and they facilitate the examination process.
Accountants were the last group of students to find job hunting difficult and the last business employees to lose their jobs in the recession. Keep your job and go to night school. Hopefully, things will pick up by the time you finish your coursework.

Good luck!

I would like to know if a master's or bachelor's is the only requirement to get into the accounting field. I'm keeping my options open on whether I should be in accounting if many of my experience with T-postings, balance sheets and income statements will land me a job within the field, although I won't be a CPA accountant (which would need a master's.)

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FS in Salem, Massachusetts

56 months ago

John in Rosemead, California said: I have a Bachelors in History (worst decision of my life) with a GPA of 3.6 and have been working in escrow for the last 5 years but want to begin a career in Accounting. I'm looking into getting a degree but want to get some feedback on whether I should pursue a Second Bachelors Degree in accounting or try to get into a Masters Accounting Program? I have no accounting experience and want to go with whatever degree will take me furthest on a good career path.

Some in my area have suggested just getting an Accounting Certificate which means you only take Accounting classes.

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