Any advice for someone wanting to switch to a career in accounting?

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AT in Orlando, Florida

55 months ago

Hello! So I'm in a bit of a dilemma but before I get into all of that, here is my educational background.

-Psychology BSc., with a minor in Statistics (courses in Non-Parametric Statistics, Sample Survey Methods, Categorical Data Analysis, and Statistical Methods I-III)
-GPA = 3.89
-Currently in 2nd year of Human Factors Psychology Ph.D
-Ph.D GPA = 3.9 something

I'm currently in my 2nd year of a human factors psychology ph.d program, but I am pretty sick of it. I am doing just fine in my graduate coursework, and I enjoy the subject itself, but I am not a fan of the actual research aspects of the program. I initially thought research would be for me, but now I am quite sick of it. If I am honest, I've never really been a big people person either. Thus, I am looking into other career possibilities. I have decided upon accounting because it seems like it would be a really good fit to my personality (i.e., very detail oriented, prefer rules over abstract, like numbers, etc.).

In considering the possible ways I can work my way into the field of accounting, I have come up with three options on the education side of things.

-Get a 2nd Bachelors degree in Accounting
-Get a Masters degree in Accounting
-Get an MBA with an Accounting emphasis

I was wondering what your suggestions would be for someone who has no business experience or coursework? What are some of the pros and cons of these three options?

I would also be interested in finding an entry level accounting job (even if it was bookkeeping type work), but I am worried no one would give me a chance considering my lack of any business experience or coursework. Have you, or do you know anyone who has, been able to do something similar? I basically just want something that would help get me integrated into the field.

I greatly appreciate any assistance you can provide and please let me know if there is anything else about my situation that you would like to know to better advise me.


thefinancewriter in Georgetown, Texas

55 months ago

Finding work in the accounting field without experience is difficult. However, small local accounting firms with a growing number of clients are desperate for qualified staff. Most of these operations focus on tax, but also handle some bookkeeping projects. They will hire inexperienced individuals who have a proven ability with all types of tax returns. You can capture this qualification by passing the Enrolled Agent exam. The course at gives you all the knowledge needed to become a tax expert. A small practice will hire you and provide training with software and file documentation procedures. I've coached several people who entered the accounting business this way -- including one who was in graduate school for a doctorate in clinical psychology and hated it.

Look over the sample exam questions on the website by clicking on the "Try It Free" button. The test is not difficult with the right preparation.

Eventually, you can aim for a CPA license. You can register for taking the CPA exam in Florida with a bachelors degree in any field but you must have 24 semester hours of upper division accounting courses and 24 hours of business courses. Since you ultimately need 150 hours to obtain a CPA license, you can just take the accounting and business courses needed in addition to the undergrad degree you already hold. You don't need another bachelors degree in accounting or a graduate degree. In fact, having these doesn't help you in the job market unless your MBA is from a prestigious school.


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