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Is an accounting degree still a good investment?

paragon24paragon24 Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
edited September 2011 in Business Major
I plan on transferring to a 4-yr university next year (CSUF or CSULB, most likely) with a major in Business with a concentration in accounting. Will the market for accountants still be solid two-three years from now? I do plan on getting a CPA certification, BTW.
Post edited by paragon24 on

Replies to: Is an accounting degree still a good investment?

  • mossmoss Registered User Posts: 678 Member
    Are you planning to go Big 4?

    Honestly, coming from CSUF/CSULB, you will need a SOLID gpa (3.7+), be a high ranking officer of some accounting club (BAY/AS), and do other things to set yourself apart. I'm not trying to be an ass, but I just looked over a stack of resumes from the most recent USC MAAc/MBT class and many of them were high caliber students from undergrad (Berkeley, UCLA, Ivy league). If you are going to compete with them, you will need to bring your A-game. With that said, if you are well-spoken, well-written, and have team attitude, you can still knock those kids out of the park. If you don't, you will have a uphill battle.
  • a_moma_mom Registered User Posts: 474 Member
    moss, is the uphill battle mainly due to the fact that big-4 take less students from CSU campus than from schools like USC/Cal/UCLA? Are students competing with their classmates within the school, or everyone are in the same pool regardless the school they're coming from? There was discussion before that the number of students have offers in each school are roughly "pre-set". Thus, the "target" vs "non-target" school, could you comment on this? Thanks.
  • workingATbig4workingATbig4 Registered User Posts: 317 Member
    There are ABSOLUTLEY target and non-target schools. And yes there are normally "quotas" at these schools where the target schools have, obviously, many more spots available.
  • a_moma_mom Registered User Posts: 474 Member
    ^ Thanks for chime in. That's also my observations at least on DD's school and a few nearby campus, but confused about the earlier comment of CSU students competing with UC/ivy students.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Other than University of Pennsylvania, no ivy offers accounting as an undergrad major. In fact, I don't think any of them, other than UP, offer accounting as a graduate major either.
  • BigBelugaBigBeluga Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
    Which schools offer an undergraduate accounting major that are targets? Any link to a list? Thanks.
  • ToshtemirovToshtemirov Registered User Posts: 653 Member


    Top Accounting Graduate School Rankings in 2011 | U.S. College Rankings


    You can rely on these rankings, since they do not change very much. It seems that a few Ivies, besides UPenn, offer doctoral accounting programs, and they are Harvard, Collumbia, and Cornell. I'm not sure about MAcc though.
  • mossmoss Registered User Posts: 678 Member
    a_mom: If you are good, you will get hired regardless of what school you come from. When I mentioned up-hill battle, I was referring to a situation if the student DOES NOT have the qualities that the firms are looking for.

    Coming from a good school doesn't guarantee you an advantage, but it does give you instant credibility before you meet face to face. The face to face interaction will make or break the deal.

    I can tell within the first 10 minutes of talking to someone whether I would want them on my engagement. How does the person carry themself? Do they look like a team player? Did they ask well thought out questions? Do they seem intellectually curious and will try to figure things out on their own or will they require a lot of hand holding? Do they have the right attitude?

    One of the BEST people I've worked in terms of technical skill comes from a CSU and the the worst person I've worked with (and actually was fired for performance reasons) came from UCLA. You can see where I'm going with this. It's all individual performance driven, and not so much school driven.
  • mossmoss Registered User Posts: 678 Member
    By the way, don't think that having an Ivy undergrad will make you more desirable in the accounting profession. When I looked at that resume, I was literally cracking up. I showed that resume to another colleague and he screamed out "WHAT A LOSER!" If you are Ivy caliber, you shouldn't be doing accounting. I HATE to see such a nice degree get wasted by someone that is going to be joining a Big 4 firm as an associate and starting off at 50-60k.

    Both of us would gladly trade our day job, title, and CPA licenses for an Ivy undergrad. I know I'd make pretty darn good use of that degree :)
  • jshainjshain Registered User Posts: 5,578 Senior Member
    My D summer interned at a Big 4 in San Jose CA this past summer. San Jose State was well-represented and most of the students from there were offered full time positions upon graduation this Spring. Your GPA, school activity participation, networking skills, and how you interview/carry yourself are key components to a successful outcome.
  • ToshtemirovToshtemirov Registered User Posts: 653 Member
    I woudn't trade the CPA license for an undergraduate Ivy degree, unless it was a degree from Wharton. Yet, a MBA from an Ivy worth more than any existing professional certification.
  • mossmoss Registered User Posts: 678 Member
    Hehe. After 8 busy seasons and thousands and thousands of billable hours later, I guess I'm starting to rethink my career choice ;)
  • LazyKidLazyKid - Posts: 758 Member
    Both of us would gladly trade our day job, title, and CPA licenses for an Ivy undergrad. I know I'd make pretty darn good use of that degree

    ??!! Ivy degree is overrated. It never guarantees you a good employment. Employers care more about your experience/skills/marketability than the pedigree of your degree. Ivy degree is helpful if one wants to break into investment banking/consulting/other high finance like sales/trading. Other than that, I fail to see much advantage. But, mind you, getting into BB IBD or S&T out of even Harvard is very competitive and fiercely exhausting. On the other hand, CPA license + accounting major = stable 50k salary job in early/mid twenties. You can literally go to no-name 3rd tier local school, major in accounting, and can expect to get decent jobs in accounting. I know many Ivy grads who are either unemployed or 'stuck' in mediocre, second-tier jobs with no future. I know this because I am a recent alum of an Ivy myself.
This discussion has been closed.