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Is UIC a good school for undergraduate accounting?

apscaredapscared Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
edited August 2013 in Business Major
I am currently a student at UIC who plans on switching to an accounting major in the College of Business. Assuming I am able to maintain a 3.6+ GPA overall/major should I be able to secure a job in accounting as soon as I graduate?

Also say I want to become CPA certified and go into public accounting, does the big 4 recruit at UIC?

I know Depaul/UofIUC have good reputations in business and would love to go there but unfortunately it is a little too late for me to transfer. Plus the costs are a problem compared to UIC.
Post edited by apscared on

Replies to: Is UIC a good school for undergraduate accounting?

  • IvytIvyt Registered User Posts: 3,531 Senior Member
    Maybe check out who works at some of the big 4 offices in Chicago and see where they got their education.
  • ChicagoBearChicagoBear Registered User Posts: 711 Member
    Since you are a UIC student you should be able to easily go to the career center and find out which of the Big 4 and other large firms recruit on campus and how many students received offers. On campus recruiting is key since most jobs and internships get filled that way.

    Accounting firms are always looking for talent, and Chicago is one of the top cities for the firms. However, Chicago firms/offices also recruit at top Midwest accounting programs. My son was recruited for an internship next summer at a Big 4 firm. They brought about 100 Kids (top students) in for a two day program - it was essentially a two day casual interview. If they liked you, they called you in for a formal interview. He said the four schools with the largest number of kids were UIUC, Notre Dame, Indiana and Miami (Ohio). Also well represented were DePaul, Michigan and Wisconsin. There may have been UIC kids - he just told me the largest contingents. But this shows that the firms look outside of Illinois schools. All of the out of state school s listed gave heavily from the Chicago area for students, SK its not surprising that these kids want opportunities back home.

    Now this was one event - this firm holds several each year, but it gives you an idea of the process. This appears to be geared for high stat kids that the firm wants to lockup before general recruiting.
  • apscaredapscared Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    Hey barrak123, how do you look at individual employees at big 4 offices?

    @ChicagoBear if you do not mind me asking what was your son'e cumulative and accounting GPA? I would like to know what stats are needed to qualify for an internship. Also, is this a paid internship?
  • ChicagoBearChicagoBear Registered User Posts: 711 Member
    My son has an overall 3.85 at Miami (Ohio). These are very well paid and highly sought after internships. The key is that the firm also typically (barring financial turmoil) offers full time positions to about 90% of its interns.

    My son indicated that during on campus recruiting, some firms and companies listed a minimum GPA to even be able to signup for a spot. He indicated many of the interviewing companies cut off at 3.5, and some even higher.

    It sounds like you are in the ballpark - if you can keep up the grades. The big question is how active is Big 4 recruiting at your school.
  • apscaredapscared Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    Yes I currently have a 3.81 GPA but I was pre-med for the last two years and was thus doing pre-med and liberal arts/science coursework. I don't know how well my academic skills will translate to business classes yet so I am a bit anxious about this transition.

    I just called the career office at UIC and they said they said the Big 4 comes to recruit at career fairs. However I do not know the extent to which they do as I have never been to one of these career fairs.
  • Nova10Nova10 Registered User Posts: 820 Member
    At UIC, there are two yearly official university wide career fairs. Some colleges have their own career fairs, as well. This is a list of employers from last spring's university wide fair. UIC Office of Career Services Your best bet might be through the college of Business, though. They have their own site for recruiters. Recruiters - Companies

    Both the career office and the business college should have a list of local companies which take interns.
  • apscaredapscared Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    I just did a search on LinkedIn for people who work in the Big 4 and attended UIC and these are the results I got:

    KPMG (Cosulting + Accounting): 46 Hits
    EY: 46 Hits
    Deloitte: 128 Hits
    PwC: 72 Hits

    Is this number of people who work in the big 4 and have attended UIC significant enough that you can expect them to recruit at my campus for jobs and internships?

    I also noted that many of the people who came in my search aren't even employed as accountants in these firms but instead are employed in Information Technology, Financial Services, and Management Consulting. Can you get these positions even as an accounting major?
  • boysx3boysx3 Registered User Posts: 5,164 Senior Member
    OP, I am wondering if you are actually interested in accounting? (I am not being rude or snide--but can't convey tone on the internet).

    You say you are switching from pre-med to accounting--have you taken some accounting/other business courses yet? To get your CPA takes 150 hours of classes, I believe.

    You might want to do some research on opportunities in various business fields, and what kind of backgrounds they need, as long as you are transferring out of pre med.
  • apscaredapscared Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    When I entered college I had the original mindset and desire to go to med school and become a doctor. I did not know about many other professions and occupations besides the ones that are typically idealized and glorified. However, as I continued my studies I begin to learn about other occupations that I had little previous knowledge of that had undergraduate major programs in my school such as accounting and nursing. I also begin to feel less fond about studying until the age of 26 and racking up over a hundred thousand dollars in loans. I probably deserve to get flamed for saying this but I wanted to go into a major study where I have a good chance of getting a decent paying entry job upon graduation.

    My entire first two years were spent taking liberal arts and science coursework so no I did not take any business/accounting coursework. My semester started this week and I sat in a Finance and Accounting class yesterday but obviously there isn't too much you can get from the first day of a class where most of the time spent is going over the syllabus. I have until Friday to decide my class schedule.

    I have done research online and read many parts of "Everything You Wanted To Know About Accounting Thread". I understand the CPA requirement and since I would be graduating later then the usual 4 years due to my major change, I should be able to get more then 150 hours. The truth is I do not want to go into accounting just for the sake of getting a well paying job. That would be a horrible mindset to have. The profession is really intriguing too me though and there are many typed of accountants so I am sure there is something in that field that I would be interested in.

    I would love to work in a field where teamwork is involved and where there is a problem solving focus. Are there fields within accounting that fit that description? I have also read into forensic accounting and becoming CFA. The job description for FA sounds really exciting and something I would enjoy. I have heard the downsides of accounting jobs, especially those in the big 4 firms, where new employees are worked 60-70 hours a week and I do not want to be in that position. I would love to be heavily involved in work involving consulting, problem solving, and the work FA's do.

    Alot of what I am saying sounds short sighted but I am confident in my ability to work hard and learn the new concepts accounting requires. I am mainly worried if I will enjoy the field. If you have any advice feel free to give it to me.
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