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Is it common to be unemployed or underemployed after getting a bachelor degree in accounting?

bcroger2bcroger2 15 replies7 threads Junior Member
Hey guys,

I got 2 business degrees in accounting and management. Upon graduation, I never got any jobs, so I applied to the MSA (masters of science in accounting program.) Right now I work as a part time bank teller. If I don't get into the MSA program, then I will just go to nursing school.

I applied to loads of banks and firms, but all I got were job interviews for sales(cold calling) jobs and retail jobs. I only got 2 job interviews for office jobs (not commission/sales based) and I got neither position.

I know that about 25% of college grads. have degrees in business, and another substantial pct. have degrees in economics and statistics. So the competition is fierce. I still never expected it to be this difficult.

Thoughts?
20 replies
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Replies to: Is it common to be unemployed or underemployed after getting a bachelor degree in accounting?

  • bcroger2bcroger2 15 replies7 threads Junior Member
    I did some part time work and volunteer work in college, but I never did any internships btw.
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  • treschicostreschicos 249 replies25 threads Junior Member
    I would recommend working with your department career center. They can review your resume, provide mock interviews and feedback, and maintain job listings. This service should be available for alumni.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 4863 replies86 threads Senior Member
    I also recommend working with your college career center. Have them look over your resume and cover letters, as well as do mock interviews. I expect they will also have a job posting board as well.

    Have you considered financial analyst jobs in corporations? Tax accounting? If you do go to get your MSA, that will allow you to sit for the CPA exam correct? Having a masters and CPA would increase your marketability, but if you want to work for a few years first, I do think you can find a career oriented position. Good luck.
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  • happy1happy1 23810 replies2383 threads Super Moderator
    edited May 2019
    Also, before you jump to nursing please consider: 1) do you have the background classes needed; 2) can you afford such a long program; 3) can you handle the interpersonal demands of patient/nurse/family/doctor interactions (given your prior post)?

    In a prior post you talked about PT and now it is nursing. A career switch is a serious matter and you seem to be grasping at straws a bit.
    edited May 2019
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  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU 1540 replies17 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2019
    When did you graduate and how were your grades in your accounting classes? Have you looks for entry level full-time accounting positions at your current bank?

    If you have good grades in accounting, and also your finance classes, you can look into Office Development Program / Credit Analyst positions at the bank. There may able be a Retail Management training Program. Other departments: Audit, Credit Examinations, Accounting, Adjustments, Financial Planning and Forecasting, Treasury, Treasury Management.
    edited May 2019
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  • bcroger2bcroger2 15 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @yhappyface
    I will most likely get into the MSA program because I retook the courses that my adviser told me to take. He told me to get Bs in both classes. I got an A in one and at least a B(if not an A) in the other,. Out college's MSA program also has grade replacement, so I think I will be fine there.

    I was talking about nursing IF I don't get into the MSA program. My dad is a PT and my sister and brother are going to medical school. I have a lot of connections so that will help me get a job and have actually seen what nurses do first hand. And yes, I know what prerequisites I have to take.
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  • bcroger2bcroger2 15 replies7 threads Junior Member
    I have 7 other friends who also graduated with BBA. 2 have good jobs (one is a cost accountant and the other does administrative work for a big 4.) 2 others have good paying sales jobs ($40,000 a year + commission) but they are still in sales/cold calling jobs (something I would have a hard time doing) , 1 is doing manual labor and the other is working a strictly commission based sales job.

    All graduated from business school. Does not seem like I am the only one.Business degrees seem to be flooding the market.
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  • happy1happy1 23810 replies2383 threads Super Moderator
    edited May 2019
    My comments were addressed towards accounting major -- without the 150 credits, some expereince, the CPA exam etc. job prospects will likely be limited. And a BBA in management generally does not have the best job prospects as it is a very general degree.

    Also in a prior post you said you already got into the MS program. https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/business-major/2128760-does-it-make-sense-to-do-a-m-s-in-accounting-and-prerequisites-for-physical-therapy.html#latest Now you are saying you are likely to get in. Which is true?

    And if you are confident you have the interpersonal skills etc. to be a nurse and you have the finances to fund the required coursework/degree then that is certainly an option. Pick a path and follow it.
    edited May 2019
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  • bcroger2bcroger2 15 replies7 threads Junior Member
    If I don't get into the MSA program, I pretty much have to become a nurse. I applied to loads of bank jobs and got nothing. I can only get retail, sales or other commission based jobs. I also have a hard time selling stuff based on commission.

    Without loads of internships/work experience/CPAs, business degrees from most degrees are pretty much like liberal art degrees, except they pay better since many start off in sales.
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  • happy1happy1 23810 replies2383 threads Super Moderator
    I will respectfully have to disagree with your second paragraph based on my experiences. For my H, myself and my recently graduated S business degrees proved incredibly valuable and led to employment and nice careers. Of course it is not the degree that will get a person a job. Other things are critical to success:
    --The process of finding a job starts early in college when students need to start looking at internships etc.
    --A strong GPA is important.
    --The quality of the college and the relationships its career placement office has with employers in the area and nationally matters. This should be explored prior to deciding to attend a college.
    --A major that teaches an employable skill (ex. accounting, IT, finance) is more highly valued than a degree in management or something like that. Accountants need to get 150 credits to be employable by CPA firms.
    --Interview skills are necessary (many career placement offices help with this).
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  • bcroger2bcroger2 15 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Did you go to a highly ranked business school?

    I went to a pretty average ranked business school. This may be why. I've noticed that those who never graduated from highly ranked business schools, have loads of work experience/internships, don't have have CPAs, generally don't get jobs out side of sales/retail.

    Of course, many sales jobs are highly compensated( I know 2 guys who went into sales and both had base salaries of $41,000) but they are not made for everyone. AND I was talking about people who never graduated from highly ranked business schools, have loads of work experience/internships, don't have have CPAs. Those who DO have lots of work experience, CPAs, internships generally DO great great jobs in business.

    Many folks don't mind going into sales. I was a double major in acct. and management and noticed that many of my management class mates did not mind that they had to sell things upon graduation. One management major did not care that he had to work physical labor either. However, for some people it is tough.
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  • CheeringsectionCheeringsection 2715 replies83 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2019
    I think you are either not looking broadly enough or this is a issue related to your geographic location. Where I live, industry, retail and construction are begging for those with accounting degrees. AP, AR, cost accountants, estimators, internal audit, general accounting departments, etc. Remember that employers include their dream list of qualifications in job ads and many are “desired” qualifications not “required” qualifications. Use the careers services office at your school, LinkedIn, Indeed, etc to look more broadly. There are many entry level jobs for non-CPA’s because there is an experience requirement that must be met before one can even be a CPA. These jobs are not commission only jobs.
    edited May 2019
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  • bcroger2bcroger2 15 replies7 threads Junior Member
    edited May 2019
    Yeah, I applied to all kinds of positions, but got nothing. I only got interviews for sales , retail and commission based jobs. I applied to over 100+ positions in banks, companies etc. and got nothing.
    edited May 2019
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  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 4110 replies28 threads Senior Member
    @bcroger2 What was your GPA and did you have 150 credits? The accounting majors at my D’s school have no trouble getting accounting jobs before they graduate.
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  • bcroger2bcroger2 15 replies7 threads Junior Member
    I have 132 hours of credits but only 18 accounting hours. I need 12 more accounting hours to be eligible for the CPA and 6 more overall hours.

    I think those acct. majors were CPAs, not people with general accounting degrees.
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  • itsgettingreal17itsgettingreal17 4110 replies28 threads Senior Member
    @bcroger2 You are wrong. To become a CPA you need to meet the education requirements of the relevant jurisdiction, pass the CPA exam, and obtain the required experience (at least 1 year). Only after meeting these requirements does one become a CPA. Accounting firms want students who are CPA eligible - ie, who meet the education requirements so they can sit for the CPA exam and become licensed within 2 years of working at the firm. You don’t satisfy that requirement. I don’t even understand how you graduated with an accounting degree with only 18 accounting credits. I’m not familiar with any accredited accounting program that awards an accounting degree with so few credits. Therein lies your problem - your background in accounting is questionable. If you really want to be an accountant, go get a MAcc. A general business/management degree is generally pretty useless.
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  • bcroger2bcroger2 15 replies7 threads Junior Member
    " If you really want to be an accountant"

    I don't necessarily want to be an accountant, I would do any business or administrative job. Loan officer, financial analyst, credit analyst etc. are all good jobs for me. My overall GPA was a 3.3.

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  • rickle1rickle1 2525 replies21 threads Senior Member
    Although this will be uncomfortable for you (aversion to anything sales related), you need to network with alumni, friends of your parents, anyone you can think of that can help you land an interview with something in your lane. The good news is social media (Linkedin and other resources) has taken the sting out of networking and it has become a pretty easy and painless thing to do. Reaching out to connect, then sending a brief intro and guidance (informational interview) over a cup of coffee or on the phone is very easy today. You'd be surprised by how many people want to help. The great part is the ones that don't just don't reply. None of the cold call rejection / fear you imagine.

    These conversations will also make you far more comfortable with actual interviews. They will build your confidence. Gaining acceptance into a MAcc program and networking should help a lot. If you don't want to be a CPA, plenty of opportunities in F500 firms for entry level accounting / finance folks. That's where the networking comes in.

    Good luck.
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  • rickle1rickle1 2525 replies21 threads Senior Member
    Also - take some online classes this summer. Beef up your skill set in financial modeling (excel), data analytics, SQL, etc. These are great skills to have and will absolutely be part of any corporate accounting / finance role. COurses are very inexpensive and thorough. Take a look at Cousera and Udemy. S just did a modeling course for $12 (seriously, and it was really good - about 20 hours of real learning using videos, lectures, assignments - which were impressive).

    Employers will also like to see that you took the initiative to self learn and update your skills. Very important.
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