Big Four vs. Industry Accounting

<p>I have had an internship at a top ten Fortune 500 company for the Summer. I am now in my last month of the internship and am thinking about the future. I am an accounting major at a Cal State University with a 3.93 GPA, this internship, and have been (and still am) an officer in our chapter of Beta Alpha Psi. </p>

<p>My ambition is to go to the top. I see a lot more possibilities to do it in public accounting rather than private (many partners as opposed to one CEO, one CFO, etc.). Also, if I were to go into industry, I would want to go into the tech industry. However, no major tech companies recruit from my school, so I would have to transfer to those companies. </p>

<p>Ultimately, I want to get a feel of which will be more likely to lead me to the top. I appreciate the help!</p>

<p>Only 2% of hires become big 4 partners. </p>

<p>And really the attitude of "I want do public accounting because it's easy to get to the top" is rather immature and lazy.</p>

<p>Big 4 generally don't hire much from state schools. Many recruit at SJSU because it is in the area, but there is a low volume of undergrad hires from there. A way to get to a Big 4 w.o entering industry first is to do a masters in accounting. (what I hear from my sister @ a big 4)</p>

<p>There is no one path to the top. Do what you enjoy and do it well.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>+1 to "workingATbig4"</p>

<p>A lot of people have the same credentials/ambition as you. That said..most leave within 5 years. Try lasting 2-3 years in Big 4 and then decide if you have what it takes to make it to the top. Big 4 hire plenty from state schools (at least in the Philly/New York Metro..)</p>

<p>I'm confused. What is "the top?" Missionary?</p>

<p>From my experience reading on the topic, CFO backgrounds have become increasingly finance-heavy rather than accounting-heavy. This would make it even more difficult for a pure accountant to reach the top. Agree/Disagree?</p>

<p>Andre. You're WAY off on this. Big 4 hire from state schools MUCH more than we hire from private schools. </p>

<p>Lurker - haven't heard this at all. Source?</p>

<p>@workingATbig4 Apologies, I meant CSU campuses. I do not consider UC in that bucket, as they do not have "state" in the name (University of California vs. California State University). They are also on a completely different level aside from Cal Poly SLO. California specific and undergrad specific here, as OP is CA specific.</p>