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<p>Oh, the soul-searching is done, and I've arrived at a career decision. Now, I just need to decide on the next steps...</p>
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<p>I've been working in the journalism field for 8 years (!) now, but I'd like to become an accountant. I have bachelor's degrees in both history & sociology. I completed a year toward my MBA but didn't finish.</p>
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<p>Now, I'm trying to decide on the best path moving forward. There is a school local to me with an "Accounting Certificate." It requires 18 hours: Fundamentals of Acct 1 and 2; Cost Accounting; Individual Taxation; Corporate Taxation; and Financial Accounting. They also offer an Associate's degree in Accounting, which requires the courses listed above plus a number of business courses - intro to marketing, e-commerce, etc. I would need to take 36 hours of those courses with the ones that would transfer from my degree. </p>
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<p>Which would you do? The courses I would be taking for the certificate would be pretty much what accounting courses I'd take if I were to get a bachelor's degree in accounting, just with those courses having been taken when I was a traditional college student. OTOH, I'm not sure how well I'll do explaining that to future employers in a cover letter.</p>
 

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<p>It depends on your intent.  Given that you have bachelors degrees and some grad work, the BEST situation would be to go back at a recognized school, but at a higher level. Do you want to become a CPA?   you need to look at your states requirements.  The certification in the fields all have very specific requirements. </p>
<p>It's silly to go back and only get an AS for your work...you should be able to get a second bach degree just by taking the major-classes you need,  - which would be the same amount of work more or less as the AS - so that might be an option, or even a grad degree.  Chances are, you might not even be eligible for a CPA with only an Assoc degree...but it depends on your states laws.  Or if you are looking more at CMA or whatever, you have to look at those reqs.  My dh has a psych degree BA and wanted to go back, so we looked at this VERY issue.  Excelsior college online will give you a 2nd bachelor degree and count most of your first degree such that you just need to complete the major courses in your second degree area.  If you take a few basic acctng courses, some places will even let you into the grad programs...I think as long as you have up through intermediate acctng, you can get into Baker onlines masters accoutning program. </p>
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<p>The issue is going to be that with a certificate or even an AS - thats not an accountant.  That's an entry level bookeeper.  Low pay.   Most places aren't going to hire you to be an "accountant" unless you have the bachelors at least.  And again, if you want certified, you have to look into those state requirements.  Now, because you do have other degrees, you might be able to discuss that in an interview..but for the most part, if the job requires a bachelors in accounting and you dont have one, your resume will get roundfiled before you get that far.  Believe me, we REALLY looked hard at that option (it would have been nice for dh to just be able to compelte his accoutning classes at our local college AS program, and then rely on his psych BA to "prove" he is capable of 4-year college work) but we were assured by many, many people in the field, HR personnel, including several of his professors, that unless he actually had a BA/BS/BBA in accounting, no one would look at him if they were hiring for an accountant.  Your experience may vary though, of course. </p>
<p>It's possible you can parlay your MBA into an MBA with accoutnign concentration, although programs tend to be harder to get into, but maybe if you did some basic courses to catch up on the acctng portion, you could get in??</p>
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<p><br><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">I'm in red.</span></p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>bobandjess99</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281321/accountant-financial-services-mamas#post_16068592"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>It depends on your intent.  Given that you have bachelors degrees and some grad work, the BEST situation would be to go back at a recognized school, but at a higher level. Do you want to become a CPA?   you need to look at your states requirements.  The certification in the fields all have very specific requirements. </p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">The associate's degree + 1 year working under a CPA are all I need to sit for the exam in the state where we're moving. The statutes specifically say that bachelor's degrees in fields besides accounting are acceptable if you have 30 hours of coursework in accounting. You do have to have 150 hours of overall coursework, which I think is standard and which I have. </span></p>
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<span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>bobandjess99</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281321/accountant-financial-services-mamas#post_16068592"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>It's silly to go back and only get an AS for your work...you should be able to get a second bach degree just by taking the major-classes you need,  - which would be the same amount of work more or less as the AS - so that might be an option, or even a grad degree.  Chances are, you might not even be eligible for a CPA with only an Assoc degree...but it depends on your states laws.  Or if you are looking more at CMA or whatever, you have to look at those reqs.  My dh has a psych degree BA and wanted to go back, so we looked at this VERY issue.  Excelsior college online will give you a 2nd bachelor degree and count most of your first degree such that you just need to complete the major courses in your second degree area.  If you take a few basic acctng courses, some places will even let you into the grad programs...I think as long as you have up through intermediate acctng, you can get into Baker onlines masters accoutning program. </p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">I don't feel the need personally to have an MBA w/ Accounting concentration. Though my long-range plans include a Master of Accountancy, I'm really just looking at what I need to do to get a job as an accountant. The BA in Accounting at the University of Kentucky would be only 1-2 more accounting classes than the Associate's degree. It's mostly more core work, which I've had but will have to re-take to get 60 hours of residency credit at UK. I can do that if I have to, but it's redundant to take humanities and introductory science courses again.</span></p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">OTOH, I need to do what is necessary to get a job. The bachelor's degree in accounting really will provide nothing beyond a piece of paper compared to going the associate's degree route. I mean that in practical terms; I've compared the requirements. There's just not much bulk to the bachelor's degree that's not there in the Associate's degree program. I'm just not sure how much of a hard line stance people who hire me would take. </span></p>
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<p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">And it depends. My mother, who's in a different industry, tosses the resumes of people who have online degrees. Obviously that's not been a problem for your husband, so it's hard to tell what to do from that angle. It seems like a crapshoot in some ways.</span></p>
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<span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>bobandjess99</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281321/accountant-financial-services-mamas#post_16068592"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>The issue is going to be that with a certificate or even an AS - thats not an accountant.  That's an entry level bookeeper.  Low pay.   Most places aren't going to hire you to be an "accountant" unless you have the bachelors at least.  And again, if you want certified, you have to look into those state requirements.  Now, because you do have other degrees, you might be able to discuss that in an interview..but for the most part, if the job requires a bachelors in accounting and you dont have one, your resume will get roundfiled before you get that far.  Believe me, we REALLY looked hard at that option (it would have been nice for dh to just be able to compelte his accoutning classes at our local college AS program, and then rely on his psych BA to "prove" he is capable of 4-year college work) but we were assured by many, many people in the field, HR personnel, including several of his professors, that unless he actually had a BA/BS/BBA in accounting, no one would look at him if they were hiring for an accountant.  Your experience may vary though, of course. </p>
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<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">I'm also aware from my husband's experience that often HR people aren't really familiar with jobs and they just accept or deny a resume to move forward based on you matching the ad specifically. I know with DH's resume, we had to put things that were redundant because HR would want it worded one way, but the actual developers would be looking for something more specific to catch their eye. If accounting works the same way, then yes just to get a job the degree may be needed.</span></p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"> </p>
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;"><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">I haven't seen from the job ads I've read that a bachelor's degree in accounting is necessary. Most don't say that. They say things like "bachelor's in accounting or related field" or "equivalent of a bachelor's degree in accounting." I don't know how that plays out in practice, however. I am going to call career services at the university where I'm degreed and get a phone consultation with them. I'm just trying to flesh out all of the possibilities before then.</span></p>
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<p>My sister, who has a pol sci BA, is currently completing an accounting post-bacc certificate at Portland State University designed to prepare folks like you (and her) to sit for the CPA. I know of lots of people who have gone that route with good job success and I recommended the program to her. (Btw, I have an MBA with an accounting concentration and couldn't do accounting work to save my life. If you want to be a well rounded business person with some fluency in accounting (that's me!) then MBA is fine, but if you want to sit for the CPA exams seems like you should the accounting certificate.) (Or, perhaps I've totally missed what it is that you are asking : ) I see no reason why one should do a second bachelors or go back to the MBA at this point. My advice to my sister was to do whatever was needed to sit for the exams and no more. The certificate will hopefully enable her to get a position under a CPA and eventually sit for an exam. You've got your basic college education, lots of life/work experience. For a career switch, I would just do the minimum needed to get through the exams and you should be on your way. You want a program which will actually teach you reasonably well, other than that, I don't think you need anything fancy.</p>
 

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<p>Honestly, I couldn't imagine sitting for the CPA and being able to pass with an "Accounting Certificate."  Most people who sit have their masters and will still take the test more than once to pass.  If it were me I'd go for the Bachelor's in Accounting if your long term goal is a Masters in Accounting.</p>
 

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<p>OP - What type of accounting do you want to do?  Is it your goal to be a CPA?  Or work in a corporate environment? </p>
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<p>The CPAs I know seem to spend most of their time keeping on top of IRS issues, not doing actual accounting.<span style="display:none;"> </span></p>
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<p>If going the non-CPA rounte, certificate program vs. another BS or MBA is a toss-up based on my experience. </p>
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<p>I worked with too many MBAs that knew NOTHING about accounting, they couldn't read financial statements to save their lives.  (Scary considering I worked in commercial banking) </p>
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<p>In my state, the CPA exam is brutal and like someone else said, I can't imagine sitting for it without an accounting degree. </p>
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<p>Intermediate Accounting I and II (maybe be the Financial Accounting you are referring too) would be essential no matter what so make sure you pick up those courses if you go the certificate route.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Caneel</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281321/accountant-financial-services-mamas#post_16082456"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>OP - What type of accounting do you want to do?  Is it your goal to be a CPA?  Or work in a corporate environment? </p>
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<p>The CPAs I know seem to spend most of their time keeping on top of IRS issues, not doing actual accounting.<span style="display:none;"> </span></p>
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<p>I want to work in an accounting firm. I have no desire to be the one-person accounting department like I've seen at a number of small companies. I worked during college in accounts receivable. There were 2 of us who worked under the staff accountant, but he always talked about being bored other than at the end of the quarter when he had to prepare reports. I don't want that. </p>
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<p>I don't think the MBA is the way to go for me because I'm not interested in management/operations/other areas of business. I would like to get a master's degree, but it will be in accounting not the MBA - Accounting concentration programs.</p>
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<p>The bachelor's degree in accounting that I looked at has only 2 additional accounting courses compared to the associate's degree. I'd have to take about 24 hours of just extra filler classes to get the residency requirements, and that's just not appealing to me right now. I'm still considering, but I do need to balance what I want/need and my family.</p>
 
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