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Advising thoughts

March 31st, 2009 at 03:23 pm

(This is very long and somewhat boring. I'm mostly writing this here to organize my thoughts and keep track of what was said.)

Yesterday I spoke with the Accounting advisor and was overloaded with information. We talked for about 40 minutes on the requirements for a minor, CPA license, Master's degree, jobs, etc. She was very thorough and didn't rush me (which I liked. My Math advisor tends to speed through everything, but he is still a great advisor).

Minor in accounting

I have decided to minor in Acc. The requirements include Information Systems 101 and 102 and Accounting 201, 202, 401, and two more upper level accounting courses (not 460/481).

The advisor told me that even if I decide to not get a CPA license, I would still be able to get a job in accounting if I minor in it. I would have to start off as an entry level accountant, but that's ok. This definitely made me happy. I was worried that she was going to tell me I needed to major in Accounting to be a CPA (more on that later) or to be an accountant. I'm still not sure exactly what career path I want to take and I'm glad that a minor in Acc. gives me another option.

The CPA License

The advisor informed me that Nevada is one of the harder states to get a CPA license in (which doesn't surprise me- NV is big on licenses). The requirements are three-fold:

1. 150 hours of schooling. This includes an undergrad degree (doesn't have to be Accounting) and several accounting classes. The classes include: Accounting 401, 402, 403, 405, 410, 460, and 470. I also need to take four elective classes (one of which is an internship) and 8 general business classes. Obviously majoring in accounting would get most of the classes taken care of, but minoring still gets several out of the way.

2 & 3. At least 2 years of work experience in the field. and passing all 4 parts of the CPA exam. The advisor said that the best way to do this is to get a job as an accountant, and then begin taking the CPA exam. I can't remember if she said all four parts were given at once or separately.

In order to fulfill all the requirements for the CPA, I have to apply to a special "graduate" program by the university. And when I do, the State Board of Accounting (I *think* that is what it is called) determines what business classes I need to take along with the accounting electives.

Master's in Accounting

I know I want to go onto graduate school. But I'm not sure if I want to study Math or Accounting (or both?). I guess that depends on what career I take. A Master's in Accounting (at my school) is 10 graduate classes. The requirements are: Accounting 401, 402, 403, 405, 410, 470, 460.

Other Stuff

My advisor told me that if I were to stay in Nevada, it might be easier to get my MACC first (if I want to get my Master's) and then start the license program.

That's a lot of "if"s.

So the big question is what the heck do I want to do and when and where do I want to do it?

Thankfully it doesn't need to be answered anytime soon.

I'm not keen on staying in Nevada. I like living here but... I don't want to stay long. With my dad in Cali (and my brother probably going there when graduates HS), I don't have any family that ties me here. And I much prefer the East coast.

Boyfriend says he would prefer to stay in Nevada, but as long as we don't go to the South, he's fine with wherever. And his future job (he wants to be a police officer) is available anywhere.

I *could* stay in Nevada to get my Master's and CPA license (if I decide to go that route) and then move. But that probably wouldn't be compatible with boyfriend's career plans (agencies aren't keen on training you and then you leaving them after a couple years). I think I would prefer to move to another state to get my Master's and CPA license.

So over the next couple years there is a lot to decide. What career I want, what to get my Master's in, if I want to get my CPA license (even if I don't want to be an accountant)...

The decisions aren't going to be made anytime soon. I'm going to look to see if there are any internships in the accounting field. And as graduation comes closer, I'll start making the big decisions.

Whew! That was a lot.

Ok, so Friday I register for classes. Both for the summer and for the fall.

Summer classes:
Core Humanities 202
Accounting 201
Math 285

Fall Classes:
Math 373
Math 330
Math 461
Accounting 202
Information Systems 101

5 Responses to “Advising thoughts”

  1. Counting Pennies Says:

    Interesting. Good luck with everything! I'm sure you'll do well.

    I started out as an Accounting major. Then I went to Finance. And then to a double major of Finance and Economics. THEN switch to a double major of Finance and Management. And then just dropped to Finance so that I could graduate on time. lol. And now I'm working as a junior accountant. My parents weren't too pleased when they heard that. Especially since I lost a scholarship changing to Finance from Accounting.

    I'm planning on getting my masters eventually once I get more work experience to figure out if Accounting is something that I really want to do for a career.

    But I definitely recommend getting an internship. Now that I'm job searching that is the one thing I regret never doing. I was too busy over the summer taking classes that I never got an internship.

    Well good luck!!! Smile

  2. monkeymama Says:

    Double post

  3. monkeymama Says:

    At the beginning of your post I was going to add to check the requirements elsewhere if you aren't going to stay in NV. Funny enough since that is the direction your post went.

    It could be a lot of wasted effort to do everything in Nevada and then move. However, the CPA license path seems rather standard to me. One thing I have heard though is some states require you pass the entire exam at once. You don't have to do that in Cali and I had friends who did so anyway so their license would transfer.

    We talked much about moving out of state but I think I had to be licensed 5 years to be able to transfer my license more easily to any other state (any that I considered).

    In California a Masters is pretty worthless in Accounting. I understand in other states it's a MUST for an accountant. Here, funny enough, it can count against you. (Depending on your career path).

    I disagree on the license testing advice. Start taking the test while you are in study mode. Some parts of the test are easier when you have work experience, but good luck finding the time to study! It's kind of a catch 22. I was able to take most the test while still in school and I think it paid off. I know WAY too many people who started testing/experience requirements, but never finished. (But still want to some day).

    Just all things to consider. Good luck, whatever you decide.

  4. cassandra Says:

    Thank you both! MonkeyMama, you gave me a lot more to consider! I didn't really think how hard it would be to study while working full-time. I'm glad to hear that the CPA license requirements seem standard- I will double check on whether I have to take the test at once or not.

    May I ask how a Master's degree can count against you? I've always assumed the higher your degree, the better.

  5. cptacek Says:

    I personally don't think a Math masters and an Accounting masters mesh very well. If you go into theoretical math, you won't even use numbers anymore! Applied math is a little different, but I still don't see the connection.

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