USA BA in Accounting- is it worth it in mid-thirties.


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Hello Everyone,

I am curious to know if getting my BA in Accounting in my mid-thirties is worth it?

Thank you.
 
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kirby

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As with everything, depends on your own situation. If you are already in a well compensated job then why switch. If you are unemployed or underemployed then switching makes sense.
If your concern is that you will be older, well in 4 years you will be older anyway and either will or will not have a degree, depending on your actions.
So it depends on your actions and you are not “doomed.”
 
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Hello Everyone,

I am curious to know if getting my BA in Accounting in my mid-thirties is worth it?

Thank you.
I say go for it. I went back at the age of 30 and got my B.S. in Accounting at 34.
It's never too late, but the mid-30s is much younger now than it was thirty years ago. When I look back at 34 now, it seems so young. Do it!
 
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As with everything, depends on your own situation. If you are already in a well compensated job then why switch. If you are unemployed or underemployed then switching makes sense.
If your concern is that you will be older, well in 4 years you will be older anyway and either will or will not have a degree, depending on your actions.
So it depends on your actions and you are not “doomed.”
Yes it is worthwhile to pursue. I have 30 years in the industry as a CFO, controller and went back to get my MAcc at 54. It’s never to late.
 
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It can be worth it but I would advise against it.
You are better off starting in a career where you wont have sit exams for the next decade or reduce the number of opportunities you have.

I started late in my career and within 4 years have managed to become a senior manager that is only 2 levels down from Director.
I started at 32 and am not fully qualified but have worked in some of the biggest companies in the world.

However, I won't lie to you, a lot of it is about luck.

You might get your qualification and get into the right job and have a hugely successful career like I do now.
Or you might get your qualification and never be able to break into the field (like I did after my economics degree in my 20s).

Good people lose every day and bad people win every day, an element of this is luck.
You might succeed because of tenacity or you might not but you have weigh up the risk and return then make a choice.
 
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I mean no disrespect to eazy 899, but please disregard this advice. Everyone is on a different path. If you find yourself in your mid-30s with a desire to go back to college and earn your Accounting degree, then do it. Education can never hurt you, and the CPA will always open doors, where a resume with equivalent education and experience but without the license will not get a phone call. Maybe you're a late(r) bloomer. Maybe you want to better yourself. Listen to your gut.
 
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Completely understand where you are coming from.

I just try to take what I consider a pragmatic view.
I know people who have entered accounting in their 30s and become huge successes and others who have failed.

A friend of mine who has worked in finance for 25 years albeit as a credit control manager asked me if he should get a job in central govt in finance.

I told him no.
I said he has good management experience and will find more success working in other operational fields than trying to become an accountant at his age.
He has kids and a family, he doesn't have 6 years to study around family obligations and his career options will be limited without the full qualifications.

I am very well qualified with numerous qualifications but never finished my chartership and to be honest, I earn so much money now that I can't be bothered to finish it.

BUT it does limit my options, there are many jobs I can't apply for despite being far better at investments for example than many fully qualified accountants.

It's just something I accept because it's not worth me going through the hassle to get paid 5k more when I actually earn a lot more from my own private investments.

It can work, it worked for me or it can fail miserably but it isn't solely determined by effort or talent.
 
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Completely understand where you are coming from.

I just try to take what I consider a pragmatic view.
I know people who have entered accounting in their 30s and become huge successes and others who have failed.

A friend of mine who has worked in finance for 25 years albeit as a credit control manager asked me if he should get a job in central govt in finance.

I told him no.
I said he has good management experience and will find more success working in other operational fields than trying to become an accountant at his age.
He has kids and a family, he doesn't have 6 years to study around family obligations and his career options will be limited without the full qualifications.

I am very well qualified with numerous qualifications but never finished my chartership and to be honest, I earn so much money now that I can't be bothered to finish it.

BUT it does limit my options, there are many jobs I can't apply for despite being far better at investments for example than many fully qualified accountants.

It's just something I accept because it's not worth me going through the hassle to get paid 5k more when I actually earn a lot more from my own private investments.

It can work, it worked for me or it can fail miserably but it isn't solely determined by effort or talent.
I hear you. I'm a late bloomer and didn't go back to school until the age of 30. I shudder to think where I'd be if I hadn't done it, so I always advise anyone who is thinking about it to go for it.
 
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Hello Everyone,

I am curious to know if getting my BA in Accounting in my mid-thirties is worth it?

Thank you.
Una, I think it is almost always a good thing to continue your education, and I applaud your determination. Here is what I suggest. If you have already earned credits, keep at it. If you have to start out fresh, do it. In many areas there are community colleges that offer evening courses that you can do while working and are very reasonable. A number of times during my working days I would take these evening courses at the two that were withing driving distance of my work/home simply to learn new skills and find out about new technology which was my field. My first father-in-law actually did his all classwork and earned his accounting certification this way even while having two daughter in college at the same time.
 
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Well, I did that exact thing. I went to college right after high school, and dropped out after 3 years because I had no idea what I was doing there, or how to go about it. After 8 years of finding myself and doing "entrepreneurial" things (that got nowhere) I went back to school to get my accounting degree, because one of my tutoring students had an uncle with his own accounting business. After I graduated, he helped me get hired by a "Big 4" firm, where I got my CPA after 2 years. It has worked out very well for me, and I'm happy I did it.
If I had things to do over again, I would go to a good, solid school, but one that did not make me do a bunch of "general ed" or things that did not really help my career. I would do something like a double major in computer science and accounting. Which is doable if they don't make you take a bunch of classes you don't want. With that skill set, there is so much you can do for companies. It is usually grunt work that other people don't know how to do, or don't want to do. But it is very steady, remunerative work.
Good luck!
 
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If I had things to do over again, I would go to a good, solid school, but one that did not make me do a bunch of "general ed" or things that did not really help my career. I would do something like a double major in computer science and accounting. Which is doable if they don't make you take a bunch of classes you don't want. With that skill set, there is so much you can do for companies. It is usually grunt work that other people don't know how to do, or don't want to do. But it is very steady, remunerative work.
Good luck!
My take on this is pretty much the opposite. I did all the 'general ed' things during my studying Sociology, Psychology, and Education and then ended up spending 42 years working largely self-taught in Computer Science. And I believe that those 'general ed' studies were actually a great benefit and good sound basis for a then highly specialized career. The value of the general education seems to me to be exactly that, 'general' in that it helps you develop not so much specific skills but instead general skills in thinking, analyzing, and understanding, and they give you a greater empathy for other disciplines than yours specifically. Technical skills can much more easily be learned individually and largely free if you know how to teach yourself new things, but the general skills I mention really do require a wider scope of interaction.

Before my largely self-taught 42 years in IT, I actually earned my way through those general education years using other self-taught skills in bookkeeping and credit management for several companies.
 
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My take on this is pretty much the opposite. . . .

This is why advice is so . . specific . . to the individual giving the advice. After I dropped out of college, I spent years working, living life, reading philosophy books, talking with people who seemed to make sense, doing workshops, trying stuff out, and learning. By the time I went back to school (8 years later), I had my world view and life approach figured out. And I needed the most direct line to marketable, hard, technical skills. Hence, my personal take on it.
When people ask for advice, I think the best thing is for someone to tell their own story, their reasons behind their conclusions, and the other person can think it over and decide what would work for them.
And the real goal for anyone is understanding and knowing themselves truly.
Your story is really interesting. And I love hearing people's stories.
Your point about being self taught is very good. When I was managing big IT projects, my best technician was a work-from-home single-parent mom with 2 young kids. She was, by far, my best developer and technical person. Whenever I was in town I would always take her out to lunch. One day I asked her from which college she graduated. Turns out, she did not even have a high school diploma. I was floored. As a kid, she hated high school, was bullied, and was actually roughed up by some high school bullies. She told her mom she did not want to go back to school. And her mom said OK she could just come to work, at a high tech company, with her. So, from age 15 she was self taught working at all these high tech companies. And her tech skills were far above any of her peers. Isn't that an interesting story?
 
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CPAinUSA, I think your experience is really sort of inline with what I mentioned. You just got your 'general education' from those 8 years of experience before you went back.

My 'self-teaching' started out by having a good friend give me a general aptitude test leading to Bendix Corp offering me a job as a programmer even though I had NO computer background or courses. So I spent the first several years taking home the old black-and-white IBM manuals and studying them at night. On-the-job I got one 5-day class in a development system of those days called Mark IV. Then I took on learning COBOL and 360 Assembler , again by taking the manuals home at night.

However, I still value the general education I got in college earning a BA, and all the class time toward an MA which give me a broader outlook than only skills in IT. There I learned Bible, psychology, sociology, secondary education, music, art, Army ROTC, and all the other good stuff from which I could have pursued teaching, criminology, social work, counseling, or military careers. I hope I can at least carry on a half-way intelligent conversation in other areas of knowledge than IT.
 
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CPAinUSA, I think your experience is really sort of inline with what I mentioned. You just got your 'general education' from those 8 years of experience before you went back.
Precisely. You have a really interesting background.
 
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Precisely. You have a really interesting background.
CPAinUSA, as Al Jolson said long ago, 'You ain't heard nothin' yet'.

The only position that I ever held that was even remotely related to my field of study was to help establish a 'half-way house' and be the first 'house parent' for a group of seven teenage delinquent boys in the state of Ohio who were able to be released from incarceration but not able to return to their families.

So, as you can see from the variety, this is why I do appreciate my 'general education' work which I feel gave me a broader background.
 
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Hello Everyone,

I am curious to know if getting my BA in Accounting in my mid-thirties is worth it?

Thank you.
Without the shadow of the doubt, personally, I think its worth it. I had my Bsc in accounting and finance at 50! Without that, I do not think I will be where I am today. Age is just but a number!
 
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