Help 47 yr old man decide on degree?


R

Ron Todd

No examples?
I believe engineering is worse than accounting, but I have no first
hand knowledge, so I will pass on that field. My understanding is
that if the engineer hasn't progressed to management by the time they
are twenty-five they have to go to sales.

As far as accounting goes, I can almost guarantee you, if you graduate
with an accounting degree, you will not be hired. This was clearly
made apparent to me by and Arthur Young principal at age 31 when I
graduated, you are too old.

In the states the schools are turning out something like 60,000
degreed accountants a year. Everyone who is hiring is ( in their
minds ) cherry picking. I understand Canada is worse and they are
shipping their excess down here. Australia claims they have a
shortage but they keep the age restrictions in place for immigrations,
so I suspect they are also blowing smoke.

I've applied for jobs that were one step above starter and had to
compete with 800 other qualified accountants.

When there is a shortage, employers don't play twenty questions and
have two dozen secret attributes. This is the common situation with
the present glut. Even the public accountants who get the fewest
resumes ( if you ever worked for a public accountant you would
understand why so few apply ) play these games.

I could go on but it is a waste of time, you have to find out these
things for yourself.

Best of Luck.
 
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D

Duane Bozarth

Ron said:
I believe engineering is worse than accounting, but I have no first
hand knowledge, so I will pass on that field.
Well, you should have taken you own advice... :(
... My understanding is
that if the engineer hasn't progressed to management by the time they
are twenty-five they have to go to sales.
That's absolute and utter crap. (60 year old engineer, worked technical
field of choice entire career).

To OP...as you've noted Mr Todd has a singular view of the state of
affairs...
 
H

Harry

Ron Todd said:
On Thu, 14 Jul 2005 13:35:15 -0500, (e-mail address removed) wrote:
As far as accounting goes, I can almost guarantee you, if you graduate
with an accounting degree, you will not be hired. This was clearly
made apparent to me by and Arthur Young principal at age 31 when I
graduated, you are too old.
This may be true if you are older and your goal is to work for a "big four"
(three? who knows anymore) firm. I graduated with an accounting degree at 41
and the furthest thing from my mind was to apply to a major firm. It's a
crap job that serves as a stepping stone, not what I was interested in.

The real value of an accounting degree (IMHO) is that it opens more doors in
the business world than a general business degree. An accounting degree is
in essence a business degree with a concentration in accounting. There are
many companies out there looking for hard working, intelligent, dependable
people but without a degree of some kind you may never get the opportunity
to show them who you are. And an accounting degree will get you in front of
more people. I know this to be true from experience.

Simply put...There is nothing you can do with a general business degree that
you can't do with an accounting degree, but there is a lot you can do with
an accounting degree that you can't do with a general business degree.

A
 
D

Duane Bozarth

Harry said:
....
This may be true if you are older and your goal is to work for a "big four"
(three? who knows anymore) firm. I graduated with an accounting degree at 41
and the furthest thing from my mind was to apply to a major firm. It's a
crap job that serves as a stepping stone, not what I was interested in.
....

I'll concur w/ very similar sentiments w/ the engineering degree as
well...if you get out w/ a brand new BS at nearly 50 and try to compete
w/ the "traditional" new grads for the same jobs, you'll have a <very>
tough time. To go w/ a large corporation doing bulk hiring for
entry-level jobs you would have to have a real "in". You wouldn't be
considering this, however, if you didn't see something at the place your
currently working as engineering aide/draftsman/designer/whatever
however, I presume. You need to cultivate those folks and any others
you come into contact with, starting now.

Similar goes w/ an engineering degree as well regarding what you <can>
do...
 
S

SIB-er

See in text :)

Harry said:
This may be true if you are older and your goal is to work for a "big four"
(three? who knows anymore) firm. I graduated with an accounting degree at 41
and the furthest thing from my mind was to apply to a major firm. It's a
crap job that serves as a stepping stone, not what I was interested in.
Crap is made by people usually. Assumption that more people make more crap
is valid but is too much related to "more" notion. Some are counting 1,2,3,
many. Which is not always complete truth. Some people are diarhetic by
nature - wherever they go crap happens.
The real value of an accounting degree (IMHO) is that it opens more doors in
the business world than a general business degree.
Why colonel son can't become general? Because general also has a son. Degree
by itself is just a degree. Some notch on some scale. Nothing more. And
nothing less.

An accounting degree is
in essence a business degree with a concentration in accounting. There are
many companies out there looking for hard working, intelligent, dependable
people but without a degree of some kind you may never get the opportunity
to show them who you are.
Companies are built and maintained by people. People instinctively are
afraid of people they don't know. Young are afraid of older ones, and old
ones are afraid of younger competitors. That's newcomer's challenge. Why are
you better than my nephiew I know for years? Even if he/she is cocain addict
and ... - you can add your own favourite expletive. Hard working are slaves.
Intelligent are crazy. Dependable are dumb and easily manipulated. According
to modern views. See A&A principal note above.

And an accounting degree will get you in front of
more people. I know this to be true from experience.
Good point. Business is related to power. Power corrupts. Bigger business or
company if you will, more power, more corruption? This applies of course to
powerful companies. Do you want to deal with losers having no power?
Simply put...There is nothing you can do with a general business degree that
you can't do with an accounting degree, but there is a lot you can do with
an accounting degree that you can't do with a general business degree.
Degrees don't help as such. Find proper connections. You can learn whatever
you want or need afterwards or in process. Depends of course on what you
want. To survive or to conquer.
But survival is also paradise conquest for most of us.
So, broaden your horizons and try to consider all pro's and contra's. And
don't expect perfect recipes as they exist in pizza joints only. Your brain
is your best weapon. Even if lethal.

Final note - why so many Todds here? Like in toad pond. NOTE: you should
ignore this remark.
Disclaimer: posted as is - use at your own risk
 
M

me

I could go on but it is a waste of time, you have to find out these
things for yourself.
No please don't consider it a waste of time

I'm evaluating what you are saying very carefully and
respect your opinion.

My goals for taking accounting classes weren't so much
to become an "accountant"..... but to be eligible for
office type functions such as sales, inventory jobs,
management, etc.
 
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M

me

When there is a shortage, employers don't play twenty questions and
have two dozen secret attributes.
What secret attributes are they using?
This is the common situation with
the present glut. Even the public accountants who get the fewest
resumes ( if you ever worked for a public accountant you would
understand why so few apply ) play these games.
I it hard to work for a public accountant? What do you
mean by above statement?
 
D

Duane Bozarth

What secret attributes are they using?


I it hard to work for a public accountant? What do you
mean by above statement?
How shall I put? Mr Todd tends to the black helicopter...

He has some basis in that there is a tendency in large organizations to
become obsessed w/ "credentials" when there are an abundance of (at
least reasonably well-qualified) applicants for each job. Many new
graduates apply with large companies for the benefits and perceived
prestige of working for a "name"--this is true in all academic fields,
not just accounting or business. As I noted elsewhere, age, while
technically illegal as a discriminant will factor in the competition you
will face in that market if you attempt the "traditional" route. I
would, in fact, expect it to be <very> difficult at 50 to get an
entry-level job w/ a large company via the typical college placement
route. I think it is such considerations Mr Todd is alluding to...
 
M

me

I believe engineering is worse than accounting, but I have no first
hand knowledge,
It could very well be. I have no knowledge except the
opinions of people like you all here

Actually achieving an engineering degree at my age (47)
may not even be "doable" or advisable cause its gonna
be at least 5 years getting one by which I will be 52.

Its just that I currently work in an engineering dept
altho as a CAD tech and maint clerk.

Still tho..... I feel like I MUST go to college and add
some "value" to myself...even at this late age. So what
to do?

But I can also start a small business on the side in
the meantime. No?

I mean... doing both is not mutually exclusive. I can
go to college. And start a window washing or cleaning
business at same time. No?
 
W

Wayne Brasch

It could very well be. I have no knowledge except the
opinions of people like you all here

Actually achieving an engineering degree at my age (47)
may not even be "doable" or advisable cause its gonna
be at least 5 years getting one by which I will be 52.

Its just that I currently work in an engineering dept
altho as a CAD tech and maint clerk.

Still tho..... I feel like I MUST go to college and add
some "value" to myself...even at this late age. So what
to do?

But I can also start a small business on the side in
the meantime. No?

I mean... doing both is not mutually exclusive. I can
go to college. And start a window washing or cleaning
business at same time. No?
Of course you could do that!

Wayne Brasch
 
R

Ron Todd

Well, you should have taken you own advice... :(


That's absolute and utter crap. (60 year old engineer, worked technical
field of choice entire career).

To OP...as you've noted Mr Todd has a singular view of the state of
affairs...
Will you guarantee him a job? Will you put up the money as insurance
for him getting an engineering or accounting job after graduation?
 
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R

Ron Todd

This may be true if you are older and your goal is to work for a "big four"
(three? who knows anymore) firm. I graduated with an accounting degree at 41
and the furthest thing from my mind was to apply to a major firm. It's a
crap job that serves as a stepping stone, not what I was interested in.

The real value of an accounting degree (IMHO) is that it opens more doors in
the business world than a general business degree. An accounting degree is
in essence a business degree with a concentration in accounting. There are
many companies out there looking for hard working, intelligent, dependable
people but without a degree of some kind you may never get the opportunity
to show them who you are. And an accounting degree will get you in front of
more people. I know this to be true from experience.

Simply put...There is nothing you can do with a general business degree that
you can't do with an accounting degree, but there is a lot you can do with
an accounting degree that you can't do with a general business degree.

A
I agree with you conclusion of the value of the accounting degree for
its knowledge value. I don't agree that it opens doors.

As far as the hard working, intelligent, dependable, etc... I've
found that to be more lip service than fact.
 
R

Ron Todd

...

I'll concur w/ very similar sentiments w/ the engineering degree as
well...if you get out w/ a brand new BS at nearly 50 and try to compete
w/ the "traditional" new grads for the same jobs, you'll have a <very>
tough time. To go w/ a large corporation doing bulk hiring for
entry-level jobs you would have to have a real "in". You wouldn't be
considering this, however, if you didn't see something at the place your
currently working as engineering aide/draftsman/designer/whatever
however, I presume. You need to cultivate those folks and any others
you come into contact with, starting now.

Similar goes w/ an engineering degree as well regarding what you <can>
do...

And how does that differ from what I said?

They age discriminate and if you can't get in on nepotism you have a
zero chance. The self employment route has the highest probability of
success.
 
R

Ron Todd

No please don't consider it a waste of time

I'm evaluating what you are saying very carefully and
respect your opinion.

My goals for taking accounting classes weren't so much
to become an "accountant"..... but to be eligible for
office type functions such as sales, inventory jobs,
management, etc.

If you can sell, from what I have seen, age would not be a barrier and
could be a maturity advantage. As I understand it, the "whole life"
insurance companies are very open to older graduates.
 
M

me

Simply put...There is nothing you can do with a general business degree that
you can't do with an accounting degree, but there is a lot you can do with
an accounting degree that you can't do with a general business degree.
Bingo!!

This is exactly the info I needed to hear. And what was
told to me an older friend of mine

This older friend is 68 and retired form local cement
plant. He had an accounting degree form a small local
college. But his main duties at the cement plant were
as a production scheduler I think

here is link to that cement plant

http://tinyurl.com/avqwp
 
R

Ron Todd

What secret attributes are they using?
You have to ask them, they're secret and seem to change with every
company. From my experience, they are not hiring for what they say
they are hiring. The most transparent experience I had was a CPA who
was looking for a field audit manager. What it ended up at was the
salary issue, although he wouldn't say it. AIR, I wanted $38,000 (
which I thought was cheap at the time having a great deal of
experience in the type of audit and a Calif. license) and he found an
out of state CPA who wanted Calif. experience and would do it for
$22,000.
I it hard to work for a public accountant? What do you
mean by above statement?
You have to experience it first hand. There are reasons why public
accountants are the only segment of accounting who complain about not
getting enough resumes for job announcements.
 
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R

Ron Todd

It could very well be. I have no knowledge except the
opinions of people like you all here
Each persons life experience is unique to them.
Actually achieving an engineering degree at my age (47)
may not even be "doable" or advisable cause its gonna
be at least 5 years getting one by which I will be 52.

Its just that I currently work in an engineering dept
altho as a CAD tech and maint clerk.

Still tho..... I feel like I MUST go to college and add
some "value" to myself...even at this late age. So what
to do?

But I can also start a small business on the side in
the meantime. No?
Sure, I once new two fellows who worked for the Air Force, ran an
apartment painting shop and went to commercial flight training school
at the same time. AIR, Dell started his computer company out of his
college dorm room.
I mean... doing both is not mutually exclusive. I can
go to college. And start a window washing or cleaning
business at same time. No?
Before Pell Grants and massive government aide to higher education, it
was called working your way through college. Some of these may be of
some help.

http://www.workingfromhome.com/homeworks.htm

http://www.entrepreneur.com/

http://www.aipb.org/


Best of luck.
 
D

Duane Bozarth

Ron said:
.....
Will you guarantee him a job? Will you put up the money as insurance
for him getting an engineering or accounting job after graduation?
A. I'll be in the old-folks' home by then... :)

B. As much as for anybody...he's no different than anyone else--he's
responsible for his own decisions and maintenance. If he's good and
ambition, he <will> find a job. Will it be CEO of a major engineering
firm or the CFO of a well-known retail chain? Probably not. Might he
have to move or do other things out of his comfort zone? Quite
possibly...
 
D

Duane Bozarth

Ron Todd wrote:
....
And how does that differ from what I said?
....

In your "code-speak", not a lot, granted. I simply translated and made
it more explicit for OP as it is clear he's not been around a.a so
doesn't understand your posting style...
 
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D

Duane Bozarth

Duane said:
Ron Todd wrote:
...
...

In your "code-speak", not a lot, granted. I simply translated and made
it more explicit for OP as it is clear he's not been around a.a so
doesn't understand your posting style...
Actually, I don't buy the "zero chance" argument...if one is really good
and has ambition and is willing to relocate or do the extra it is
possible.

In engineering, your idea of sales isn't such a bad one although <good>
sales engineers are, like in other professions, uncommon if not rare.
(Most engineers love to design and consult and hobnob w/ their potential
customers, but many have a hard time "closing the deal" as they don't
like to talk the $$ or won't just go on to the next call when it becomes
clear this client <doesn't> have the money). Maybe OP can fix that by
getting more business education than the typical engineer if he chooses
that route.
 

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