Psychology graduate, cpa or cma?

USA Discussion in 'Career and Jobs' started by Dlmoore, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. Dlmoore

    Dlmoore

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    Hello,

    Last spring I graduated with a BS in Psychology here in my home state of Michigan. To make the whole story short, I wanted to get a master of social work but hated it when I got there. Now I am pursuing accounting, which is what I should have done in the first place.

    I started taking some classes and I am enjoying the accounting coursework but the time to get another BS degree is daunting (and I may as well get another degree with the number of credits required for cpa eligibility here). The cma requirements seem better for my situation but I'm worried that it won't really matter if I don't have an accounting degree to go along with it. I know that the cpa is for public accounting and cma is for management accounting.

    I guess I really want to hear some opinions about which is more suitable for my situation. Is finishing the second degree important for success in the field? Or would putting that I passed the cma exam on my resume be strong enough to secure an entry-level position? Do you have any general thoughts about the cpa vs cma designation?

    Thank you,
    Dlmoore
     
    Dlmoore, Apr 8, 2017
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  2. Dlmoore

    Bored Accountant

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    My personal advice is to get a CPA. If you don't, then your career as an accountant will be extremely limited. I'd hate to use another person as an example, but take a look at this guy's post here:

    https://www.accountantforums.com/threads/help-with-accounting-career.165627/

    Notice how he's stuck in a rut because he doesn't have his CPA. Notice how bleak his outlook is:

    1. His current company has no career path for him. Currently, his career is stagnant.

    2. No other companies want him. They all want CPAs.

    You don't want that to happen to you! My advice would be to pursue a CPA if you're going to go back to school.

    Actually, my advice (if you're going back to school) would be to get a job in computers (whether you're working with networks or Engineering or system developing, just get something in computers!). I'm discovering that Accounting is no longer the lucrative career it used to be. With a Masters degree and a CPA certification, you're lucky if you get $50,000/year while working 60 hours a week! With a two year engineering degree or Networking degree, you can get jobs with starting wages of $70,000-$80,000/year. With a four-year engineering degree, you can get as much as $150,000/year. Forget CPA or CMA. It's just not worth it anymore.
     
    Bored Accountant, Apr 18, 2017
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  3. Dlmoore

    Dlmoore

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    Well this is a little depressing. Thank you for responding! There is definitely a lot to consider. I am already taking classes and I'm planning on taking a few more classes toward an accounting degree this summer. Maybe I should take this summer off and consider my options...
     
    Dlmoore, Apr 19, 2017
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  4. Dlmoore

    Bored Accountant

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    Definitely! This is a decision you do NOT want to rush into. And according to my research, Accounting is a field you definitely do not want to rush into. Here's why:

    https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm

    Compare this to Engineering:

    https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Computer-and-Information-Technology/Software-developers.htm

    https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/computer-hardware-engineers.htm

    https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/electrical-and-electronics-engineers.htm

    https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/environmental-engineers.htm

    https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/mechanical-engineers.htm

    If it isn't obvious by now, Engineering is a FAR more lucrative career path than Accounting. If you are going to take the summer off and do some consideration, then I highly recommend you consider the field of Engineering. You'll have far more career opportunities, get a higher salary, and be your own computer specialist. No more will you be at the mercy of tech support. ;)

    The reason I say all of this is because I'm about to graduate with a Bachelors in Accounting this May. So far, the jobs I have applied to are hovering around the $40,000 range. I don't want you to make the same mistake I did! :( That's why I'm strongly encouraging you to check Engineering out. If I could rewind the clock, I would definitely try to get a job in computers. I'm starting to feel my Accounting major was a big mistake, and I'd hate for you to have the same remorse.
     
    Bored Accountant, Apr 19, 2017
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  5. Dlmoore

    Dlmoore

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    Oh I have already experienced that same deep remorse with my psychology degree... Honestly, I would be okay with 40k starting out as long as there were opportunities for advancement. My biggest concern is work-life balance. I want to have kids within the next few years so I don't want to work 60 hours a week at the expense of spending quality time with my kids! If that's just during tax season that could be manageable though...
     
    Dlmoore, Apr 19, 2017
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  6. Dlmoore

    Bored Accountant

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    Unless you're a CEO, it's often hard to find a career field with that kind of work-life balance. As a salaried office employee, no matter how hard you work during "normal" hours, you will eventually be asked to work extra hours either during the week after the 8 hours or on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays). I remember my dad, who was an Engineer for GE, having to occasionally work late during nights or having to work on weekends. Given this was only an occasional occurrence, I still remember him missing some childhood events of mine (such as a play or Saturday sports game). And just last semester, I had to call my Uncle's work number in order to ask him an Accounting question due to the fact he was working until 11 o'clock at night! And he isn't a low-level employee either. He's the company's controller!

    Unfortunately, that's a reality you're going to have to deal with when deciding to go into the workplace. It's not a matter of "if" you're going to miss out on time with your children, but when you're going to miss out on time with your children. This is true of just about all fields whether you're an Accountant, Engineer, Doctor, Lawyer, Business Manager, etc. Now I'm not trying to scare you (far from it, I still strongly encourage you to pursue a career while also pursuing your dream to have kids), however, you still should realize that these things happen, and to brace yourself for when they do. Keeping your expectations realistic will help smooth out the bumpy parts on the road of life. Enjoy spending time with your kids while you can, but realize your work will at some point conflict with spending time with them.

    Well, either that or adhere to the Zen of Wally: ;)

    [​IMG]
     
    Bored Accountant, Apr 20, 2017
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