Thoughts on late in life accounting career


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Welcoming any input and advice from those willing to offer it.

I am 42 years old with a BS in Behavioral Science and a solid employment history, which is part of the problem. After leaving the military and starting my college education, my career path went Corrections Officer, Prison Counselor, and now Parole Agent. I am now looking at making a career change for a couple reasons. First, I am just burned out in this field (I know this is common in many fields), and second, my career path allows me to take my state pension at the age of 50, possibly 48, and I would like to retire at the early age and do something else, as opposed to working longer in my current field.

I have looked at graduate programs in my area and have not found anything that appears to be appropriate (no masters in accounting). For that reason, I am considering a second BS in Accounting but have some concerns and would like some advice.

What are your thoughts of someone my age, with my lack of experience in the Accounting field, going back to school for an accounting degree? What do you feel I can expect regarding jobs? I am in a rural area, at least an hour or more from a major city, and have no intentions of relocating. Picking up my family and relocating just because I want a change of pace seems too selfish and is not an option.

At this point I feel this degree could offer a few possibilities but admit I am very naive regarding what the field has to offer at this time. I could use the education to move into an auditor or accounting position within my agency, but those positions, due to the rural area, are few and far between, and would mean I give up my age 50 pension and move into an age 60 pension plan. The plus side is the entry level positions do not require experience and I would have the "its who you know" card available to me. Another hopeful option, which would be my preferred path, would be to finish the program and go to work for a small business or firm, taking a reduced pension and just walking away from my current occupation. A third option would be to complete the degree, try to find a part time position somewhere just to get some experience, but remain in my current occupation until I hit 50 and can take the full pension, then use the degree to supplement my income but not necessarily rely on it.

Sorry for writing a book but I didn't think anyone could really offer advice without knowing the full story.
 
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I will be streight up honest with you... it will be hard for you to get a accounting job when you finish your degree without any experience.

My Accounting Information professor is in his 50's and is currently a CFO of a company and even he said that it is much easier for someone in our age (i am 26) to fine accounting job then it is at his age. He said nobody wants to invest into training someone that is 40-50 years old and knows that they will at most work 4-5 years where they can train someone that is 25 years old and can be future CFO/CEO of that company.


I would strongly advise you stay put where you are because even i am having hard time finding a job without experience.

I know its probably not the answer you want to hear but i am being completely honest and truthful here and trying to save you from wasting time and money.
 
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You are correct. Not want I wanted to hear, but I appreciate the input. Will definitely be delaying enrollment while I explore this decision further. In the end, I would be content with part-time, and even temp work, but wonder if that is even out there. I understand my age can be a disadvantage but can't help to wonder if it can also be an advantage to some degree. For example, I would be interested in the low pay, no benefits, position of a small company, and although I am sure young graduates might be willing to take those positions also, I think employers know the younger graduate is just passing through. True, I only intend to work another 10-15 years and would not be someone to train for future management, but the fact that I am not racing to get to management, can be an advantage when competing for the position that offers no management ladder to climb. I am willing to bet, considering I would have a partial pension with medical, I would be willing to spend those 10-15 years working in a position most younger grads wouldn't spend 5 years in, and being that person who is not just passing through, can be good thing to a small business.
 

kirby

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Take what AcctStudent's prof said and paraphrase it and it is even more true: "Nobody wants to invest in training someone. PERIOD." With the bad economy comes budget cuts, that translates to the accounting boss is now having to do more work "hands on" by himself or herself. So that's why they want 3 to 5 years experience for even the entry level job. Cause they don't have time to train even the most willing, the most deserving but untrained person. This stinks....
 
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DOB

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I will be streight up honest with you... it will be hard for you to get a accounting job when you finish your degree without any experience.

My Accounting Information professor is in his 50's and is currently a CFO of a company and even he said that it is much easier for someone in our age (i am 26) to fine accounting job then it is at his age. He said nobody wants to invest into training someone that is 40-50 years old and knows that they will at most work 4-5 years where they can train someone that is 25 years old and can be future CFO/CEO of that company.


I would strongly advise you stay put where you are because even i am having hard time finding a job without experience.

I know its probably not the answer you want to hear but i am being completely honest and truthful here and trying to save you from wasting time and money.
not sure I agree with that.. first of all, what makes you think that a company is looking at a 26 year old as some future CFO? as opposed to someone who is 40 who may bring other types of life and work experience to that company? lets be real, companies are looking for people that can help them make or save money. If you are 25 or 55 if you can be an asset to that company, they will hire you.

I will give you an example. this lady came into our company looking for a job. she just finished her accounting degree at age 46, she said she had experience collecting money. We hired her to collect money and I started using her to do small accounting task. I had to train her a bit, but she was very smart, motivated and worked hard. After 1 year, I could not keep her, she had outgrown the position, I recommended her to another company that was a client of ours.. Like myself, she is now the company controller, after 4 years.... all before she turned 50...... So again, I can't say I agree with your professor. It also has a lot to do with the individual... Debits and credits are just that. sometimes you have to sell Yourself....
 
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