Originally Posted by stephf85
Should I get a MBA, MS in accountancy, or something else?
I have seen some similar posts relating to this question, but I wanted to put my specific situation and receive feedback. First off I am a 24 year old female. I have a year of experience interning at an oil and gas E&P fortune 500 company. Right now I am currently interning at one of the big four accounting firms (in audit). I will be receiving an offer to start full time in Sept 2011 which I plan on accepting. I graduate with my bachelor's degree this May 2010. In order to fulfill the 150 hour requirement to sit for the CPA exam, I only need one more accounting course and 4 other courses of my choice (I have extra courses I took while obtaining my bachelor's degree). I wanted to cram the classes this summer and start full time Sept 2010, but determined after speaking to HR, that even though I am an extremely strong candidate and they are going to give me an offer, they have no spots available until Sept 2011. So the earliest start date I have available to me is Sept 2011. So what should I do? Should I push my start date back a year to Sept 2012 and obtain my MBA? Should I get my MS in Accountancy and start in Sept 2011? Should I get something else? So in order to answer these questions you need to know my long time career goals. So, I plan on staying at least 2 years at the firm, I would really like to stay for at least 5 years and make manager if I can handle all the hours. Who knows I may stay longer, I did enjoy my internship, it is just a lot of hours to work. So if I stay 5 years and leave I am not sure what I would do. I am pretty much open to anything. I just know I want to be really successful and in a position of power (with hopefully not as bad of hours as public accounting). Ideas are a CFO or maybe even a CEO. Or maybe something else I don’t know about. Not really sure what options will be available to me in the future as an accountant. I only went into accounting in the first place because I had no idea what I wanted to do and I am really good at accounting and it comes naturally to me. So what degree should I get? Also any other suggestions/feedback is greatly appreciated.
I went back for an MBA after receiving my B.S. in Accountancy. I think it's far more useful than the MACC and will give you more flexibility in the future. I went with a general MBA vs. specializing in any one area and it has worked out well for me. I left public accountiing and now work in a consulting/compliance role. It's far more interesting than accounting ever was to me. Consulting firms really prefer a MBA as well.
You wouldn't necessarily have to delay your start date another year to get an MBA by the way. Most schools have classes you can take online for some of your requirements. So you could take all of your class-based requirements (usually those classes that require group projects) the first year and the on-line classes your second year. Mix in a few summer classes as necessary and it's doable (depending on how flexible your school is of course)... again this is what I did.
If you make it 5 years in public accounting (I know I sure didn't) you'll be in pretty high demand in the corporate world. You'll have to sacrifice quite a bit to do it though. Becoming an Audit Manager definitely sets you up for a lot of opportunities but I wouldn't expect it to lead to a high power position right away. Even Senior Audit Managers usually end up in a Controller/Finance Manager type role vs. CFO when leaving the Big 4 (though there are a couple I knew who went into smaller companies as a CFO).