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Old 04-10-2012, 03:21 PM
 
1 posts, read 15,654 times
Reputation: 10

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I have been out of school since 2007, and am currently working in the commercial property management field, managing high rise Class A building in downtown Boston. While my job consists of an array of tasks; I deal mostly with financial statements (income statement analysis/forecasting) and basic accounting issues (invoices, accruals, G/L reviews, JEs, etc) while the more complex entries are handled by the property accounting team. I know what I do know is more leaning towards bookkeeping than accounting.

Now, I can basically go back to school for free. I went to a state school and got my undergrad degree in Biz Administration. I liked accounting, but had a concentration in Marketing. (I regret not doing finance or accounting.) I ended with a 3.0 GPA which isn't terrible but I am not in the realm of going to any top 20 schools of course or really any school that will open infinite doors or provide any significant networking.

I am wondering if it is more beneficial to stay general and get my MBA with a concentration in Accounting, or if an MS Accounting would make more sense.

For me
the MS Provides
- Basically swapping out advanced accounting classes for general business MBA classes or classes that I would probably just waive as I took them in undergrad and did well.
-A more in depth skill set in a specific region that I can apply to my current job and valued when applying to corporate level positions
-Opportunity to move to other aspects of the field such as property management portfolio analysis or RE asset management
-Obtain CPA (Mass require non public account exp) even though I will probably work in the private sector.

Basically my thinking now is that an MBA from a non top 20 or even top 50 school won't do me any favors networking wise or skill wise that will set me apart, and I will be mostly taking fuzzy non mathematical courses that won't give me skills that will help me earn more over time. While the MS won;t get me any significant interviews, will provide in depth education in the specific area of accounting which I can directly apply while working and will set me apart in my industry and open more options when I want to move in the company or another one.

While the MS is mostly a CPA exam prep system do you think it will still be useful for me given the situation. Should I look to transitioning to the public arena? Any insight harsh or not is welcome.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Atlanta & NYC
6,616 posts, read 13,595,660 times
Reputation: 6657
If I were you I'd get the MBA. That degree will move you up the corporate ladder quicker than the MS Accounting. I just don't really see how an MS Accounting will move you up versus an MBA.

Also, if you want to switch jobs, an MBA with a concentration in Accounting is going to look much more versatile than an MS Accounting.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Denver
9,963 posts, read 18,218,729 times
Reputation: 6181
My wife is contemplating this but she has an undergrad in Accounting. Wouldn't you have to take quite a bit of remediation classes to focus on an MS in Accounting with a Business Administration degree?

I think you are more inline with an MBA or perhaps go back to school and get a Bachelor of Accounting.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:15 PM
 
1,359 posts, read 4,801,881 times
Reputation: 776
I'd probably do the MBA with accounting emphasis, that seems to be more in line with your career goals. Graduate programs in accounting are generally either for people who are wanting a career change to accounting, or for people who have a bachelor's degree in accounting but want to improve their grades and get another chance to go through college recruiting. You probably wouldn't have to take too many remediation classes since you have a business background [I did not and only had to take a year's worth] but I don't know that it would be ultimately useful for what you want to do.

If the accounting program is particularly well-regarded, it might be more worthwhile because the courses might be something more than the usual glorified CPA exam prep courses that a lot of MS accounting programs tend to be.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:19 PM
 
14,743 posts, read 32,873,195 times
Reputation: 8931
Ok, I read through the OP and saw that you did marketing in undergrad. Had you done accounting, I was going to ask you why you would do an M.S. Acc. or a M.Acc., unless you were flipping over to tax. With the information you've given, I would go MBA with the accounting emphasis, but evaluate very early on what you want to do with the degree. Are you using it to cycle back to public accounting or are you using it to get a general corporate position? The MBA works for both, but in a general corporate setting, it could give you industry-specific experience, which could be awesome if you find an industry you like. Some industries fit people like a glove, and others like a mitt. You will have to shop, shadow, and ask yourself/others a lot of questions. Also, go to the highest ranked school your grades/GMAT score will allow.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:31 PM
 
1,569 posts, read 2,010,518 times
Reputation: 621
Well, not sure about your background - but an MS in accounting will get you a higher starting salary than a B.S in accounting. However, if you are already working, then...
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:21 AM
 
2,017 posts, read 5,580,821 times
Reputation: 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdooders View Post
I have been out of school since 2007, and am currently working in the commercial property management field, managing high rise Class A building in downtown Boston. While my job consists of an array of tasks; I deal mostly with financial statements (income statement analysis/forecasting) and basic accounting issues (invoices, accruals, G/L reviews, JEs, etc) while the more complex entries are handled by the property accounting team. I know what I do know is more leaning towards bookkeeping than accounting.

Now, I can basically go back to school for free. I went to a state school and got my undergrad degree in Biz Administration. I liked accounting, but had a concentration in Marketing. (I regret not doing finance or accounting.) I ended with a 3.0 GPA which isn't terrible but I am not in the realm of going to any top 20 schools of course or really any school that will open infinite doors or provide any significant networking.

I am wondering if it is more beneficial to stay general and get my MBA with a concentration in Accounting, or if an MS Accounting would make more sense.

For me
the MS Provides
- Basically swapping out advanced accounting classes for general business MBA classes or classes that I would probably just waive as I took them in undergrad and did well.
-A more in depth skill set in a specific region that I can apply to my current job and valued when applying to corporate level positions
-Opportunity to move to other aspects of the field such as property management portfolio analysis or RE asset management
-Obtain CPA (Mass require non public account exp) even though I will probably work in the private sector.

Basically my thinking now is that an MBA from a non top 20 or even top 50 school won't do me any favors networking wise or skill wise that will set me apart, and I will be mostly taking fuzzy non mathematical courses that won't give me skills that will help me earn more over time. While the MS won;t get me any significant interviews, will provide in depth education in the specific area of accounting which I can directly apply while working and will set me apart in my industry and open more options when I want to move in the company or another one.

While the MS is mostly a CPA exam prep system do you think it will still be useful for me given the situation. Should I look to transitioning to the public arena? Any insight harsh or not is welcome.


As a first year MBA student from a Top 20 university-- I can say most of our first year module courses are heavy analytics (Statistics, Finance, more Finance, Accounting and more Accounting, Economics, etc). We do take a few non-quants courses but they are geared towards strategy and leadership. I will say this-- even our qualitative courses still often have components that you will use from your quants courses.

Also depending on the program, you do A LOT of honing down what YOU need to work on as a person in order to succeed in business. We constantly get feedback in the form of 360 degree surveys, personality tests, career direction tests, feedback from classmates (can be both interesting and intimidating), feedback from professors, etc.

We do things like have to learn how to write negative messaging memos, speeches, new leader speeches, how to develop motivation in employees and in others. Everything we do is case based for the most part. My program focuses A LOT on teamwork.

I don't go to Harvard but watching the CNBC documentary on Inside Harvard Business School we have A LOT of similarities from teaching methods to the dreaded "cold calls" and study teams. May give you a REALLY good idea what business programs can be.

An MS Accounting will help you be an accountant and that is pretty much what it does. My professors in undergrad for accounting did not encourage us to go after MS Accounting degrees because a lot of the time the idea is that they are for non-accounting majors.
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