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Old 03-04-2010, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 9,395,200 times
Reputation: 2547

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fanman72 View Post
Again, you're wrong. Many people who studied engineering move onto different things (sales, management, completely different career) because of the general job instability and mediocre salary considering its difficulty. Some do make 100k. Most do not. You're thinking management. For every manager there is at least 5 engineers. Do the math. Engineering has salary structures that top out real quickly
Mediocre salary for difficulty? How about the above jobs I listed for a Masters Degree and a certification with a 49% pass rate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fanman72 View Post
I have a friend who just graduated with a masters in EE from a top school. After 6 months of job hunting in this economy, guess what position she was finally offered? 47k. Entry and junior job market is rough.
Not looking hard enough at all or she is in a poor geographic area. Indeed.com lists over 70,000 electrical engineering jobs.

Additionally, you are using one person empirical evidence. I could just as easily say that my sister just graduated with a dual bachelors degrees in Civil and Environmental engineering, and got offered 55k 2 months out of school. Civil Engineers are far less employable then electrical.

Bottom line, indeed.com lists MORE electrical engineering jobs then "accountant" jobs. Most of these accountant jobs are not "entry level" (entry level is tough these days in ALL fields), however a far higher percent of them are concentrated at the lower end of the pay scale.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fanman72 View Post
This doesn't even begin to take into account the large gap in general difficulty it takes to obtain engineering degrees compared to accounting
Yeah, it isnt all that difficult to get a bachelors degree in accounting, but go ahead and see what job you get with that. Youd be lucky to catch on in an AP job paying $10 an hour. The problem is that to even make ok money in accounting, you need a CPA, which requires a Masters degree equivalent to sit for it in 46 states. This is where engineering and something like accounting diverge. It is possible to get 45-55k with a bachelors degree in engineering just falling out of school in an average geographic area. With a bachelors degree in accounting or finance, unless you manage to get hooked on with a Big 4, which happens for about 10% of all accounting grads, you are looking at a pitiful job making sub 40k. The jobs you get will be terrible as well, because youll either be doing stuff high school grads did 10 years ago, OR, you will be doing CPA level work for a bottom basement wage, because you dont have a CPA.
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
1,911 posts, read 4,221,707 times
Reputation: 911
Requiring CPA certification for a book keeper/AP clerk is ridiculous. Completely unneccesary. I was an AP clerk as a high school student. Even in public accounting, being a CPA is encouraged early on, but not required until you hit manager. I have a different view of accounting, possibly because I started at a Big 4 firm. Great job opportunities have not been an issue.

I think accounting is easy enough where "average" people can graduate and do entry level work. Graduating with an engineering degree is far more difficult. I don't know much about average entry level engineering positions.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:12 PM
 
1,640 posts, read 4,371,629 times
Reputation: 1023
I decided to play along and checked indeed.com for electrical engineers and got approx 35,000 hits, not "over 70,000". Approx 25,000 of these jobs were over $60,000. CPA came back with approx 35,000 hits all over the $50k mark, with approx 25,000 over $70,000.

Now, this is a stupid comparison for two reasons: Engineering and a CPA can both be good opportunities, the amount of opportunity in one has nothing to do with the amount of opportunity in another. Second, Indeed.com is at best an extremly rough estimate of employment availability. Most jobs, above entry level, never make it to job boards as they're filled internally or through networking. This is even more true today as HR departments are overwhelmed with resumes if they dare post something in public.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 9,395,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billiken View Post
Requiring CPA certification for a book keeper/AP clerk is ridiculous. Completely unneccesary.
You are exactly right. In fact, requiring CPA certification for anyone who is not directly involved in submitting government or public related documents is completely unneccessary. Unfortunately, that isnt stopping many places from doing so. That is directly related to so many CPAs hitting the workforce. Supply and demand. If they can get a CPA, for $15 an hour, they will, why not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billiken View Post
I was an AP clerk as a high school student. Even in public accounting, being a CPA is encouraged early on, but not required until you hit manager. I have a different view of accounting, possibly because I started at a Big 4 firm. Great job opportunities have not been an issue.
Actually, on the contrary, CPA is actually increasingly being required out of staff level and below. I posted about a dozen examples of this.

As for Big 4 experience, I completely agree with you. The 10-15% of accountants who hook on with the Big 4 early on, have a definite advantage over the 85-90% who dont.

Quote:
Originally Posted by billiken View Post
I think accounting is easy enough where "average" people can graduate and do entry level work. Graduating with an engineering degree is far more difficult. I don't know much about average entry level engineering positions.
I completely agree with this statement.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 9,395,200 times
Reputation: 2547
Quote:
Originally Posted by truckingbronco View Post
I decided to play along and checked indeed.com for electrical engineers and got approx 35,000 hits, not "over 70,000". Approx 25,000 of these jobs were over $60,000. CPA came back with approx 35,000 hits all over the $50k mark, with approx 25,000 over $70,000.
I just searched again today for electrical engineer, and got the following breakdown

40,000+- 35,006
60,000+- 24,940
80,000+- 11,865
100,000+- 4504
120,000+- 1802

Now, that sums to 78,117, 43,111 of them were over 60k, or 56% of them.

CPA returned 52,524 jobs paying more then 60k, or about 60% of jobs, which is extremely similiar.

Other Engineering jobs, such as Civil or Chemical have less openings, but a higher concentration of high dollar jobs.

The problem is, a CPA absolutely requires a Masters Degree equivalency and a test that less then 50% of takers pass. This puts a much higher barrier on the accounting jobs then the engineering jobs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by truckingbronco View Post
Now, this is a stupid comparison for two reasons: Engineering and a CPA can both be good opportunities, the amount of opportunity in one has nothing to do with the amount of opportunity in another.
Which is a straw man argument you keep attributing to me that I never made. I never once claimed these two professions were mutually exclusive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by truckingbronco View Post
Second, Indeed.com is at best an extremly rough estimate of employment availability. Most jobs, above entry level, never make it to job boards as they're filled internally or through networking. This is even more true today as HR departments are overwhelmed with resumes if they dare post something in public.
Even if thats true, are you claiming that Indeed.com isnt atleast a good tool for comparing jobs, or are you claiming that some how "all the good accounting jobs" are hidden, yet the good electrical engineering jobs are all displayed.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:44 PM
 
1,640 posts, read 4,371,629 times
Reputation: 1023
The $60k+ jobs are also counted as $40k+ jobs. You don't sum them.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 9,395,200 times
Reputation: 2547
Quote:
Originally Posted by truckingbronco View Post
The $60k+ jobs are also counted as $40k+ jobs. You don't sum them.
Ok, I can go with that, however, I think its also to note how many of those CPA jobs are controller or senior level/management positions. A large number of CPA candidates do not qualify for those positions, because they dont meet the experience demands.

What comparing CPA to Electrical Engineer, is comparing an absolute requirement of a CPA in the job candidate, to just a job title. However, its not comparing what many CPAs (especially those with very little experience), actually end up making, to the Electrical Engineer.

Yeah, I can probably agree that jobs that DEMAND a CPA, on a whole, trend a bit higher then electrical engineer for now, however, I will not agree that those that have a CPA in general trend higher then an electrical engineer, and Im still looking for good data to support that.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:54 AM
 
3,853 posts, read 12,034,760 times
Reputation: 2522
I am a CPA and I love it, 40$/hr at 23 and I am only a senior staff accountant (easy work).

becoming a CPA is very difficult though. You need a BA degree in accounting (from a legit school) then you have to pass 4 very difficult exams. Its way worth it though, everyone respects a CPA.

Quote:
The problem is, a CPA absolutely requires a Masters Degree equivalency and a test that less then 50% of takers pass. This puts a much higher barrier on the accounting jobs then the engineering jobs.
very true. The CPA is a difficult exam to pass, anyone who says its not is totally bluffing you. You have to know your accounting knowledge and you have to know it good. The barrier to entry is one of the reasons you want to get the CPA. Once you are CPA, people start to think you are a god at accounting. CPAs will always get priority for the job offers, always.

Quote:
Actually, on the contrary, CPA is actually increasingly being required out of staff level and below. I posted about a dozen examples of this.
Thats only happening because companies are getting flooded with job applications. Companies want the best/most experienced workers for their positions, even if its over kill.

Quote:
Yeah, it isnt all that difficult to get a bachelors degree in accounting, but go ahead and see what job you get with that. Youd be lucky to catch on in an AP job paying $10 an hour. The problem is that to even make ok money in accounting, you need a CPA
very true. I remember when I started looking for my first accounting job. Took me 6 months ATLEAST to find an 9$/hr accounting assistant job. There are tons of people at the lower end of the market doing work so the wages in that area tend to stay below the 15$/hr mark. If you are not a CPA and not self-employed you'll struggle to get above that level, its a glass ceiling. Anything above the 15$/hr mark will start asking for either lots of accounting experience or lots of education/CPA.

Last edited by killer2021; 03-05-2010 at 03:09 AM..
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 9,395,200 times
Reputation: 2547
Quote:
Originally Posted by killer2021 View Post
I am a CPA and I love it, 40$/hr at 23 and I am only a senior staff accountant (easy work).
Where are you making that at? Thats very high for a senior staff accountant, unless you are working in maybe NYC

Quote:
Originally Posted by killer2021 View Post
becoming a CPA is very difficult though. You need a BA degree in accounting (from a legit school) then you have to pass 4 very difficult exams. Its way worth it though, everyone respects a CPA.
Actually, in 46 states, you need a Masters Degree equivalency. It is true you can still sit with a bachelors degree, and 30 additional credit hours, but it makes no sense not to simply grab the masters degree instead.




Quote:
Originally Posted by killer2021 View Post
very true. The CPA is a difficult exam to pass, anyone who says its not is totally bluffing you. You have to know your accounting knowledge and you have to know it good. The barrier to entry is one of the reasons you want to get the CPA. Once you are CPA, people start to think you are a god at accounting. CPAs will always get priority for the job offers, always.
Thats the thing, people arent looking at CPAs as gods all the time anymore. Its not too difficult to find places trying to pay CPAs sub 40k wages for staff level jobs. CPA is quickly losing respect as more and more people get them. Sure, many of you guys who are CPAs right now, you are probably good to go. When that wave of 205,000 current accounting students starts getting CPAs, the market is going to be unbelievably flooded. People simply holding a bachelors degree in accounting, who are more then qualified to handle 75%-85% of anything a CPA can, will not even be able to find jobs. People with years of experience and no CPA will be permanatley capped at staff level, and all the entry level positions will want a CPA.


Quote:
Originally Posted by killer2021 View Post
Thats only happening because companies are getting flooded with job applications. Companies want the best/most experienced workers for their positions, even if its over kill.
Which is exactly what Im saying. If people keep flooding the CPA certification, companies are just going to start filling every single accounting rank they have with them, and the thing is, the pay is not going to increase, because there will be CPAs desperate enough to take the money. Just take a look at teaching or social work. A masters degree is pretty much an entry level demand, and the jobs almost exclusively start at under 40k. People still get the degrees, and they still go in to the profession, dispite it being financially senseless.


Quote:
Originally Posted by killer2021 View Post
very true. I remember when I started looking for my first accounting job. Took me 6 months ATLEAST to find an 9$/hr accounting assistant job. There are tons of people at the lower end of the market doing work so the wages in that area tend to stay below the 15$/hr mark. If you are not a CPA and not self-employed you'll struggle to get above that level, its a glass ceiling. Anything above the 15$/hr mark will start asking for either lots of accounting experience or lots of education/CPA.

This is a fact. You can still occassionally find senior accountant jobs or accounting manager jobs which will go off experience alone, and pay you in the mid 40k's or a little bit better (in most of the country, obviously NYC and high dollar areas are excluded). However, in most cases, these jobs are all requiring CPAs. What is absolutely scary is that jobs lower then that are starting to shift CPA in to their requirements.
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:50 PM
 
297 posts, read 845,066 times
Reputation: 165
Do you see possible automation of CPA jobs in the near future?
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