Author Topic: Viability of choosing a Business Degree?/Top Business School Worth It?  (Read 16046 times)

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.
Re: Viability of choosing a Business Degree?
« Reply #50 on: June 23, 2016, 09:58:17 PM »
Every one of my friends with business degrees got jobs right out of school. Mostly in the $50-60k range. Marketing, accounting, business management, etc.

One close friend did 150 credits in his undergrad (this is a stretch though, 19-20 credits per semester). He's already studying for the CPA exam right after school. This guy is like a 4.0 student, ridiculously smart and just clicks with accounting.

That's comforting to know. I do want to take a sabbatical and travel the world after college graduation, so I'm at a crossroad if I'm offered a job right out of school. And that's a good range, I'm assuming all of these jobs have upward mobility to approach 6 figures with a couple years.

And HOW?! Lucky him.

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8364
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Viability of choosing a Business Degree?
« Reply #51 on: June 24, 2016, 06:34:36 AM »
BSBA is Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

All the big public accounting firms have forensic accountants now. Forensic accounting supports litigation. It's figuring out what happened in a crime from a financial standpoint.

You might start out as an auditor no matter what your specialty. In most states, the CPA certification has an audit requirement. Or you could start working in your specialty and be "loaned out" to audit during busy season.

You might also look into tax as a specialty. We have an intricate and very interesting tax system here. Knowing your way around it can be useful.

onlykelsey

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2172
Re: Viability of choosing a Business Degree?
« Reply #52 on: June 24, 2016, 06:38:24 AM »
Every one of my friends with business degrees got jobs right out of school. Mostly in the $50-60k range. Marketing, accounting, business management, etc.

One close friend did 150 credits in his undergrad (this is a stretch though, 19-20 credits per semester). He's already studying for the CPA exam right after school. This guy is like a 4.0 student, ridiculously smart and just clicks with accounting.

That's comforting to know. I do want to take a sabbatical and travel the world after college graduation, so I'm at a crossroad if I'm offered a job right out of school. And that's a good range, I'm assuming all of these jobs have upward mobility to approach 6 figures with a couple years.

And HOW?! Lucky him.

Figure out what classes you're good at, efficient with, and relatively interested in, and load them up.  I did 27 credits one semester with a 15 hour a week job, and was fine.  I wouldn't do it your freshman fall or when you're taking your roughest pre-requisites, but it's possible.  A lot of college students, even at elite schools, do not have the most impressive work ethic.  If you're organized and can front end lots of your work, it's doable.

I would look in to whether your school would allow it.  I had to gradually ramp up and get permission to go over 18 every time, but by the 2nd time I asked, it was just a formality.

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.
Re: Viability of choosing a Business Degree?
« Reply #53 on: June 24, 2016, 06:41:36 AM »
BSBA is Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

All the big public accounting firms have forensic accountants now. Forensic accounting supports litigation. It's figuring out what happened in a crime from a financial standpoint.

You might start out as an auditor no matter what your specialty. In most states, the CPA certification has an audit requirement. Or you could start working in your specialty and be "loaned out" to audit during busy season.

You might also look into tax as a specialty. We have an intricate and very interesting tax system here. Knowing your way around it can be useful.

Thanks for clearing everything up. And tax could probably set you up for a future consultant job after FI, no?

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8364
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: Viability of choosing a Business Degree?
« Reply #54 on: June 24, 2016, 10:12:39 AM »
BSBA is Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

All the big public accounting firms have forensic accountants now. Forensic accounting supports litigation. It's figuring out what happened in a crime from a financial standpoint.

You might start out as an auditor no matter what your specialty. In most states, the CPA certification has an audit requirement. Or you could start working in your specialty and be "loaned out" to audit during busy season.

You might also look into tax as a specialty. We have an intricate and very interesting tax system here. Knowing your way around it can be useful.

Thanks for clearing everything up. And tax could probably set you up for a future consultant job after FI, no?

Well, taxes enter into everything in this country. After you get some experience, you could take it in a lot of directions - corporate tax in a large company, financial planning, having your own business as a tax preparer. For a look into the life of a tax person, read Cheddar Stacker's journal.

ShortInSeattle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 576
Re: Viability of choosing a Business Degree?
« Reply #55 on: June 24, 2016, 12:04:22 PM »
I received a B.A. in business, and I've had a great career. I second the recommendation to specialize, but having a well-rounded knowledge of business law, marketing, finance, accounting, HR, and operations is useful too. I worked in HR, in management, and later on as a small business owner and consultant to CEOs. I've done my own marketing, worked in sales, given speeches, negotiated contracts, and balanced my books. The degree helped with all those things.

I think it's a practical and interesting degree with lots of places it can take you. If you can, throw in a few psychology electives to round out your business acumen.

SIS

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3064
Re: Viability of choosing a Business Degree?
« Reply #56 on: June 24, 2016, 12:56:36 PM »
It took me 8 years to get to 94k. It would have been faster if I did the CPA. But I've had alot of job options because I went to a top school. There is no such thing as a guarantee though.
 
So do you want to live in Alabama after you graduate?  College recruiting is highly local. Local companies are recruiting at the colleges near them. You should look at the schools yourself and apply for a lot of them. Most people who apply live in the NE or west coast, so top schools look for geographic diversity. On the school websites there are calculators for costs to attend. But for most schools its best to want to stay in the area. Say you went to Yale, most of the recruiters will be in New York or Connecticut.
I had a friend who got a full scholarship to get a masters in library science at the University of Michigan. He was so busy applying for jobs back in DC that he missed all the recruiting for high quality Michigan jobs. Now he works for some dinky community college in the middle of nowhere making squat.

Re: forensic accounting you will still want to be an external auditor for a couple of years first. External audit is truly the gateway to everything else. After that you can apply for compliance jobs at the SEC or FBI, where you can use forensic accounting skills. Just remember those cool jobs are hard to get and they are mostly in DC.
It's less glamorous, but you'll have the opportunity to uncover fraud as a plain old auditor.
One of my co-workers uncovered fraud at a non-profit we were auditing. Someone was creating fake bank statements.  After she was confronted, she committed suicide.

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.
Re: Viability of choosing a Business Degree?
« Reply #57 on: June 24, 2016, 07:15:08 PM »
BSBA is Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

All the big public accounting firms have forensic accountants now. Forensic accounting supports litigation. It's figuring out what happened in a crime from a financial standpoint.

You might start out as an auditor no matter what your specialty. In most states, the CPA certification has an audit requirement. Or you could start working in your specialty and be "loaned out" to audit during busy season.

You might also look into tax as a specialty. We have an intricate and very interesting tax system here. Knowing your way around it can be useful.

Thanks for clearing everything up. And tax could probably set you up for a future consultant job after FI, no?

Well, taxes enter into everything in this country. After you get some experience, you could take it in a lot of directions - corporate tax in a large company, financial planning, having your own business as a tax preparer. For a look into the life of a tax person, read Cheddar Stacker's journal.

Do you have a link to it?

I received a B.A. in business, and I've had a great career. I second the recommendation to specialize, but having a well-rounded knowledge of business law, marketing, finance, accounting, HR, and operations is useful too. I worked in HR, in management, and later on as a small business owner and consultant to CEOs. I've done my own marketing, worked in sales, given speeches, negotiated contracts, and balanced my books. The degree helped with all those things.

I think it's a practical and interesting degree with lots of places it can take you. If you can, throw in a few psychology electives to round out your business acumen.

SIS

How does psychology compliment well with business? And other marketable combos I should be aware of also?

It took me 8 years to get to 94k. It would have been faster if I did the CPA. But I've had alot of job options because I went to a top school. There is no such thing as a guarantee though.
 
So do you want to live in Alabama after you graduate?  College recruiting is highly local. Local companies are recruiting at the colleges near them. You should look at the schools yourself and apply for a lot of them. Most people who apply live in the NE or west coast, so top schools look for geographic diversity. On the school websites there are calculators for costs to attend. But for most schools its best to want to stay in the area. Say you went to Yale, most of the recruiters will be in New York or Connecticut.
I had a friend who got a full scholarship to get a masters in library science at the University of Michigan. He was so busy applying for jobs back in DC that he missed all the recruiting for high quality Michigan jobs. Now he works for some dinky community college in the middle of nowhere making squat.

Re: forensic accounting you will still want to be an external auditor for a couple of years first. External audit is truly the gateway to everything else. After that you can apply for compliance jobs at the SEC or FBI, where you can use forensic accounting skills. Just remember those cool jobs are hard to get and they are mostly in DC.
It's less glamorous, but you'll have the opportunity to uncover fraud as a plain old auditor.
One of my co-workers uncovered fraud at a non-profit we were auditing. Someone was creating fake bank statements.  After she was confronted, she committed suicide.

CPA really does seem to be the way to go huh... ANd I honestly don't care where I live. I'd prefer a low COL with a high salary, but hey, who wouldn't? Most likely my first job will be in Alabama, hopefully getting offered a job before college graduation, and from there hopefully network connections and hardwork will take me places.

And wow that escalated quickly. That'd certainly be cool to say:

I work for the FBI... as an accountant.

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3064
Re: Viability of choosing a Business Degree?
« Reply #58 on: June 24, 2016, 08:06:26 PM »
Quote
How does psychology compliment well with business? And other marketable combos I should be aware of also?
I think Psychology can help you learn how to work with people. There is an idea that accountants only work alone. I've worked on teams my entire career. I think pre-law is another good class to take. I loved my law classes in grad school. I learned all about fundamental tenants of living in this country and how to think through tough puzzles, which is very useful for audit.

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.
Re: Viability of choosing a Business Degree?
« Reply #59 on: June 24, 2016, 10:59:10 PM »
I already feel like I work well with people, would a employer however seeing psychology classes with a business major be impressed? Or is it more of a personal improvement thing. Same with the pre law.

I ask this because I know combining IT with accountant can make you a it consultant or something like that, which opens a whole new set of doors. Would taking these courses provide similair effects?

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3064
Re: Viability of choosing a Business Degree?
« Reply #60 on: June 25, 2016, 09:21:42 AM »
Quote
Would taking these courses provide similair effects?

No, I don't think so. More a personal improvement kind of thing. Coming out of grad school when I did on-campus recruiting they cared about, in no particular order: the prestige of my school, my grades, accounting related internships and whether those internships were paid. Paid internships are more impressive than unpaid.

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.
Re: Viability of choosing a Business Degree?
« Reply #61 on: June 25, 2016, 10:44:47 PM »
Gotcha. Was your college a college that the Big Four hired out of by any chance?

And continuation of the main question:

Is going to a top business school (Harvard, Dartmouth, etc.) justify the student debt you would take on? A very real situation that would apply to me is this:

1. Go to a local well-known school (Troy), graduate debt-free (full ride scholarship) and get a job as an accountant, auditor, etc. that pays $60k median (according to payscale) with some experience and job changes leading to almost 6 figures. Parents give me their college fund, spread out over 3 years to avoid gift tax, which is invested in index funds, maybe a rental property. Assuming 1% of total value, $400/month on rent or $2800 annually assuming 7% returns.  Out of college, net worth would be near $70,000 ( Roth IRA, money from parents) and I would be hitting the ground running.


2. Go to a top business school, take on some student debt and lets assume this following quote from Financial Samurai is true:
"you’ll likely make a median total pay package of $120,000 your very first year. Five years out, you’ll probably make double"

I just checked out Dartmouth(even though a more realistic college would probably be Georgia Tech or UT), and I would be eligible for a scholarship that pays $10,000, paid across 2 semesters and is renewable for the duration of 4 years( 8 semesters). The cost of attendance is $32,210 (according to their website) so after the scholarship, 4 years would be around  $88,840 (after the $10,000 deduction applied every two semesters).

My parents have told me that they do have some money set aside to pay for some of college (lets assume $40,000) so there's half of it. My roth IRA will probably have grown to $26k ($4,000 starting, assume $150/monthly and 7%) so there's another good chunk. Assuming I get a job straightout of college that pays 6 figures or a high 5 figure number, you could've have realistically paid off the debt in a couple months, and 5 years later, according to the blog post from FS, doubled your salary, leading to a higher nest egg, or shorter FI time.

I personally like being a bigger fish in smaller pond(academically) than the other way around. But if it leads to a more lucrative career, I'm all for it. I'm also reading some articles about how students that could've made it into Ivy leageue but instead went to a second-tier school end up making the same amount of money as an ivy league student, so I'm at crossroads here.

What do you guys think? I'm thinking my number is $625,000 ($25,000 for me,wife, and a kid) but for just me it would probably be more like $400,000 ( I want to travel a lot).
« Last Edit: June 25, 2016, 11:19:57 PM by precrime3 »

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8364
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Viability of choosing a Business Degree?/Top Business School Worth It?
« Reply #62 on: June 26, 2016, 03:33:28 AM »
I think you should take advantage of the fact that people love to help eager young things. If you think accounting is your direction, call the managing partner at the local EY, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers or KPMG office and tell them (or more likely, their admin) that you are a high school student looking to major in accounting and would like some advice on the best schools. Tell them that you would love to buy them a coffee in exchange for a few moments of their time. Keep trying until someone says yes. Show up in a suit and tie, or at a minimum, a freshly pressed shirt, khakis and a nice tie.  Come with a list of questions and take notes. I guarantee that they will be stunned by your initiative. Follow up with a handwritten thank-you note, which they will keep and remember you by. You will get great advice on schools and a great contact. Keep in touch with this person, sending notes of your progress. Many older people just love to mentor someone as intelligent and eager as you.

Take the list of schools this person gives you and see if you can find one that will give you a full ride. Test out the major next year by taking a free online course in auditing, tax, or forensic accounting.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 03:35:46 AM by pbkmaine »

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.
Googling locations and numbers of local offices now. Hopefully something will come out of it before the end of July. Any questions I should add to the list I just thought of?

1. What are the best schools in the area for accounting in terms of job offer/placement rate as well as paid/unpaid internships?
2. Have you heard of Troy University?
2a. If yes: What do you think of the program? Would you recommend the school?
2b. If no: How about JSU? If no again, moving on...
3. Are there any intern positions available to me now as a high school upcoming senior?
4. Is it possible to shadow someone to see what a typical day looks like?
5. Do you recommend taking the CPA, or what route would you take in college?
6. What specialties are in demand right now? Forensic accounting, auditors(external or not), tax, etc. (Not sure if my wording here is correct)
7. What strengths should someone in accounting posses?
8. (Don't know if this is tactful or not) What is the typical entry level pay for college graduates?
8b. How quickly can one rise the ranks?
9. Hows the local demand for accounting? Would you suggest looking elsewhere?
10. What's the work like in the "busy" season?

I think that's a good list to start with. Thanks for the tip, that completely crossed my mind.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 03:53:30 AM by precrime3 »

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8364
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Asking about pay is a no-no. Take a look at the company website before you go and ask questions specifically related to it. For 3, I would ask about internships in general. I think the first conversation might be too soon for you to ask for yourself. If they are interested, they will offer. For 8b, you want to ask about "career progression". 

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.
Got it. I'm looking into the big four (confirmed 3 of them have office locations in Birmingham, bless) and am coming up with a list of questions that will vary a little bit but will primarily stay the same. The google doc (so anyone can comment) is below.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1grL6hfsEeWNvx6yRLwhtI9Utz4zdqHB_zW_3r0Yo1RU/edit?usp=sharing

Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1646
Your ACT earns you full tuition at Alabama:
http://scholarships.ua.edu/types/in-state.html
You can also apply for other scholarships that might include room and board, or you can apply for financial aid.  You might also get full tuition at Auburn.  Troy is not that highly regarded, in large part because they accept students with extremely low test scores.  You can see the comparisons for AL schools here:
http://collegeapps.about.com/od/theact/a/alabama-act-scores.ham

If you want smaller classes and more individual attention, consider Birmingham Southern.  With that ACT they are likely to also give you full tuition.  (They offered my daughter an 85% scholarship with a score several points lower.). You also could get full tuition at many, many other schools.  If you can, attend this event:
http://ctcl.org/atlanta-ga-august-18-2016/
There will be many great colleges represented.  My daughter attended two years ago,learned about several colleges, and wound up with several offers of full tuition.

I teach grad school at a university in AL, and see students coming from all the colleges.  Since you obviously have the ability to go to a stronger school and still get free tuition, I recommend that.

« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 10:40:06 AM by Dee18 »

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8364
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Viability of choosing a Business Degree?/Top Business School Worth It?
« Reply #67 on: June 26, 2016, 11:21:27 AM »
Presidential Scholar at University of Alabama would look great on a resume. Also, excellent football team .
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 12:03:54 PM by pbkmaine »

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3064
Quote
I do want to take a sabbatical and travel the world after college graduation

I want to come back to this and recommend that you do your world travel during your breaks during college. If you travel for a year after college, when you come back you will be competing for the same entry level jobs as people who just graduating and you will seem "old" and employers will think your skills will have atrophied.

Quote
Was your college a college that the Big Four hired out of by any chance?
Yes, I went to George Washington University and all 4 recruit there. I don't recommend going there though. They don't give that much in scholarships and DC has become extremely HCOL.

1. What are the best schools in the area for accounting in terms of job offer/placement rate as well as paid/unpaid internships?
A regular person at a company won't know this. This is a better question for a recruiting fair.
2. Have you heard of Troy University?
They might not know that much about schools in general. A better question is where did YOU go to school and do you recommend it?
2a. If yes: What do you think of the program? Would you recommend the school?
2b. If no: How about JSU? If no again, moving on...

3. Are there any intern positions available to me now as a high school upcoming senior?
4. Is it possible to shadow someone to see what a typical day looks like?
Questions about what they actually do are very useful
5. Do you recommend taking the CPA, or what route would you take in college?
They are all going to say you need to pass the CPA, might be perceived as a dumb question to ask
6. What specialties are in demand right now? Forensic accounting, auditors(external or not), tax, etc. (Not sure if my wording here is correct)
Another question they might not now, but you can ask them what is in demand in their region specifically. Like in DC there are a lot of firms that specialize in the federal government. In the South East I hear it's a lot of banking and construction.
7. What strengths should someone in accounting posses?
I approve of this question
8. (Don't know if this is tactful or not) What is the typical entry level pay for college graduates?
8b. How quickly can one rise the ranks?

9. Hows the local demand for accounting? Would you suggest looking elsewhere?
What do you mean by looking elsewhere? A different region or different type?
10. What's the work like in the "busy" season?
People who work in external audit might take offense to this question. People who work in those kinds of place have "drunk the koolaid" and think that busy season is worth it.

Quote
you’ll likely make a median total pay package of $120,000 your very first year. Five years out, you’ll probably make double"

Um, no. You'll probably make whatever is entry level no matter where you live. So I got 54k at my first job out in an HCOL area in 2008. It was the same 54k in NYC and the same 54k in the South.

If you want to stay in the South, what about good Southern schools like Emory, Duke, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest?

Quote
I'm also reading some articles about how students that could've made it into Ivy leageue but instead went to a second-tier school end up making the same amount of money as an ivy league student

I can see this being true, but it's more of a question of what you want. If you are satisfied with the regular accounting career trajectory than going to a small school might work. But you will get a more varied amount of job opportunities by going to a top school. I'm not saying that's better, just different. I would be bored out of mind if my only option was to be an accountant at a small bank for the rest of my career. But that small town banker, probably makes about the same that I do.

But I want to tell you something about the long term that other accountants aren't going to tell you about. More and more accounting is becoming automated. I'm seeing fewer jobs being advertised like accounting clerk, payroll clerk, accounts payable clerk, etc and more jobs that are more complicated. For example the job I have now didn't have a job description because it would be too complicated to describe it. So it would behoove you to set yourself up as much as possible. Go to a good school, better than Troy at least, get into a big four, do your two years in external audit and get your CPA. Then you can breath easy and start figuring out what kind of accounting you are interested in (and available).



pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8364
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Mozar has some very good points. I can speak to the Ivy League thing, since I have an AB and an MBA from Cornell. In my experience, most of the Ivy Leaguers at the Big Four are in Consulting, not Audit or Tax. Audit and Tax people come from schools with great accounting programs. This is not the same as coming from a "name" school. So you might ask the partners what they think the strongest accounting program are in the state, rather than asking them about the universities as a whole.

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.
Your ACT earns you full tuition at Alabama:
http://scholarships.ua.edu/types/in-state.html
You can also apply for other scholarships that might include room and board, or you can apply for financial aid.  You might also get full tuition at Auburn.  Troy is not that highly regarded, in large part because they accept students with extremely low test scores.  You can see the comparisons for AL schools here:
http://collegeapps.about.com/od/theact/a/alabama-act-scores.ham

If you want smaller classes and more individual attention, consider Birmingham Southern.  With that ACT they are likely to also give you full tuition.  (They offered my daughter an 85% scholarship with a score several points lower.). You also could get full tuition at many, many other schools.  If you can, attend this event:
http://ctcl.org/atlanta-ga-august-18-2016/
There will be many great colleges represented.  My daughter attended two years ago,learned about several colleges, and wound up with several offers of full tuition.

I teach grad school at a university in AL, and see students coming from all the colleges.  Since you obviously have the ability to go to a stronger school and still get free tuition, I recommend that.

Alabama was my first choice for the reasons I love the campus, and I've taken the online classes there so I know my credits are guaranteed to transfer over. But my parents are adamant on not wanting to pay for college. Unless I can bring up some stupidly good justification on why I would want to pay for boarding and food for 4 years, they'll make/tell/force me to stick with Troy.

And I looked at the business program from Troy, it doesn't look half bad. Would going to Alabama make that big of a difference compared to going to Troy? By the way, the link you included regarding ACT scores returns a 404 error. I did find this though. I thought were both regionally well known colleges however.

Alabama is AACSB while Troy is ACSBP accredited.

http://colleges.startclass.com/compare/60-7936/Troy-University-vs-The-University-of-Alabama

Funny, I always thought of Troy (as did my peers) to be a respectable college. We all thought Alabam was a party school lol. I have heard that Alabamas business school is pretty good though. 

Presidential Scholar at University of Alabama would look great on a resume. Also, excellent football team .

More impressive than full ride at a lesser known school? That I can't argue with lol.

Mozar has some very good points. I can speak to the Ivy League thing, since I have an AB and an MBA from Cornell. In my experience, most of the Ivy Leaguers at the Big Four are in Consulting, not Audit or Tax. Audit and Tax people come from schools with great accounting programs. This is not the same as coming from a "name" school. So you might ask the partners what they think the strongest accounting program are in the state, rather than asking them about the universities as a whole.

Okay, got it. Yes, very helpful information indeed.

Most information I get is very positive towawrds one side (Ivy League or 2nd/third tier school) but I'm probably going to lean towards Troy for now, unless I talk to a person from the big four and they say otherwise.

Some definitive job offer/placement rates from each school would be really nice, but I don't know how hard it would be to get that kind of info.

I'm also looking the schools suggested and here are the ones with full rides, will apply to these also.

Emory: George W. Jenkins and Robert W. Woodruff Scholarships. No info on actually applying, though.
Duke: Doesn't have a business program it looks like.
UNC: Pogue Scholarship/ Robertson
WFU: Same as above, will update both when it does.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 07:21:52 PM by precrime3 »

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8364
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.
http://www.big4accountingfirms.org/best-accounting-schools/

SUPER Helpful. Bookmarked and will go through each to see which one has good scholarships. Will report back when I can.

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3064
Quote
More impressive than full ride at a lesser known school?

Once you graduate, at least in my experience, no employers will ask you whether you got a scholarship. They will not be impressed my scholarships. They are impressed by rankings.

Quote
We all thought Alabam was a party school lol

We as in who? Other high school kids? High school-ers are very concerned about where they can get the most drunk (not saying you, just in general). Employers aren't going to care if a school has a party reputation among the under 18 set.

Quote
Unless I can bring up some stupidly good justification on why I would want to pay for boarding and food for 4 years, they'll make/tell/force me to stick with Troy.

Your good justification is that once you are 18 you are an adult. Where you go is not their business.

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8364
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Why are your parents so set on you going to Troy?

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.
Why are your parents so set on you going to Troy?

It's free. It's the "smart thing to do", as they say. And they have merit. Accounting programs are retry much the same (assuming they have AACSBP accreditation or whatever) so I think a happy compromise would be to:
1. Go to Troy for undergraduate, get a job in accounting
2. After 3-5 years, go back to MBA if it helps career progression.

What do you guys think?

@mozar: haha yeah, I'm looking into Emory. They have a competitive scholarhship that pays full cost
Of college, and is for residents of AL(that's me), TN, and some other states. Applying for that, and hopefully going to that college event August 18th.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 09:41:13 PM by precrime3 »

Joel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 774
  • Location: California
CPA here. Started in audit at a big four. In less than four years, I landed an internal audit position that put me into the six figure range. That's pretty normal if you can last 3-7 years in public. The sky is the limit with an audit background, you can go several directions.

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.
CPA here. Started in audit at a big four. In less than four years, I landed an internal audit position that put me into the six figure range. That's pretty normal if you can last 3-7 years in public. The sky is the limit with an audit background, you can go several directions.

So do you reccomend taking the CPA while in college? How was the job process? Did you go to a school that the big four hired from and was then offered a job before graduation?

And do you reccomend going back to get a masters? And how was the career progression? During this 3-7 year time span were you also looking at other positions or did one day another company offer you a job?

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8364
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
 Many colleges have the ability to negotiate on scholarships and aid. They will want you because your high ACT score added into the mix makes them look more competitive. Let's say that, in addition to Troy and JSU, you get scholarship offers at Alabama and Emory, but Alabama and Emory's are not as good. You call them each up, say you'd love to go there, but that your parents want you at Troy because it's a full ride. Ask if there's anything they can do. Then see what happens.

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8364
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Also, and this is weird, but it is possible that you are more desirable to schools not in the south. Schools seek geographic diversity as well as other kinds. One of my high school friends had a son who really wanted to go to Dartmouth. The family lived in Memphis at the time, but were considering relocating back to Philadelphia. A college counselor told them to hold off, because Dartmouth would be more eager to get a student from Memphis than from Philadelphia. They waited, and sure enough, the son got in to Dartmouth. So don't rule out other parts of the country.

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.
Many colleges have the ability to negotiate on scholarships and aid. They will want you because your high ACT score added into the mix makes them look more competitive. Let's say that, in addition to Troy and JSU, you get scholarship offers at Alabama and Emory, but Alabama and Emory's are not as good. You call them each up, say you'd love to go there, but that your parents want you at Troy because it's a full ride. Ask if there's anything they can do. Then see what happens.

See if I did this with Alabama they would just redirect me to their scholarship (only 10 that are eligible to get full tuition are selected for this one) that gives full ride, so I don't think it would work out well.

No clue about Emory, going to apply once I get back home in the USA.

Could I apply this strategy to the college event I'm planning on going to the 18th? I'll have to find the link to find all the colleges present, so give me a second.

Also, and this is weird, but it is possible that you are more desirable to schools not in the south. Schools seek geographic diversity as well as other kinds. One of my high school friends had a son who really wanted to go to Dartmouth. The family lived in Memphis at the time, but were considering relocating back to Philadelphia. A college counselor told them to hold off, because Dartmouth would be more eager to get a student from Memphis than from Philadelphia. They waited, and sure enough, the son got in to Dartmouth. So don't rule out other parts of the country.

I haven't. It's just that out of state tutuition KILLS. The only scholarships I see that are full cost of college for out of state students is UNC, And that's a pretty hard scholarship to snatch. No harm in applying tho.

Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1646
Sorry about the bad link, my iPad "corrected" htm to "ham."  Try this one:
http://collegeapps.about.com/od/theact/a/alabama-act-scores.htm

A couple of additional points-accreditation does not mean a school is good or highly respected; it just means a school has passed the minimum standards for the organization accrediting it.  As for scholarships, generally premier state universities gives strong preference to their in state applicants and do not provide major merit scholarships for out of state applicants.  This is not true for all applicants, however.  The most prominent, large private universities, such as Emory and Duke in the South, use more of their money to provide financial aid than to provide merit scholarships.  They don't have to offer merit money to attract strong students. ( The son of a friend of mine is at Duke.  He had a perfect SAT score and still only got a 25% merit scholarship.) They do offer some full rides however, so it may be worth applying.  Smaller private universities tend to offer more merit money. Pbkmaine gave you great info that the farther away you are from the school, the more likely you are to diversify their student body and thus get more money.  (One of the schools offering my daughter full tuition was in Vermont.  Their only student from AL was graduating and they like to be able to say they had students from all states.)

You mentioned your parents have money set aside for your college, but at the same time that they don't want to spend it on room and board.  That seems to be your limiting factor right now.  Few schools will provide living expenses to students whose families can afford those expenses.  Over the next couple months, perhaps you can help your parents see the advantages.  Take a parent to the Atlanta meeting if possible.  Also visit some of the nearby schools.  They will all have programs for that...and usually for the parent as well.  For those you can't visit in person, contact them by email.  Schools offer more merit money to students they think are truly interested. 

Think about where you will flourish.  Do you have the self discipline to study when there are huge party opportunities and a wide range of students?  Would you prefer smaller classes where the professors get to know you?  Do you want to stay in the South or go elsewhere? 

A site we found useful during my daughter's search was College Confidential where people talked about scholarship opportunities for specific test scores. 

Joel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 774
  • Location: California
CPA here. Started in audit at a big four. In less than four years, I landed an internal audit position that put me into the six figure range. That's pretty normal if you can last 3-7 years in public. The sky is the limit with an audit background, you can go several directions.

So do you reccomend taking the CPA while in college? How was the job process? Did you go to a school that the big four hired from and was then offered a job before graduation?

And do you reccomend going back to get a masters? And how was the career progression? During this 3-7 year time span were you also looking at other positions or did one day another company offer you a job?

If you are going into accounting, you absolutely should become a CPA. The career progression and opportunity for those that are CPAs is tremendous, whereas those who are not CPAs have a much harder time. Personally, I've found that those that cannot pass the CPA Exam are the lower performing people anyways.

I went to a Cal State University, and had an internship lined up for my last summer which resulted in a full-time job offer. So I basically had my job 3.5 semesters before graduating. If you want to do accounting, you must do public accounting (preferably big four) to start your career. Because of that, it doesn't matter where you went to college. You will get paid the same if you are from an Ivy or any other college. The key is to make sure that your school has a good enough accounting program that the big four actively recruit from there.

I don't know the Birmingham market, but I don't think I met anyone from there during my national trainings, which leads me to believe it may be a smaller market. It is much harder to get a job in a smaller market as the positions are competitive, whereas in a bigger market (think New York, SF, Silicon Valley) you can get a job if you are a good candidate.

That's why you need to know the area you want to be in. If you want to start in Birmingham, make sure you know what schools they recruit from and attend one of those schools. You will be able to join Beta Alpha Psi which allows you to interact with the professionals frequently and will lead to an internship/job.

Otherwise, you are applying blindly for the job and it takes more work to get hired.

Career progression at public accounting = 2/3 years as staff, 3 years as senior, 2 years as manager, then senior manager until you quit or make partner. The raises (in percentage terms) are good. Personally, the hours were not too bad for me. I did have to travel up to half the year, and that got old. Recruits always say how they will enjoy travelling, I just laughed every time. There is nobody that enjoys driving 5 hours on their Sunday to Bakersfield, to work 50+ hour weeks to return late on Friday and do this for 4-6 weeks straight.

I do have my MBA, I got it right after my undergrad for all the wrong reasons. On paper, it looks great to everyone. Did I learn anything from it? No.

Get into public accounting, make it at least through your first busy season as a senior (maybe even a second) and go from there. Once I became a CPA, I was getting 3-4 job inquiries a week. I was planning to stay until manager, but I had an amazing opportunity to go to a company where I'm expecting to take over as director of internal audit in a few years plus he job requires no travel, a normal 8-5 schedule, and a 50% pay bump (into the six figures). I did not need the MBA to get the position at all.

I would only recommend MBAs to non-business undergrads, or someone wanting to go to a very prestigious MBA program for the network you get out of it. Otherwise, you are just getting the MBA to have something on paper that may impress some people.

Somewhere between 4-8 years is the ideal time to leave, if you do not want to be partner. I have found that my friends who went into tax are much more specialized, whereas those with an audit background seem to be more desirable for positions after public accounting.

Joel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 774
  • Location: California
I also meant to recommend that you study abroad during college. That is a great experience to live somewhere foreign for a semester or year. Once you graduate, you will be working.

Also, don't be the person so focused on retiring early that they forget to enjoy life along the way. You are a high school student. You don't need a FI retirement number yet, you know nothing about work or the costs to be an adult.

In my recruiting experience (as a student and recruiter), we avoided the 4.0 students with no social skills.

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3064
Can you do an unpaid internship at a small accounting firm this summer?  That will really give you a boost on your college application. Even if you are just making copies for a month?

Are you male? It is easier to get into college as a male because fewer males have good grades than females aka affirmative action for boys. Another thing with male applicants is that they are less likely to have internships and community service hours than female applicants, so that's another easy way to stand out.

How much do your parents make? You don't have to say here, but just so you know what the cut offs are for financial aid, you can start looking at the fafsa. Harvard gives a full scholarship to anyone with less than a 80k household income.

onlykelsey

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2172
Also, and this is weird, but it is possible that you are more desirable to schools not in the south. Schools seek geographic diversity as well as other kinds. One of my high school friends had a son who really wanted to go to Dartmouth. The family lived in Memphis at the time, but were considering relocating back to Philadelphia. A college counselor told them to hold off, because Dartmouth would be more eager to get a student from Memphis than from Philadelphia. They waited, and sure enough, the son got in to Dartmouth. So don't rule out other parts of the country.

Totally true.  The ivy I went to was much harder to get in to as a northeasterner than as a southerner or midwesterner, because they wanted geographic diversity.  You offer that diversity to those sorts of schools.

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.

A couple of additional points-accreditation does not mean a school is good or highly respected; it just means a school has passed the minimum standards for the organization accrediting it...A site we found useful during my daughter's search was College Confidential where people talked about scholarship opportunities for specific test scores.

I based my logic off of responses like this from that website, take a look.

Quote
Just to throw it in here - Accounting is taught almost the exact same no matter where you go. If the school is AACSB accredited then they follow the same rules and teach the same rules as any other samely accredited school (called GAP or General Accounting Principles - you can google that to get more specific).

So SL is absolutley right. Outside of a very few select schools, accounting will be generally universal if it is AACSB accredited.


You mentioned your parents have money set aside for your college, but at the same time that they don't want to spend it on room and board.  That seems to be your limiting factor right now.  Few schools will provide living expenses to students whose families can afford those expenses.  Over the next couple months, perhaps you can help your parents see the advantages.  Take a parent to the Atlanta meeting if possible.  Also visit some of the nearby schools.  They will all have programs for that...and usually for the parent as well.  For those you can't visit in person, contact them by email.  Schools offer more merit money to students they think are truly interested. 

Will definitely do that. I thought after I got that 32 and a full ride to Troy, I didn't have to worry about college. Boy was I wrong LOL!

Think about where you will flourish.  Do you have the self discipline to study when there are huge party opportunities and a wide range of students?  Would you prefer smaller classes where the professors get to know you?  Do you want to stay in the South or go elsewhere? 

I don't care about the location, and would really consider anywhere in the US (heck, even internationally) if I had a scholarship and the school was worth its salt. I think I prefer small classes where the professors know my names, and I have the self-discipline in not going to EVERY party on the weekend, but it'd be smart for me to avoid known party schools.

@Joel:

Thanks very much for the thorough response. Very helpful to get insight from someone working in the career field you're interested in. I researched that in Birmingham there are 3 of the big four office locations here, so it can't be that small, right?

That career progression sounds amazing? 3-4 job inquiries a week? Accountants must be in demand huh? Hows the ability to work at home/remotely? I only ask this not to expect it immediately, but maybe after FI if I wanna reduce hours or like travel and still make some money.

Regarding an MBA, do you think the network you get out of it will justify the cost? Did it not help with career progression at all?

Regarding making partner (assume your own firm), any words on how much you make compared to working for someone else?

I also meant to recommend that you study abroad during college. That is a great experience to live somewhere foreign for a semester or year. Once you graduate, you will be working.

Also, don't be the person so focused on retiring early that they forget to enjoy life along the way. You are a high school student. You don't need a FI retirement number yet, you know nothing about work or the costs to be an adult.

In my recruiting experience (as a student and recruiter), we avoided the 4.0 students with no social skills.

I was already planning on doing this before I started this thread. I love other cultures, and schools study abroad programs have a major impact on my decision-making process. And yes, that's a valid concern I need to be aware of. I think I'm doing quite well, hanging out with friends frequently and only on here for an hour or so daily.

Can you do an unpaid internship at a small accounting firm this summer?  That will really give you a boost on your college application. Even if you are just making copies for a month?

Are you male? It is easier to get into college as a male because fewer males have good grades than females aka affirmative action for boys. Another thing with male applicants is that they are less likely to have internships and community service hours than female applicants, so that's another easy way to stand out.

How much do your parents make? You don't have to say here, but just so you know what the cut offs are for financial aid, you can start looking at the fafsa. Harvard gives a full scholarship to anyone with less than a 80k household income.


I don't know where to look, to be honest, when i talk (hopefully) to some people from the Big Four I will ask them regarding internship opportunities. I am a male indeed, and I think my household combined annual income is right around the 6 figure mark so I'm pretty much disqualified from all financial need scholarships.

Also, and this is weird, but it is possible that you are more desirable to schools not in the south. Schools seek geographic diversity as well as other kinds. One of my high school friends had a son who really wanted to go to Dartmouth. The family lived in Memphis at the time, but were considering relocating back to Philadelphia. A college counselor told them to hold off, because Dartmouth would be more eager to get a student from Memphis than from Philadelphia. They waited, and sure enough, the son got in to Dartmouth. So don't rule out other parts of the country.

Totally true.  The ivy I went to was much harder to get in to as a northeasterner than as a southerner or midwesterner, because they wanted geographic diversity.  You offer that diversity to those sorts of schools.

For someone that lives in the southeast, what regions should I be looking at to leverage this diversity? In the northwest?

onlykelsey

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2172
Also, and this is weird, but it is possible that you are more desirable to schools not in the south. Schools seek geographic diversity as well as other kinds. One of my high school friends had a son who really wanted to go to Dartmouth. The family lived in Memphis at the time, but were considering relocating back to Philadelphia. A college counselor told them to hold off, because Dartmouth would be more eager to get a student from Memphis than from Philadelphia. They waited, and sure enough, the son got in to Dartmouth. So don't rule out other parts of the country.

Totally true.  The ivy I went to was much harder to get in to as a northeasterner than as a southerner or midwesterner, because they wanted geographic diversity.  You offer that diversity to those sorts of schools.

For someone that lives in the southeast, what regions should I be looking at to leverage this diversity? In the northwest?

I'd say definitely the ivies and other highly competitive schools in the northeast.  I have insight in to three of the ivies, an elite liberal arts school (think Amherst) and MIT, and this geographic diversity is at least a thing at all five of those.  Anywhere where people from your region are underrepresented.  Being a man and from the south can get you some serious affirmative action points.  I imagine that your background would not get you points at, for example, Duke or Vanderbilt, as there are lots of folks from the southeast there.

As for non-northeastern schools, I imagine southerners are underrepresnted on the west coast, but have no insight.  You can look at the geographic breakdown of admissions pretty easily on admissions websites.

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8364
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Everywhere else, particularly northeast and northwest.

About colleges: we aren't trying to make you anxious. As we've all said, in accounting the program's reputation matters as much as the school's. But we see your intelligence and initiative and we think: "He can do better than Troy." It's not to say that you won't be successful going there. It's just that your college will be a line on your resume for the rest of your working life. Why not make it something that really stands out? If, of course, you can get the right package. We're making it harder for you in the short run because we think there's a payoff for you in the long run.

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3064
Quote
it'd be smart for me to avoid known party schools.
You know yourself best. My cousin almost flunked out of college because of partying too much. But don't avoid a school because of a party reputation. It's not like high school where there are only a few hundred people. At college/university there are literally thousands of people, and it is very easy to make friends with people who don't party a lot.

Quote
I researched that in Birmingham there are 3 of the big four office locations here, so it can't be that small, right?


Quote
That career progression sounds amazing? 3-4 job inquiries a week? Accountants must be in demand huh? Hows the ability to work at home/remotely? I only ask this not to expect it immediately, but maybe after FI if I wanna reduce hours or like travel and still make some money.

I get about one inquiry a month, with no CPA. I work from home 2 days a week. No ability to reduce hours but its flexible.

Quote
I don't know where to look, to be honest, when i talk (hopefully) to some people from the Big Four I will ask them regarding internship opportunities. I am a male indeed, and I think my household combined annual income is right around the 6 figure mark so I'm pretty much disqualified from all financial need scholarships.

You can look at craigslist to start. Here is a list of accounting firms in Alabama. I literally just googled "Alabama Accounting Firms" just call them. http://www.businessalabama.com/Largest%20Accounting%20Firms.pdf

If you are talking about $100,000 that's not much for the NorthEast and the West Coast, so you may be eligible for financial aid.

Quote
hanging out with friends frequently and only on here for an hour or so daily.

Hanging out with your friends doesn't qualify as having social skills. Do you have any leadership experience? Have you worked on school projects in teams? What kind of interpersonal conflict have you dealt with? That's what I mean.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 01:44:47 PM by mozar »

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.
Also, and this is weird, but it is possible that you are more desirable to schools not in the south. Schools seek geographic diversity as well as other kinds. One of my high school friends had a son who really wanted to go to Dartmouth. The family lived in Memphis at the time, but were considering relocating back to Philadelphia. A college counselor told them to hold off, because Dartmouth would be more eager to get a student from Memphis than from Philadelphia. They waited, and sure enough, the son got in to Dartmouth. So don't rule out other parts of the country.

Totally true.  The ivy I went to was much harder to get in to as a northeasterner than as a southerner or midwesterner, because they wanted geographic diversity.  You offer that diversity to those sorts of schools.

For someone that lives in the southeast, what regions should I be looking at to leverage this diversity? In the northwest?

I'd say definitely the ivies and other highly competitive schools in the northeast.  I have insight in to three of the ivies, an elite liberal arts school (think Amherst) and MIT, and this geographic diversity is at least a thing at all five of those.  Anywhere where people from your region are underrepresented.  Being a man and from the south can get you some serious affirmative action points.  I imagine that your background would not get you points at, for example, Duke or Vanderbilt, as there are lots of folks from the southeast there.

As for non-northeastern schools, I imagine southerners are underrepresnted on the west coast, but have no insight.  You can look at the geographic breakdown of admissions pretty easily on admissions websites.

Everywhere else, particularly northeast and northwest.

About colleges: we aren't trying to make you anxious. As we've all said, in accounting the program's reputation matters as much as the school's. But we see your intelligence and initiative and we think: "He can do better than Troy." It's not to say that you won't be successful going there. It's just that your college will be a line on your resume for the rest of your working life. Why not make it something that really stands out? If, of course, you can get the right package. We're making it harder for you in the short run because we think there's a payoff for you in the long run.

Regarding those regions, any business colleges in those areas I should look at first? Or should I just look for prestigious schools residing there?

And I get where you're coming from, I'm definitely looking at colleges with great packages, but it's nice to know I have two full-ride offers I can use for leverage/negotiation as well as a safety net.

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.

Quote
I don't know where to look, to be honest, when i talk (hopefully) to some people from the Big Four I will ask them regarding internship opportunities. I am a male indeed, and I think my household combined annual income is right around the 6 figure mark so I'm pretty much disqualified from all financial need scholarships.

You can look at craigslist to start. Here is a list of accounting firms in Alabama. I literally just googled "Alabama Accounting Firms" just call them. http://www.businessalabama.com/Largest%20Accounting%20Firms.pdf

If you are talking about $100,000 that's not much for the NorthEast and the West Coast, so you may be eligible for financial aid.

Quote
hanging out with friends frequently and only on here for an hour or so daily.

Hanging out with your friends doesn't qualify as having social skills. Do you have any leadership experience? Have you worked on school projects in teams? What kind of interpersonal conflict have you dealt with? That's what I mean.

That's nice to know, will consider financial aid when looking at schools. Looked at University of Washington just right now, which seems to have a good Accounting program.

And regarding social skills, I must've misunderstood you. My EC is probably my weakest part about me, I have somethings like:
1. Several years in Boy Scouts
2. Numerous leadership positions in clubs at school
3. Honor Societies

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8364
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
For accounting, the list I sent you is a good place to start. For undergraduate business schools in general, this is a pretty good list:

http://www.collegechoice.net/rankings/top-undergraduate-business-schools/

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8364
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
And as far as your extracurriculars go, pick a few things to emphasize, not everything. The weirder the better, I think. If you were President of The Bagpipe Society for 4 years and took your school bagpipe team to Nationals, where you took the prize for Best Kilts, that should be front and center. Pick something that makes you stand out. If you list your clubs and positions, we can help you highlight your achievements. Also, any volunteer work? Again, looking for something unusual, like helping native Tagalog speakers learn English.

Joel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 774
  • Location: California



@Joel:

Thanks very much for the thorough response. Very helpful to get insight from someone working in the career field you're interested in. I researched that in Birmingham there are 3 of the big four office locations here, so it can't be that small, right?

How big are the offices? It's much harder to get a job in an office that hires 3-4 audit staff per year than an office that hires 50+. Birmingham is a big enough market to have big four offices, but I don't know the size of them. If that's where you want to be, you should find out what schools they typically recruit from. Hiring typically occurs the fall semester before you graduate so keep that in mind. Join beta alpha psi as early as possible. I don't agree with those saying to go to a prestigious university if you are wanting to do accounting. It won't make a difference so long as you can get hired. Go to the university that the office you want to be in recruits heavily from.

Quote
That career progression sounds amazing? 3-4 job inquiries a week? Accountants must be in demand huh? Hows the ability to work at home/remotely? I only ask this not to expect it immediately, but maybe after FI if I wanna reduce hours or like travel and still make some money.

Public accounting is only the beginning of ones career in accounting. You can go in many directions, controller, CFO, internal audit, consultant, analyst, or stay in public accounting are many of the common ones. With that said, working remotely is a possibility at some companies and not at others.

Again though, don't be consumed in what you will do in retirement. You are young and a lot in your life will change in the next ten years. Enjoy it. An accounting career sets you up with a lot of opportunity.

Quote
Regarding an MBA, do you think the network you get out of it will justify the cost? Did it not help with career progression at all?
I didn't go to a prestigious school, therefore the network I got out of it was crap. However, on paper the MBA still impresses people and may very well help me be qualified for my next move. Personally, I think 4-5 years in audit at a big four is more valuable than an MBA.

Quote
Regarding making partner (assume your own firm), any words on how much you make compared to working for someone else?


This isn't really a question that's easily answered. Salary ranges are all over the place. Partners at a big four can make good many but it takes am any years and the right opportunity. It also takes the right skill set, meaning a much higher focus on sales ability.

Quote
I also meant to recommend that you study abroad during college. That is a great experience to live somewhere foreign for a semester or year. Once you graduate, you will be working.

Also, don't be the person so focused on retiring early that they forget to enjoy life along the way. You are a high school student. You don't need a FI retirement number yet, you know nothing about work or the costs to be an adult.

In my recruiting experience (as a student and recruiter), we avoided the 4.0 students with no social skills.

I was already planning on doing this before I started this thread. I love other cultures, and schools study abroad programs have a major impact on my decision-making process. And yes, that's a valid concern I need to be aware of. I think I'm doing quite well, hanging out with friends frequently and only on here for an hour or so daily.

Make sure you are going to be back at your school during the fall semester the year before you are done, as that's when you will do the recruiting for a summer internship. Since you will need 150 units, that means you could study abroad year 2 or 3. Make sure you are looking at how you will be getting the 150 units as well- possibly a masters in accounting or a double major in something?

Lastly, I went to a "party" school. Being able to juggle school, work, partying, and leadership roles in organizations made me the perfect fit to juggle the various responsibilities once I started working. In public accounting you frequently have 20 different things on your plate (especially as a senior)- so being organized and able to manage a lot going on is important.

precrime3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Alabama
  • Getting out of the rat race before I'm in it.
And as far as your extracurriculars go, pick a few things to emphasize, not everything. The weirder the better, I think. If you were President of The Bagpipe Society for 4 years and took your school bagpipe team to Nationals, where you took the prize for Best Kilts, that should be front and center. Pick something that makes you stand out. If you list your clubs and positions, we can help you highlight your achievements. Also, any volunteer work? Again, looking for something unusual, like helping native Tagalog speakers learn English.

Nothing out of the ordinary for me I'm sad to report. Just the typical clubs, honor societies, and such. I'll dig deep and look at my history and report back.

@Joel:

Beta Alpha Psi is for sure something I'm looking at joining ASAP. Regarding the universities, that's the mindset I was beginning to form on my own, but I still will see if I can get full-ride at a more prestigious school as at that point, it certainly couldn't hurt.

And regarding WHERE I want to work, I have no preference. A low COL + a high salary I wouldn't mind though. Do you think its possible to go to a school here that they hire from (or even one that they don't but get a job in the local area) and get a job offer in a different state? How likely is that situation is what I'm asking I guess.

Regarding the 150 units, I'm still not completely sure I understand the whole hours/credits thing so no comment.

And yeah that makes sense, I can imagine multi-tasking becoming more and more prevalent the further in life you get.

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8364
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Viability of choosing a Business Degree?/Top Business School Worth It?
« Reply #96 on: June 28, 2016, 07:34:31 AM »
150 hours: college courses are generally 3 credits for intro courses and 4 for upper level courses. If you take 5 courses per semester and all intro courses your first year, you will have 30 credit hours after your first year. If all of your other courses are upper level, 5 courses per semester @ 4 credit hours times 6 semesters over 3 years, you will have another 120 credit hours, which gets you to 150. Many students today, however, take 5 years to get that many credit hours, so one of the questions you will want to ask the colleges is whether your full ride will cover you through the CPA requirement.

At the Big Four, you will have many opportunities to travel and work in other offices. If you are in tax, you can even work in other countries, preparing returns for executive expats there. I traveled to most of the lower 48 on business during my time at EY. I also spent 2 years working in Minneapolis (one of my best work experiences ever) and commuting home to NJ on weekends, or having DH come out to see me.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 07:40:56 AM by pbkmaine »

katsiki

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1452
  • Age: 39
  • Location: La.
This is somewhat on the tangent of your question, but I thought I would mention it.  Since you're smart and already took some college-credit courses in HS, have you looked into CLEP tests?  You might be able to avoid some basic classes in your first year (if you don't test out through the university's testing).

Joel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 774
  • Location: California
The main reason I say go to the school that the office you want to work for recruits from is because of the interaction they will have with beta alpha psi. I had met most of the ~25 people in each audit practice of the big four in the city I wanted to work in as they spent significant time recruiting at the college I went to.

I'm not saying it's impossible to get a job from a different college, however, your best chance is at whatever office(s) recruits from your college just due to the interactions you will be able to have with them.

I should also mention once you have worked one busy season, you can transfer or do a rotation anywhere in the world. That is one perk of big four compared to regional. I had a standing offer to do a rotation in Dublin Ireland but my wife was unable to get something to work with her company.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 08:24:34 AM by Joel »

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8364
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
The main reason I say go to the school that the office you want to work for recruits from is because of the interaction they will have with beta alpha psi. I had met most of the ~25 people in each audit practice of the big four in the city I wanted to work in as they spent significant time recruiting at the college I went to.

I'm not saying it's impossible to get a job from a different college, however, your best chance is at whatever offic a recruit from your college just due to the interactions you will be able to have with them.

I should also mention once you have worked one busy season, you can transfer or do a rotation anywhere in the world. That is one perk of big four compared to regional. I had a standing offer to do a rotation in Dublin Ireland but My wife was unable to get something to work with her company.

Super good points!