Any Accounting Majors Still Working in the Profession?

Updated on March 21, 2011
M.T. asks from Keller, TX
6 answers

I'm currently back in school to get my Accounting degree. Wondering if it's worth the money to also get my Masters to be a CPA as well. I notice most Cost Accountants or Staff Accountants can get jobs ranging $50K - $80K with just a Bachelors.

Just curious in knowing if that is a true salary range and how other moms in this field like it. When I finish, my kids will all be middle school and up and I will be able to return to work to start helping on college for the kids.

Also, after you finished school were you thoroughly prepared for working in the field? Easy, a challenge or difficult????

Thanks for all responses.

M. T

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answers from Los Angeles on

I got my BBA in Accounting in 1995, and passed the CPA exam in 1996. I was licensed before most states adopted the Masters requirement. I worked in public accounting until 2001, and then followed one of my managers to an insurance company. I don't actually work in the accounting department now, I'm kind of a hybrid accounting/finance/management reporting position. What I like about it is that I don't have a busy season. If you're in public or private accounting, with most positions you'll have some sort of overtime, whether it's Jan-Apr in public or for the monthly, quarterly, annual close at a private company. I did think I was prepared for starting out as a public accounting grunt; I learned a lot those first five years.

My ex-husband also got a degree in Accounting, and he never got his CPA. I outearned him for quite a while, but he's caught up to me in the last few years. He works for a large public company and never worked for an accounting firm. He does work some overtime during audits and the quarterly close.

The salary range you posted can be accurate, but it also depends on where you work. It's going to be higher for larger companies in larger cities than smaller companies in smaller cities.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

In order to get the best jobs and financial rewards in accounting, you need to get a CPA certificate, which requires 150 college hours of accounting and passing the test, so you might as well enroll for your Masters degree. This would put you in a better position of saving for and cash-flowing your kids' college expenses.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I only have my Bachelors in Accounting and it's the best thing I ever did. I got it in 1999 so things have changed but I love it! I do not have my CPA license but I could take it (again) since I am grandfathered into the old rules of not needing a masters. You can get all sorts of jobs w/only your bachelors degree. I have found employers love 'experience' which you will not have of course. You will have to start out low on the totem pole but even then you probably will not make less than 40K at staff level. Your first job is truly your learning experience and that's it. I didn't know SQUAT when getting out of college and I don't know that a masters would do much different. College prepares you for work, but your job is what shows you real life scenarios and you learn there. Once you get your first job and you get some time/experience under your belt, THAT is when you can start asking for more money. If you have the time to get your masters, go for it, it definitely wouldn't hurt and you can take the CPA later. If you are completely fine w/out it, then I wouldn't worry about it. I was hired straight out of college making about $36K (in '99) and for the last 5-8 yrs I haven't made less than $55K. I could have made more but I choose low stress jobs which honestly don't pay as much as the ones where you have to REALLY apply yourself and I've had to change jobs due to moving so the 'raises' couldn't continue. It is my choice and I'm fine w/that. I have a family and I don't want to make my job my #1 issue. Your first job should be with a company that is organized and big enough where there will be guidance so you don't feel lost. Training is key and any good company will provide that for you. Once you've been in the field for a while some companies just hire you and leave you alone, THAT'S when you hope you know enough to get by. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

There are also CPA exams to take and pass (4 I believe) in order to be a certified CPA. Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

My hubby graduated in Dec 09 with an accounting degree and still looking for a JOB! Entry level accounting jobs are very hard to come by. His biggest mistake was not doing an internship. Instead of going to school another semester, he opted to do 18 credit hours with 2 grad classes to finish sooner, but def did not help in the long run. So any accounting M.'s in the Dallas area have any connections please let me know!!!



answers from St. Louis on

our niece went thru Univ. of Phoenix....& is happily employed in a firm. Not working on her Masters....because she's working on Baby Surprise #2 which is due just 13 months after Baby Surprise #1......& she has a 10y.o. & a 12y.o. Yikes!

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