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  1. #1
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    Dec. 4, 2005
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    Default An MBA!?

    Thoughts? I have pretty much decided to go straight into business school after my Bachelors in Accounting (Dec 2014) to earn an MBA with a cognate in Accounting. Somewhere between the Bachelors and that I am going to test for the CMA (Certified Management Accountant, similar to CPA but more geared towards private industry fiscal management/cost accounting).

    I am working as a Fiscal Sup now, hoping to promote to Analyst 3 or 4 (accounting, analysis, budgets,and auditing) next winter.

    This will most likely require debt to the tune of about $30,000 total unless I can really work the scholarships. I have the qualifications for the scholarships but as they are not a done deal I am not counting them

    I want to be a CFO. A rockstar frickin' CFO!
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  2. #2
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    Mar. 22, 2000
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    Default

    As a practicing accountant for nearly 30 years, I'd recommend you get the CPA first, then the CMA. It's worth more and has more credibility. Unless you live in a state that requires public accounting experience before you can obtain a CPA, it is a better route to go.

    Good luck!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Jun. 24, 2005
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    Default

    I think going right into grad school, and keeping the momentum is a good thing. And good for you, hoping you get the grants or scholarships, instead of assuming you'll get them.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  4. #4
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    Jan. 16, 2003
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    Default

    There's a lot of overlap between the MBA material and what's on the CMA test, but since you're going to have your head in a book, and a ton of debt, I'd take the CPA test too. Ultimately, you should try to get both. I got job in private industry right out of school, and was using my CMA, but then ended up switching to public accounting where I needed the CPA more. Then I switched back to industry. The flexibility was very nice.
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?



  5. #5
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    Jan. 11, 2007
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    Massachusetts
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    Default

    You need to get your CPA. (Plus the exams are easier than the CMA). Get your public experience and let one of the companies you work for pay for your MBA. It's not worth it to go into debt when so many companies are willing to pay for your schooling.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
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    Feb. 18, 2001
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    Default

    I would not go into debt for grad school right now. I second those who say to get experience and find a company who will pay for it. Much safer in the long run.



  7. #7
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    Default

    I'm getting experience And, when I get my Bachelors I may get an MBA paid for but I am not counting on it just to be safe. I am not convinced a CPA is something I will need as it tends to be a certification those who have no management experience use and end up failing with when put in supervisory positions. I have no interest being in a back office doing taxes
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  8. #8
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    Apr. 9, 2012
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    Default

    Personally, I would focus on getting into a very strong MBA program, rather than going straight from undergrad. Getting 2-3 years' experience between undergrad and the MBA will make you a stronger MBA candidate and will make you more attractive once you have your MBA. A lot of MBA programs virtually require that experience.

    In my last role, I was routinely involve in the hiring process (finance). With someone coming out of grad school, I expected to see some real-world experience. For a position where experience was not required, I was generally hiring for a very entry-level role where a graduate degree was not a real asset.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  9. #9
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    Mar. 22, 2006
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    Default

    Think very carefully. I finished my BS years ago, just finished my MBA a little over a year ago. I have over a dozen years of good solid work experience and am earning the same amount I was earning prior to my MBA. I now have student loans to payback on the same amount of income. There are days I honestly wished I had never gone to grad school. I did not to goto an online degreemill either, I have a well respected degree. My BS is from a top ten program and my MBA is from a well respected regional university. I have worked for small companies and fortune 200 companies and have a GREAT resume.

    As far as work first or school, I highly recommend working for a few years. I know how much some of my classmates who went straight through struggled, while I felt like I breezed through my master's classes.

    Good luck no matter your choice!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Thanks for the insight, I have been kind of waiting to see if anyone with an MBA would respond

    Part of my reasoning is that I am getting experience now as well as previously for management (I am 41, I have managed restaurants as well as been a sup for Xerox). I will receive my Bachelors in Accounting with over two years Fiscal (accounting, analysis and auditing) experience. I have a clear path in higher ed with just the Bachelors and a CMA cert. I really want to go as big as possible and that MBA combined with my experience will get me there.

    Also, I plan on teaching at the community college level part time at some point and that requires a graduate degree. My "big far off long term dream goal" is to be living in Costa Rica by 65, doing some private accounting and teaching online. One of the instructors at the college I currently work for spends half his year cruising the entire world. He submitted his final grades from Mongolia!
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  11. #11
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    Mar. 22, 2006
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    Ohio!
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    Default

    Think about getting a CFE or some other type of designation. I am currently working in an auditing role and am thinking about sitting for my CFE hoping that will open some more doors for me as I move forward. Big plus, I think I can get my employer to pay for the exam. About half of my MBA was paid for by prior employers, I'd hate to think where I would be otherwise. The economy SUCKS, just remember that as you plan.



  12. #12
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    Dec. 4, 2005
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    Default

    If I do the CFE it will be after my MBA. My very first ACCT prof is a CFE, I was very impressed with that!

    I am going to do the CMA right after I get the Bachelors, I have already joined IMA and am actively attending functions, etc.

    I feel very blessed by how my career and employment has improved so much in this economy! You could always move out here to WA, Amazon and Microsoft are always looking for experienced talent.
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
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    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
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    Default

    I think that it's true that MBAs with work experience do tend to make more attractive candidates for senior roles in most industries. I got my degree going to grad school at night, after work, about ten years after I got my BA. Having that much real world experience made me a better grad student, no doubt, and it helped me select my coursework in a way that made it more applicable to the work I wanted to do. I am now a CEO, and love what I do, but I will tell you that getting the MBA was not what made my qualified for the job I do; it was the work I did learning my industry inside and out that really made the difference.

    You might look at a few of the companies you are interested in to see what sort of profiles their current CFOs have; this is easy to do through tools like Linkedin if their CVs are not on the company website(s). That will tell you a lot about what sort of background it typically takes to land the role you are ultimately looking for.

    Most C-suite jobs come about through networking and raising one's profile within a specific industry, particularly these days, when there are an awful lot of talented, experienced people looking for jobs and competing for those top positions. If what you have so far is solid but unexceptional experience - meaning some time in management roles, and a decent degree - it can help to volunteer at an industry trade group, do some speaking engagements at conferences, and/or publish some articles in your area of expertise.

    I would certainly never discourage someone from getting an MBA, but I would definitely think long and hard about taking on that kind of debt, even for higher education. There are still a lot of companies who will subsidize tuition for valued employees, and finding a situation like that would allow you to pursue your degree while continuing to progress up the career ladder at the same time. (Yes, it's a lot of work to do both at once - but lots and lots of people do it.)

    Good luck!
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  14. #14
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    May. 26, 2011
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    Default

    In my opinion, an MBA on top of a BA with no work experience in between is of not much value. When I was hiring for a consulting company, the kids that did that pretty much got paid what the kids with the BA got paid.
    "I couldn't find my keys, so I put her in the trunk"



  15. #15
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    Default

    Who said anything about a BA?


    Are you thinking a Bachelor's in Business Administration?


    My degree, the Bachelor's, is in Accounting. Accounting is a very specialized and growing career field. It is not a general business degree.

    Getting an MBA with a concentration or cognate in Accounting opens many doors, not the least being able to teach at a community college.
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  16. #16
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    Jul. 10, 2009
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    Ohio
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by twotrudoc View Post
    Who said anything about a BA?


    Are you thinking a Bachelor's in Business Administration?
    I think FitToBeTied is using "BA" to refer to Bachelor of Arts, as a general undergraduate degree. (Instead of a BS for Bachelor of Science or the MBA programs you're discussing)


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
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    Dec. 4, 2005
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    Default

    Ah, makes sense. Thanks

    No, I can't say as I would be spending all this money and time at age 41 on a gen ed degree LOL!!
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  18. #18
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    Sep. 26, 2010
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    Default

    I have several relatives who went to Harvard Business School and they said it's extremely rare to find people who went straight through. In most cases people got several years of work experience first and then went for an MBA.

    If you want to get into a top MBA program, work for a few years first. If you do well, then as others have said, your company might pay for it. I have a couple of colleagues at work who are doing just that. Why go into debt if you don't have to?



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
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    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by twotrudoc View Post
    Who said anything about a BA?


    Are you thinking a Bachelor's in Business Administration?


    My degree, the Bachelor's, is in Accounting. Accounting is a very specialized and growing career field. It is not a general business degree.

    Getting an MBA with a concentration or cognate in Accounting opens many doors, not the least being able to teach at a community college.
    I know you don't want to hear this, but I agree with FitToBeTied, and have had the same experience. When hiring into the companies I have worked at, the newly minted MBAs who had gone to grad school right after college (regardless of what flavor of BA/BS they had) they generally got paid the same as the ones we hired straight out of college.

    I have taught at the college level, and it's true that you do need a graduate degree for that. So if that is your ultimate goal, it may well make sense to pursue the MBA from that perspective... just be aware of what it pays, compared to what that degree costs. Clearly it's a very individual decision.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  20. #20
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    Dec. 4, 2005
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    Default

    While I am really, really appreciative of thoughts and opinions, folks please, please read the part where it says

    "I am working as a Fiscal Sup now, hoping to promote to Analyst 3 or 4 (accounting, analysis, budgets,and auditing) next winter.
    "

    And

    "Part of my reasoning is that I am getting experience now as well as previously for management (I am 41, I have managed restaurants as well as been a sup for Xerox). I will receive my Bachelors in Accounting with over two years Fiscal (accounting, analysis and auditing) experience. I have a clear path in higher ed with just the Bachelors and a CMA cert. I really want to go as big as possible and that MBA combined with my experience will get me there."

    I am not a 22 year old with no experience. I am currently managing the cashiers and accounts receivables for my employer as well as doing accounting and I spent many years as a nationally ranked top ten supervisor for a Fortune 500 providing service to another Fortune 500.

    I really, really welcome opinion and insight, especially from those who actually have an MBA, are an exec, are an accountant, or are relatively familiar with the meaning of various degrees.
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



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