Is it worth getting a CPA 15 years out of college?
October 13, 2004 10:52 AM   Subscribe

Career Advice Filter: Is it worth it to get a CPA 15 years out of college? [more inside}

First, some background. I started my career in investment banking out of college in 1989, moved to technology in 1994, learned how to program, became a techie and moved to management. By the end of the decade, the dotcom boom was in full swing, and had done pretty well for myself, and started my own business (a small but reasonably successful professional services/design firm). Having done this for a few years now, I feel kind of topped out, and looking to go back to the corporate side.

Given a lot of my early background was in finance, and have some classroom training in accounting -- something that I have always enjoyed while running the books at my current company -- I thought getting a CPA might be the way to go to add some grit back to my resume and become attractive to larger corporations again, or at the very least have in my back pocket in case everything else I do gets offshored to India.

Is it worth it? Any CPAs out there willing to comment? How long a course of study is it before one can comfortably take the exam? Is there still a 2 year committment to work at a public acctg firm? Would it be awkward to have a junior accountant in his late 30s working with the kids out of school? Anything else I need to think of?

Thanks in advance!
posted by psmealey to Work & Money (2 answers total)
 
I think that the 2-year requirement (and the education requirement) is (are) now inescapable. Here's the state-by-state data.

If you want to do financial statement analysis, rather than traditional accounting, you may wish to consider the CFA, which will take you three years.
posted by Kwantsar at 11:16 AM on October 13, 2004


If a CPA takes two years, you may want to consider an MBA instead. The MBA will open lots of corporate doors without limiting you to accounting.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:25 PM on October 13, 2004


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