Help me navigate choosing a business concentration?
October 26, 2010 7:28 PM   Subscribe

I'm in business school and as I progress, my ideas of what I wanted to do have changed. Accounting/Finance now sound kind of interesting. Any advice?

I'm a non-traditional student (26, married, toddler and 7 months pregnant) who recently graduated from community college. I'm going to Salem State University here in MA currently. I got laid off from an operations/dispatch job with a lot of events management involved, so when I went back to school, I was really interested in the school's Hospitality Management concentration. I figured with that, I could try to get back into a similar job and advance to a higher level, since I have plenty of operations/event/dispatch experience. However, once told that I needed to do an internship, I could not think of one company I could intern for that would fit under the Hospitality umbrella. Regular management is certainly an option, as well.

I have about half a dozen classes left before picking a concentration would need to be done. As I progress, it seems like the classes I'm doing great in (especially compared to students around me) are accounting and finance classes, which comes as somewhat of a surprise as someone who hated math in high school. Hell, I even aced statistics last spring. The accounting professors here are pretty good at selling their profession, and it seems more and more interesting to me especially as far as career possibilities are concerned. I could see myself doing tax work, for sure.

I know I'm not exactly going to a prestigious school, but it's pretty much a choice between this local state university or no school at all as far as finances and family logistics go. My GPA was 3.5 at community college, and I expect to make Dean's list here this semester, so at least I've got that going for me.

I guess my question is mostly for accountants/finance/CPA/tax people, if you're out there - what's it like? If I work in taxes, I know I'd have to do some long hours during tax season, but in the off-season, would I be able to spend a good amount of time with my kids? Is it reasonable to think I could get an accounting-based job, preferably at a tax firm, out of state university without prior accounting experience? I won't be graduating until either spring or fall of 2012. I have the choice between finance, accounting, or a finance/accounting hybrid concentration if I decide to go this route.

Thanks, y'all.
posted by kpht to Education (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There are TONS of different jobs you can do in the accounting field that aren't specifically tied to taxes.

I graduated with a degree in finance in May and most of the jobs I've been applying to are finance focused but the job requirements almost always say, "Bachelors degree in Finance or Accounting." My guess is that, if you know the accounting, they'll teach you the finance and vice versa.

Most of the jobs are office based but beyond that, the amount of variety you'll find is astounding.

I remember one of my corporate finance professors saying that good corporate tax people always have a job.
posted by VTX at 7:41 PM on October 26, 2010

Best answer: I fell into accounting/finance about a decade ago now. There are a plethora of jobs you can do. Right now I'm an accounting manager for a non-profit. I don't have a BA yet, but if I did, it would have made it much easier to start out. In my experience, outside of some very competitive audit firms, where your degree is from really doesn't matter much at all.

I haven't worked in tax, the hugely long hours required when I looked into it weren't for me. I have found that having a good understanding of accounting has made it possible for me to get jobs no matter where I've moved.
posted by Zophi at 9:10 PM on October 26, 2010

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