re-entry student, how to put on resume
September 18, 2023 5:56 AM   Subscribe

Tangentially related to my last question about redoing my resume

So I am re-vamping my resume per the advice I was given in my last question and input from a former colleague in my industry.

But here's a wrinkle. I've worked in accounting the past ten years and want to stay there. I have a BA in film from 16 years ago. I have had a gut feeling for a while that I am getting screened out of jobs that have "do you have a degree in accounting" as a screening question because I have to answer "no" despite being in a job currently that requires me to do work that someone with an advanced accounting degree would do.

I was recently accepted into a competency-based degree program in accounting (from a brick and mortar non-profit school with an online program, so not a degree mill) that, based on my work experience, some one-off accounting courses I have taken, and my original BA, allows me to test out of all of the gen ed requirements and almost all of the 100 level classes and several of the more advanced classes. Given all of this, I am on track to graduate with a bachelor's in accounting next year. I start this program in a month.

How should I put this on my resume with my other education? Right now I have:

BS in Accounting, School Name, 2024 (expected)
Certificate in Accounting, Different School Name, 2017
BA in Film Studies, Another Different School Name, 2007

Does this seem ok or is it weird? I could pull the certificate out and not be too fussed about that. I'd feel weird pulling out the original BA in Film because ANOTHER common screening question on job applications is "do you have a Bachelor's degree" and I don't want to get screened out by saying no to that because it's not true!

(I want to clarify that I am pursuing a BS in Accounting also to tick the box so that I would be eligible for CMA certification, which requires an accounting degree. I hit all of the requirements to sit for the exam currently EXCEPT for that, and after politely inquiring the governing board for that certification I was told that they do not make exceptions for that prerequisite regardless of work experience.)

posted by nayantara to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In that third line, I would just put BA from other school name/year. Don't bother to indicate your original major on the resume. You can explain the whole thing in interviews.
posted by ojocaliente at 6:31 AM on September 18 [6 favorites]

College seniors on LinkedIn write "expected graduation 2024," to indicate that they'll be done soon. I don't see why you wouldn't do the same.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:40 AM on September 18

Agree that I would remove that it's in film unless you're going for a job that is specifically in that industry (where a demonstrated interest would be a positive).

Generally, if they're looking for an accounting degree, and they're rigid about that, they may not be okay with you having an accounting degree "in progress". However, I still think that how you have it laid out here is the best way to do it.

I have also seen:

B.S. in Accounting, School Name, In Progress (expected 2024)

Something like this is very common in my field (law) because many hire before graduation. It's very reasonable as long as it's clear you don't yet have the degree.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 7:20 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Are you sure the accounting BS is relevant while it's still in progress? You still can't sit the exam until you've completed the BS, right? If an employer is looking to hire someone eligible for CMA certification, they are probably *not* interested in someone who will only be eligible for CMA certification 6-14 months from now. The accounting BS is important to your overall career progress but it's probably not that important to your current job hunt.

That said, if you want to include it, the way you have it is fine but I'd include the month for the in-progress BS (BS in Accounting, School Name (expected May 2024)). You could also leave off the dates for the older BA and certificate if you want (lots of people do this to avoid revealing their age).
posted by mskyle at 7:46 AM on September 18 [3 favorites]

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