If you are pursuing a career in accounting, you may often be confused between getting a master's degree and getting a CPA certification/licence. This article will help you understand the benefits of each and make an effective decision.
Why should you get a Master's Degree?
1. In the one/two years of your master's degree in accounting and taxation, you will receive a more well-rounded education with a broader understanding of the field.
You will gain comprehension of the subject in a manner that will be relevant to the rest of your career. Even when you look at it from a practical viewpoint, it has been observed that employers are more likely to offer higher salaries to potential employees with a master's degree.
2. You will be exposed to a plethora of networking opportunities if you pursue an on-campus master's degree.
You will be surrounded by several other students who are pursuing career opportunities in the same field as you, which can be very valuable. These students may turn out to be people you will work with in the future.
You will also have opportunities to build relationships with your professors, which can, in turn, help you earn recommendations when you apply for jobs in a niche area.
3. If you have a master's degree, it will stay with you for life, without you having to appear for any continuing exams in order to renew it, as opposed to CPA, in which you keep your license active with fees and 40 hours of CPE courses every year.
Why should you become a CPA?
1. You can manage to take the CPA Exam and pass it while juggling a demanding full-time job. Yes, most candidates do it. If you are committed enough, you can complete the whole process within 6-12 months.
The exam is known for the width of the content that is tested on the exam, but the fact is, it only touches upon the "surface" of each topic. As compared to a master's degree, there is a lot less studying you have to do.
2. Of a master's degree and a CPA certification, CPA is a lot cheaper. Of course, taking the CPA exam isn't cheap, but the total cost you will incur in obtaining the certification is considered a much better ROI for a lot of accounting professionals.
3. In certain industries, having a CPA License is compulsory while having a master's degree is not. For example, you must have a CPA license in order to move to senior finance positions in big companies.
Can I Do Both?
If you can afford the time and money for both, you must go for it. A lot of state boards have moved towards the minimum of 150 credit hour rule under the Uniform Accountancy Act, thus making a master's degree in accounting a prerequisite for many CPA candidates.
But the answer to this question boils down to which direction you want to drive your career into in the long run.
Hope the above article is helpful to you. If you have any queries, feel free to comment in the section below. Happy Learning!
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