I graduated with a history degree and have had trouble finding a decent job. That was why I enrolled in a masters degree program for accounting. I have completed a semester of accounting classes with good grades. Now I just received a good job offer working for a transportation company. They only required a bachelor's degree and this has me thinking whether I should drop the graduate program or not.

I keep hearing that degrees don't carry much weight anymore. I was only thinking of continuing the accounting masters program just to have it on my resume and to be more employable. But is it worth the extra tuition?

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What would you be doing at the transportation company? What are the chances of promotion? What is the entire career path of this job?

I would be working as a management trainee. I would rise to a manager of an account that pays for our services. Starting salary is 45K which is great for a college grad like me. One downside is that if I really want to rise high in the company, I might have to relocate to another state.

I would stick with the school and the job for now. It is amazing how many people don't make it through those starter management trainee programs.

I would take Shieldes advice. If at all possible take the job and continue the masters in accounting. Many if not all masters programs have tracts that can be done while you are working full time. Find out if the new job will reimburse you for higher education.

It sounds like you have on the rose colored glasses about the new job that would have you as a manager of an account. If everything that everyone was told about a job, before they took the job, was true there would be a lot less unsatisfied employees today. You could get fired, laid off or absolutely hate the job and or the people you work with. Don't think only about the job you could have next month. Think about your future. Someone in the graduate program could be a link to a future great job.

With the degree you have much to gain but not much to lose. You will pay the cost of the classes but you have a good chance of making that back in the future.

Daniel,

If you can swing it, I would continue the graduate program. It is good, in my opinion and experience, to have a "back-up" career. Over the years as an adviser to college students as well as high school students, I've hammered the idea of having alternative means of making a living especially in today's fluid and soft economy. It is not a bad idea, if you have the inclination or not, to acquire a skilled trade certification. My wife and I have had to rely on a secondary career as private instructors of music during lean economic times when we were underemployed. Now, in retirement, our discretionary income for our own "emergencies" (car repair, appliance breakdowns, even helping our grown children's families) comes from our "secondary" career.

Good question and I hope you pursue the graduate program or something that has backup capabilities.

Davis

Accountants seem to have inflated job opportunities locally so it might be worth sticking with.  (It is still impossible to get a straight answer out of one even with a cattleprod though.)  Between accounting and managing, which do you prefer? 

You might want to talk to the Illinois National Guard to see how much of your tuition they will pay.  http://www.il.ngb.army.mil/

Personal opinion:
I would continue with the Accounting program and get your CPA. Why? How many lower and mid-level managers have their CPA? Answer, few. You broaden your horizons with that degree and certification considerably. Too many mangers have to learn 'on-the-job' how to do budgets, balance sheets, and finances and most don't do well at all. And if you want to reach the 'C' level at a company having the certification will most definitely help. I would go for my CPA but I'm short credit hours and don't have time to take additional courses on top of what I already have to take to maintain my certs and obtain others in my career path.

+1 a Master's in Accounting won't count for much, it's true (pun a secondary effect). But a CPA license will count for a lot.

Your thought process is missing a few points.

I will not assume you are a total slacker who just chose some random master’s degree to keep you at school.

First you said your grades were not good in Accounting.  WHY where they not good?

There are two options usually. 

One you approached it as a discipline to learn with discipline in your study habits and use teachers hours extensively and just can’t handle Accounting.

Two, you treated it like your undergrad and kind of worked on the classes but really are not interested.  As you noted you have an undergrad in History not Accounting.

But in your words why where your grades poor? 

Now as to “you don’t need a masters degree”.  That is true to a point.  Personally know of multiple people well qualified that did not have the paper later in their careers and could not advance and where not allowed for selection by HR.  It really sucked, but without that bit of paper, people capped out in there career.  It really depends on the life path you are looking for. 

Your statement about why are going for the degree reveals you need to switch masters to something you have some passion about.  Else you will not have the GPA to land anything.

I said my grades were good. My accounting GPA is currently at 3.75. I've done well in my classes and going to school is something I am good at. I just don't want to go into more student loan debt unless it will be worth it in the long run.

My passion is history, which will lead to nothing. Accounting is alright with me and there are some interesting things about it.

It seems that the general consensus here is to stay with the accounting program while I am working.

Sorry I don't know why I read that as not good.

When I went into college had to passions, history and computers.

I did computer engineering because computers will pay for my history geek, but history will not pay for my computer geek.

I you like Accounting it is a solid career move if you get your CPA licences etc.  Your love of history can be indulged on the side.  But you have to have some interest.  As you said you like some of it, find ways to get more training in those interesting parts.

Long term is it worth the debt?  YES if you maintain your GPA.  No if you can't find a job, the higher your GPA the better.  Also are you at a school that recruits the type of Accountant you wish to be?  Go to your career center and ask them, go to the head of the Accounting department and ask them also.

Sorry I miss-read your initial post. 

I was in a similar boat when I graduated (later in life than you I'm sure) with my BS in Physics with concentrations in CS and Math. I knew I didn't want to be some lab flunky working for peanuts. I had a couple of job offers in Computer Science but I wanted something more than just coding. I looked into the MBA program at a few schools, including my Alma-Mater. I did a cost-benefit analysis and ended up getting my MBA. Although I am not currently working in either concentration (MIS and Marketing) I am working at something I like and I make several times more than I had previously and much more than I would have had I stopped at the BS level. I use much of the training in Logistics, Finance, Accounting, and some small amount of MIS. So, in my case anyway, the benefits far outweighed the total cost even though the cost was significant.

One of the good things about being young is that you can change the direction of your life although sometimes life tends to get in the way a bit and it takes a lot of effort. So I would get the Accounting Masters and your CPA.

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