Accounting: Is a Master’s Degree worth It?

[COMMUNICATED] Q and A with Neal Granick, Tax Manager at Deloitte and PCS M.S. in Accounting Graduate

 Q: Tell us about your current position.

A: I am a tax manager for Deloitte in the Parsippany office; I’ve been here for six years. I started with individual tax returns. I currently do real estate and private equity investor reporting.

The PCS accounting program is amazing; I highly recommend it. It’s a great education in a short amount of time. The rigorous course sets you up for the CPA exam and gives you the knowledge to really succeed in the field.

When I began working, I felt like I had an advantage over the other entry-level accountants, even the ones from big-name universities. They didn’t have the same technical knowledge and professionalism. The PCS program really prepares its students for the accounting landscape.

Q: What is the advantage of a master’s degree over a bachelor’s?

A: A master’s degree really gives one a leg up over other entry-level candidates in the job hunt. So when you’re competing for an entry-level position, or really any position for that matter, you look better than someone who just has a bachelor’s. In the last few years, the Big 4 have started paying higher entry-level salaries to new hires with a master’s.

Additionally, it really is a different level of education and prepares you much better technically for the job you will be required to do.

Q: Can you tell us about the current job market? How did PCS help you find your first job?

A: The current job market is very hot, specifically after the new tax law was passed. All the firms are hiring aggressively. Everyone is looking for qualified candidates; there’s a shortage of good employees. It’s an employee’s market.

PCS helped me get my job. They set me up with an internship in a small mom-and-pop shop in Bayside NY; that was my first experience in public accounting. I worked there for a year. My boss there had contacts at Deloitte and got me in. It can be hard to get into the big 4 straight out of college; PCS has contacts to get its graduates in.

Q: For whom would you recommend the field of accounting?

A: I recommend it to anyone who thinks that it is interesting. It’s a great choice for anyone who likes numbers.

Accounting is a great field. There is a lot of potential to make a lot of money in the long run- either as making partner in public, or opening your own business.

Q: Please tell us about some of the opportunities within accounting:

A: Really, it’s endless. There’s tax, consulting, audit, mergers, and acquisitions.

From auditing, you can learn the ins and outs of a company; you can really learn how to run a business and what makes a business successful. And from there you can do anything- you can become a controller, CFO, or even CEO.

A lot of successful businessmen have accounting backgrounds.

PCS is a non-profit division of Agudath Israel of America, has been running the Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU)/PCS M.S. in accounting since 2005. With graduates in the top national firms, PCS maintains a 95 percent placement rate.

For more information: Men: [email protected] or 732-905-9700 x 630

Women: [email protected] or 732-367-1500



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