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. How did the PCS accounting course prepare you? 

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 then someone who just has a bachelors. In the last few years, the Big 4 have started paying higher entry level salaries to new hires with a masters.

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 for 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 potentialto 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 FDU/PCS M.S. In accounting since 2005. With graduates in the top national firms, PCS maintains an over 90 percent placement rate. For more information: [email protected] or 732-905-9700 x 665

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  1. I’m a practicing CPA for past 22 years and the article author makes great and valid points.
    I do not have a Masters and did work at Big 4 for many years. Just saying that it’s also possible without a masters. In fact PWC initiated and paid for me to go partway thru my online tax masters, which I only stopped when I left to open my own practice.

    Also – liking numbers or being good with numbers is a false outdated myth. CPA profession is so broad now with so many variant lines of service. Even in hardcore tax, albeit tax returns report numbers, one doesn’t need to be good with or enjoy numbers. All calcs and tax prep are done on software and calculators.
    For tax, just strong gnars-learning like analysis ability and aptitude helps greatly.

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