Obtaining An Accounting Degree
Q: I am working on an accounting degree, but will be a month away from 34 years
old when I complete it. After finishing high school, I had no direction and
did not go on to college. Now, all I've got is a loser's job as a dairy
clerk in a grocery store. Approximately 100% of all internet ads and
newspaper ads have jobs listed that require 1-3 years' experience even for
an accounts payable/receivable position. I've read that obtaining an
internship is the best way to go to help in getting that first real job.
The problem with me is that I can't just quit my full-time job and get a
temporary internship and pay the bills. Since internships are out and there
is practically nowhere to get a job without experience, I assume that the
money going into this education is probably doing no more good than putting
it in a shredder. ($183 per semester hour) With all of the competition from
the traditional 22-23 year old college grads with the internship experience,
what kind of chance is there? I will finish the degree since I already have
103 hours in, but since I can't work only part time to get experience while
attending school, it seems a waste of time.
A:Adjust your attitude toward the positive side. Volunteer to help with the accounting work at the grocery store where you are currently managing the dairy activities. The store's owner will likely welcome your help doing accounting considering your initiative to do the accouting school. In a short time your years of experience in the grocery business with your current position as accounting assistant will appear as significant experience. Congratulations on sticking with you desire to obtain your accounting degree. Several of the responses to your posting have indicated it may be tough getting an entry level job at your age. I work for a Big 5 accounting firm and have recently worked with 4 people who are the "atypical" students. One of the ladies was 41, another we just hired is in her 50's, another gentleman was in his mid-40's and another one was 31. All of these people were at the entry level positions. If you have the desire to go into public accounting, and you have the necessary grades and activities, any of the firms would welcome you with open arms. Overall, the public accounting industry has seen a decline in the number of applicants for entry level position. Additionally, the market is ripe for those wanting to leave public accounting and go into industry. A person with your work experience and maturity will be looked upon favorably. Also, I understand the grocery business is somewhat specialized and requires a good deal of knowledge to effectively communicate and understand the business.....something the accounting firms are looking for (i.e., business advisors). I say "Keep the chin up" because you will succeed.
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