Deciding whether a Master of Accountancy is right for you

In deciding whether or not a master in accounting is the right educational journey for you to embark upon, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions:

*Does the magic of numbers excite you and do you have a love of mathematical computations?
*Do tax laws and regulatory legislation tickle your fancy?
*Are you a logical and analytical thinker?
*Are you motivated by the prospect of working intensified hours during tax seasons?

If the answer to any of the above questions is no, chances are a masters of accounting is the wrong path to take. However, if you’ve answered these questions with a resounding yes, perhaps you’ll want to explore this educational path a little deeper.

Applicants to masters of accounting programs are usually required to have completed a well-rounded undergraduate program that emphasized accounting and finances because this will have provided the foundational knowledge needed to continue on the graduate level. If you haven’t done any of this coursework, you’ll be obligated to take pre-requisites (courses that are usually non-credit earning towards the degree) before you’ll be admitted to the program.

Your master degree program will be highly concentrated in financial and managerial accounting, taxation, budgeting, analysis and reporting. There are three primary concentrations for the accounting field to choose from: Certified public accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

It’s a good idea to evaluate your personal attributes when making this decision. The accountant will be expected to deal with stress, able to work diligently, with accuracy and have good computer skills. Long gone are the days of pencil ledgering as the modern accountant works in a software environment.

Contrary to stereotypes that portray the accountant as being locked in a room with pencils and ledgers, today’s accountant must be people-oriented. Strong communication skills are an essential because you’ll be working with people as individuals, businesses and perhaps government agencies too.

Accounting is a focused field and there are a few avenues to choose from in terms of the accounting spectrum, but if you find that this career might be “too limiting” in terms of work options, you might find this isn’t for you.

If you find that while accounting does interest you and still ignites a fire, you want to try a broader business education that teaches accounting and other disciplines. If that’s the case, a masters of business administration programs (MBA) offers a well-rounded business education and does offer concentrations in accounting.

It takes a special dedication to pursue a master of accounting and a definite field that is forecasted to expand in the future. When making the decision whether to pursue this avenue, it’s important to look at it from all aspects because this is a highly specialized degree that will not be as flexible in other career areas should you change your mind about job options.