My Nontraditional Path into the Accounting Field

by Eric Demske on May 26, 2015
My Nontraditional Path into the Accounting Field

With the 2015 Graduate Commencement ceremony in the books, my experience at Niagara University is officially complete. I am very excited to share my graduate school experience because it was anything but typical. Despite taking a nontraditional route to obtain my master’s, I can confidently say that my decision to enroll in graduate school will have a lifelong impact on my career.

I describe my experience as nontraditional because I decided to pursue my master’s degree in a field that was entirely unrelated to my undergraduate degree. As with many students, I did not know exactly what I wanted to do for my career when I entered into my undergraduate program.

Based on some interests I developed in high school, I decided to enroll into a program in the arts. During the last year of my undergraduate program, I began to ask myself, “What are the most important factors that I need in my career?” Two of the biggest considerations that came to mind were job security and significant potential for job growth, both of which I felt were lacking in my current field of study.

Keeping this in mind, I decided to use my remaining free electives as an opportunity to explore other areas. The course that stood out the most was an introductory accounting class. Having absolutely no prior accounting background, I quickly became intrigued once I developed an understanding for the significance of the accounting profession. Coupling that with the fact that the accounting industry contains a countless number of job opportunities as well as limitless potential for growth, it seemed as though accounting would be the perfect fit. However, given that it was the last year of my undergraduate program and that it was too late to change my major, I feared that the door to enter into the accounting field might have closed.

After doing some research, I discovered Niagara University’s MBA in Professional Accountancy (MBAPA) program. I was thrilled to find out that completing the MBAPA program qualifies students from any undergraduate discipline to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. I then realized that the door into the accounting profession was not closed; rather, it was wide open.

I quickly applied and started the program immediately following the completion of my undergraduate degree. At the start of my first semester, I was a little apprehensive because I was entering into the program with very limited business knowledge. The great news is that the program contains a series of prerequisite courses that are designed for students that do not have a business background. After completing a couple of these courses, my concerns vanished and I felt that I was right where I belonged.

Now that I have completed Niagara University’s MBAPA program, I can look back and safely say that my experience was life-changing for two main reasons:

  • First, students receive an education that provides the necessary tools and knowledge to prepare themselves for a career in accounting. This is evidenced by the fact that I was able to pass all four parts of the CPA exam on my first attempt.
  • Second, Niagara University provides students with invaluable outlets to connect with national, regional and local accounting firms. The university holds several on-campus recruiting events including the Meet the Accountants and Finance Professionals Night that takes place every September. My affiliation with Niagara University allowed me to connect with various companies and even led to me getting a full-time job offer prior to completing my degree!

Just a few short years ago, I was uncertain of what I was going to do with my life. Now, thanks to Niagara University, I am very confident that I am on the path to having a successful career.

I encourage anyone that is still unsure of their career path to look into Niagara University’s graduate programs as they can open doors that you might not even know exist!

For more information about Niagara's MBA, please email or call 716.286.8596!

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