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2 years at Albany or 1 year at UNC?

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2 years at Albany or 1 year at UNC? [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2010, 17:30
I'm applying for Masters of Accounting programs next year. These two are my top choices- especially since I'm not an accounting major.
I'm trying to decide which program would be better.

UNC-Chapel Hill
PROS
Only one year long. (Would start working sooner)
Greater prestige than Albany
Close to UG.
Program has an abroad program which is appealing. (MAC Global Immersion Elective)
Program designed for non-accounting majors.
More debt.
Closer to GF (but anything can happen in a year..)

CONS
Duke fan and Duke student.
Want to work in NY
Expensive.. likely would be in debt.


Albany
PROS
In-state resident.
Very cheap.
Close to home.
Prepares people for New York CPA exam well.
Despite UNC being more well-known, Albany seems to do equally well in terms of job placement.
Program designed for non-accounting majors.
Despite two year program, Albany has an internship period while UNC doesn't.
Less debt.

CONS
Two years long. (Not working as a CPA soon enough.)
Not as prestigious as UNC.
Would be farther from my GF (but anything can happen in a year...)

Thoughts?
Also are there any other programs you would recommend?
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Re: 2 years at Albany or 1 year at UNC? [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2010, 09:05
Any takers?
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Re: 2 years at Albany or 1 year at UNC? [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2010, 17:33
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I am assuming that you are a Duke student and you are a Duke fan. As a result, attending your arch rival UNC is almost unthinkable. Well, how can you add that to a factor? It's great that you are a passionate Duke grad and you value the tradition, including the Duke-UNC rivalry. But we are talking about your career and your future here. I don't think Duke or the members of the Duke community is going to personally hold anything against you if you choose to attend UNC because it would give you a better opportunity to start your career.

Secondly, working in NY has its pluses and minuses. I worked at a Big 4 firm in NYC before entering bschool. I've met UNC Chapel Hill grads and depending on your situation (and the firm's recruiting quota), you can attend the school in NC and still find employment in NYC. In fact, at top accounting schools, Big 4 firms do offer that flexibility.

Also, I did not meet that many SUNY Albany grads in NYC office of the Big 4 firm that I worked for. Not really sure what their recruiting rep is with Big 4 and other mid size firms. In fact, due to recent change in CPA requirement in NY State, Big 4 shifted their recruiting policy to a degree.

I see it this way. Your biggest argument against attending UNC is its cost. But UNC is designed for non accounting undergrad majors and it is shorter than SUNY Albany. Any difference in tuition is going to be offset by the salary that you will earn one year early by graduating sooner.

In addition, UNC is a top accounting program with superb rep amongst the Big 4 recruiters. That means that in addition to typical audit, and tax jobs, they will recruit for advisory positions as well. It means more opportunities for you in the near future, not just long term.

When in doubt, just go to the school with the best reputation unless you have specific reasons to do otherwise. Everything else will work out sooner or later.

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Re: 2 years at Albany or 1 year at UNC? [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2010, 18:53
Thanks nink!
Yes, cost is one of my biggest concerns.
However, I've heard that UNC places very well, so unemployment will probably not be an issue.
Everything I've read about it's accounting program indicates that it's a great fit for me.
Re: 2 years at Albany or 1 year at UNC?   [#permalink] 09 Jun 2010, 18:53
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