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MS Taxation or MS Accounting?

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MS Taxation or MS Accounting? [#permalink] New post 18 May 2008, 15:05
Hey everybody, just discovered this site, seems to be a really good resource.

I have a BS in Business Admin Concentration in Finance from SUNY Albany (3.45 GPA)and went straight to St. John's Law School graduated in '07 (3.15) and passed the bar. I'm currently working as an elder law attorney, work is ok but the salary is really low. I mean really low. The job prospects for new attorneys are bleak. I am studying for the GMAT now, and am looking to go to school in NY.

I'm looking to transition to a career with a good salary, job security and to have a job where I'm in demand, as opposed to law. I don't mind long hours I just want to be compensated appropriately. I liked the accounting classes in my undergrad career and enjoyed tax at law school. I can see myself doing either, but I would like to know what most people would recommend given my background. Would I be better served with a MS in Taxation or MS Accounting? What would give me more opportunities and what would make me a more attractive candidate to the Big 4?

Also, from what I've heard these fields aren't as into pedigree and focus as much on where you graduated from as opposed to how well you did. Law is just the opposite. What are people's opinions of Pace, St. John's and Baruch?

I know I've asked a lot thanks for your response.
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Re: MS Taxation or MS Accounting? [#permalink] New post 19 May 2008, 12:55
The MS in tax or the Macc are both good. Both programs will give you the required credits to sit for the CPA exam. With the JD/CPA, you can't go wrong.
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Re: MS Taxation or MS Accounting? [#permalink] New post 20 May 2008, 16:03
From what I understand the MS Taxation would not qualify me for the CPA exam. But I would be able to finish the program in 1 year as opposed to 2 years for the MAcc. So I'm weighing the difference between graduating earlier ( MS Tax) vs. any advantage in salary/job demand and security of having a CPA (MAcc).
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Re: MS Taxation or MS Accounting? [#permalink] New post 21 May 2008, 00:54
I think if you're going to go into law and you're interested in accounting also, you might as well go into tax law. So, get the MS Tax degree. As for not qualifying to take the CPA exam, you can just take some classes at a community college to satisfy your units to sit for the CPA exam.
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Re: MS Taxation or MS Accounting? [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2008, 14:33
There is a big confusion between MS in Accounting vs MS in Taxation.

MS in Accounting is a typical 1 (or 1.5 to 3 yr - depends on undergrad major) year program for 5th year undergrad accounting majors (or other business majors with adequate business core classes on their transcript) in order to satisfy 150-hr CPA examination requirement in various states. (I believe - starting in Aug 2009 - all states in US require this as NY is one of last 2 states to adopt this practice)

MS in Accounting can be pursued by just about anyone. However, if one majored in liberal arts as undergrad, many schools recommend these individuals to pursue MBA in Accounting instead.

MS in Taxation is for current practitioners or undergrad acounting majors mostly. (Yes, they do advertise that they also welcome liberal arts UG majors with zero accounting exp, but this requires an individual to take 10 to 20 extra credits in addition to core Taxation curriculum. Generally, it's not worth it. Probably a J.D. or LLM in Taxation is a better path) Many MS in Taxation programs are for current CPAs in need of additional expertise in this area or undergrad accounting majors interested in this field. (There are exceptions....but this requires one to pursue basic accounting core curriculum before they can even begin MS in Taxation) Therefore, many programs of this nature does not count toward 150 hr CPA REQUIREMENT!!!!!
(Some schools do offer MS in Taxation that satisfies this requirement but they are very few in number + it requires additional accounting courses on top of MS in Taxation curriculum)

If you are interested in pursuing CPA certification, make sure you pursue MS in Accounting degree.
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Re: MS Taxation or MS Accounting?   [#permalink] 27 Dec 2008, 14:33
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