Masters of Business Administration vs Masters of Science in Accounting
This article is geared towards the choice of a graduate degree for aspiring CPAs, Certified Public Accountants. One of the most common questions that I get from aspiring CPAs and finance professionals whether to enroll in a MBA or a MSA degree. Each degree can help you advance our career goals, but you want to carefully consider how each degree can help you before enrolling. There are benefits to both of these graduate programs, but the ultimate choice will depend on your undergraduate experience and future plans.
Why choose a Masters of Business Administration?
For a CPA, the MBA degree can be an effective tool for climbing up the ranks with your accounting firm. If your undergrad major was accounting, the MBA degree can make your resume look more diverse and shows you have the basic knowledge of business management. It is especially impressive to employers if your MBA was obtained from a top ranked university. In addition, MBA programs are great for networking, a benefit that can provide exclusive employment opportunities later in life.
You should pursue the MBA if you meet the following criteria:
- Your undergraduate major was in accountancy, or you already meet the accounting credits requirement to sit for the CPA exam (24 semester hours in most states).
- You have a desire to move into a management or a supervisorial position.
- Your GPA and GMAT scores are high enough to enroll in a well respected university with highly successful alumni.
Why choose a Master of Science in Accounting?
The MSA is an excellent degree if you undergrad major did not provide the credit hours for the CPA exam. Most MSA programs are 30 semester hours long, which is more than enough to meet the CPA education requirements. In addition, the tuition is generally less expensive than an MBA program. Also, if you desire to teach someday or simply want to learn more about the core principles of accounting, the MSA might be for you.
You should pursue a MS Accounting if you meet the following criteria:
- Your undergraduate major was NOT in accountancy, and you still need credits to sit for the CPA exam.
- You are looking for the fastest and least expensive graduate degree
- You are interested in learning more about theoretical and technical aspects of accountancy.
Learn More about MBA vs MSA
We hope you learned more about the benefits of MBA and MS Accounting