Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

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Which one will you choose?

 
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jin
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Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby jin » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:07 am

You can only choose one, which one will you choose?
Assume this person just graduated from undergrad and has a family to raise.


1. Go straight to the law school 3yrs, top 50-100.

2. Get an 1yr MBA from a regional school (Ranked 150), and apply for better law school later, top 14.

3. Go straight to 1.5yrs MAcc (CPA) program in top 10 and find a job immediately. Go to law school later.

4. Take a year off. Working part-time and studying for LSAT for better chances.
Last edited by jin on Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:35 am, edited 6 times in total.

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trc332
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Re: Which one will you choose- J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby trc332 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:12 am

I guess I have the deciding vote so far. I am a little biased since I am currently finishing my MSA, but if your not dead set on starting law school right now you can gain so good work experience with one of the Big 4. I will be working in one of their legal groups again next year, and I really like it and the pay for specialty groups isn't bad (75+ first year out).

jin
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Re: Which one will you choose- J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby jin » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:21 am

trc332 wrote:I guess I have the deciding vote so far. I am a little biased since I am currently finishing my MSA, but if your not dead set on starting law school right now you can gain so good work experience with one of the Big 4. I will be working in one of their legal groups again next year, and I really like it and the pay for specialty groups isn't bad (75+ first year out).


Is MSA an Accounting degree?

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BrianGriffintheDog
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Re: J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA Choose one!

Postby BrianGriffintheDog » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:25 am

what were your majors in ur undergrad if you don't mind me asking


I'm just curious 'cause I'm an Arts student and have no background in business fields. BUT my university offers a masters program in professional accounting and management for specifically arts students.

jin
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Re: J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA Choose one!

Postby jin » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:28 am

BrianGriffintheDog wrote:what were your majors in ur undergrad if you don't mind me asking


I'm just curious 'cause I'm an Arts student and have no background in business fields. BUT my university offers a masters program in professional accounting and management for specifically arts students.


I am major in Business Management. Why do you think I should get an accounting degree over other options?

jin
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby jin » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:41 am

?

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jacktripper
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby jacktripper » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:48 am

I voted for the accounting because it seems like the best bet for several reasons.
1) time spent earning the degree is shorter relative to the other programs.
2) I assume there is less money spent on accounting degree.
3) from what I hear the accounting degree can be boring work, but is not that tough compared to the others.
Overall, I see the accounting degree as the best short term investment. From what I've heard the salaries peak after a few years. At that point, a few years down the line, you might consider doing a J.D. or MBA if they seem like good investments. Just my two cents.

edit: there is other information, such as your LSAT, GPA, GMAT, that might change my analysis, but for now the accounting seems like the best choice to me.

jin
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby jin » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:11 am

jacktripper wrote:I voted for the accounting because it seems like the best bet for several reasons.
1) time spent earning the degree is shorter relative to the other programs.
2) I assume there is less money spent on accounting degree.
3) from what I hear the accounting degree can be boring work, but is not that tough compared to the others.
Overall, I see the accounting degree as the best short term investment. From what I've heard the salaries peak after a few years. At that point, a few years down the line, you might consider doing a J.D. or MBA if they seem like good investments. Just my two cents.

edit: there is other information, such as your LSAT, GPA, GMAT, that might change my analysis, but for now the accounting seems like the best choice to me.


Thank you.

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Bronte
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby Bronte » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:13 am

Accounting is strong and always will be strong. A big reason everyone's voting for CPA is because a tier 2 JD is mediocre, and a tier 3 MBA is worse. If you get bored of debits and credits, you can then get your JD, hopefully with chances at a better school. CPA/JD is a strong combo.

jin
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby jin » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:12 am

Bronte wrote:Accounting is strong and always will be strong. A big reason everyone's voting for CPA is because a tier 2 JD is mediocre, and a tier 3 MBA is worse. If you get bored of debits and credits, you can then get your JD, hopefully with chances at a better school. CPA/JD is a strong combo.


Thanks. I will consider to do it.

03121202698008
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:16 am

Bronte wrote:Accounting is strong and always will be strong. A big reason everyone's voting for CPA is because a tier 2 JD is mediocre, and a tier 3 MBA is worse. If you get bored of debits and credits, you can then get your JD, hopefully with chances at a better school. CPA/JD is a strong combo.


+1

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TTH
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby TTH » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:07 am

blhoward2 wrote:
Bronte wrote:Accounting is strong and always will be strong. A big reason everyone's voting for CPA is because a tier 2 JD is mediocre, and a tier 3 MBA is worse. If you get bored of debits and credits, you can then get your JD, hopefully with chances at a better school. CPA/JD is a strong combo.


+1


+2

Go get your accounting degree, become a CPA, have steady lucrative work, be boring at cocktail parties.

LSATfromNC
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby LSATfromNC » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:25 am

All of your choices appear to be working towards getting a JD. Why put it off, just get it done. Is your only motivation for getting the others degress to get into a better school? I think you would be better off focusing for months on the LSAT than spending 1-2 years in school getting a degree you don't really want/need.

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Gaius
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby Gaius » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:29 am

Do not do 1 or 2. If you like accounting do 3, if you know you want to be a lawyer do 4.

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js87
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby js87 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:32 am

You picked three very different degrees and potential career paths. I hope there is more motivation behind your decision to further your education than just making money. If that's your end goal, you probably won't be very happy several years down the road. For example, I would never be happy being a CPA. Accounting sounds like the world's most boring job to me, personally. I'm sure other people would say that about law.

If you think you'd enjoy it, though, then I would consider that. As far as an MBA... I think most reputable schools want several years of work experience first. A regional MBA + 0 years of work experience would not likely put you at much, if any, of an advantage over just having a bachelors.

jin
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby jin » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:01 pm

Thanks everyone. Your advices are all valuable for me.

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trc332
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby trc332 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:11 pm

Yea an MSA is just a masters of science in accounting

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crazycanuck
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby crazycanuck » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:59 pm

If you can get in with a big 4 account firm, do it. CPA +a few years experience at a big 4 + t14 degree = success in life

That's my plan currently at any rate, except it won't be an american t14, my law school will probably be UBC. (Had my interview at KPMG, Deloitte and PwC are next week)

Even if you don't like the work, grinding away at a big 4 is great training experience. Or so I've heard.

jin
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby jin » Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:15 am

I am sure I will get into top10 accounting program, but I cannot get into top20 law school right now.

HOWEVER, what if I DON'T like doing accounting? Is it still worth to pursue it (the third option) for my future life and family?

bahama
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby bahama » Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:04 am

If you don't like it you will have experience which will allow you to get a different job or you can go back for another degree at some point, with a better chance of admission because of your work exp.

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natalie123
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby natalie123 » Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:49 am

Since you have a family to support, I'd go with the CPA right now. I heard on NPR that accounting is one of the few growing job sectors in the economy. Also, as someone hinted above, if you do go to law school later your CPA will help you in areas such as tax law (typically strong area of law), etc;

Hafu
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby Hafu » Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:05 pm

.

LawSchoolQuestions
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby LawSchoolQuestions » Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:58 pm

I am currently working as an auditor for one of the Big 4 and am a CPA. If you don't like accounting you should think twice about pursuing a masters or getting your CPA. I pursued my CPA instead of going to law school straight out of undergrad and deeply regret it. I never really enjoyed accounting and did it because it was supposed to guarantee job security.

It is also a bad time to be going into public accounting like most other professions. Many firms are still doing occasional lay-offs and are not very stable. If you do choose to go into public accounting instead of going to one of the best Masters programs you should go to a large state school where you would like to practice and get exceptionally high grades. This is the best way to get a job in Big 4. I went to the highest ranked school in the state where i took a job and it was much easier for the state school students to get jobs because everyone at the firms went to school there.

I suggest you do number 4.

ooo294422
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby ooo294422 » Wed Oct 14, 2009 4:26 pm

I am glad to find this thread. Isn't CPA better then 2tier law school lawyers?

CNN/Money listed CPA as top 6 in The Best Jobs in America. Lawyers were not in the list.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag ... hots/6.htm

A) l am trying to decide whether or not I should go to graduate school in Accounting program instead going to 2nd tier law schools.

B) It also leads me two options,. GMAT or LSAT, which one should I study in an limited time?

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kdw94780
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Re: Life changing decision J.D. vs. MBA vs. CPA

Postby kdw94780 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:15 pm

Personally, I'm in the same boat. But, I'd rather go for the JD. I recently interned at the International Tax specialty group at KPMG.

I would not go for the Macc because first of all, if you're really interested in taxation, be prepared to suffer through a lot of auditing and financial accounting courses as well.

Second, I know a guy who's actually going to the University of Southern California (a top MAcc program). USC's costs are literally 35,000 tuition plus living expenses in LA.

Depending on the market (the big four do adjust for cost of living in your salary), you're looking at starting at almost the same salary as someone who just has a bachelor's degree going into a big four. In Kansas City, that's about 50,000. In a market like Kansas city, you're going to have to work your butt off and not even seen 100 k until you get promoted to manager. For most people, that takes at least 5 years.

Also consider the economy is so lovely that the big four are laying off most of their associates and senior associates and not looking for as many interns.

Finally, a CPA/JD has much more prestige and can do many more things than a CPA. With a CPA, you're at the mercy of public accounting firms that do not put nearly as much value on you than a law firm would.




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