Are You a Master of Accounting?

Nov 23, 2011
Tags: Admissions, Applications, Business School, Masters of Accountancy

Master of Accounting is an increasingly popular specialized degree in graduate management education, with more than half of Master of Accounting (MAcc) programs worldwide reporting increased application volumes for the incoming 2011–2012 class. Current acceptance rates for MAcc programs stand at 61%, which means that, on average, for every five applications to the program only three individuals may receive a seat in the class.
Data signals from GMAT examinees suggest demand for MAcc programs will likely grow: Nearly 8% of all test takers intend to pursue a Master of Accounting degree, driven by the more than 30,000 examinees with undergraduate accounting degrees in testing year 2011–the highest figure in five years. So, why the interest in a Master of Accounting degree? 

MAcc Grads Start Strong with Little to No Prior Work Experience

The Master of Accounting degree can afford you the chance to develop immediately marketable skills and credentials, and consequently, a leg up in the job market. In researching what companies want, we found that 57% of companies seeking MAcc grads were looking to hire individuals who had less than three years of work experience. This inclination for less experienced candidates was highest for MAcc programs when compared with other graduate business degree-holders.

Average work experience expected by companies hiring Master of Accounting grads:

  • Less than 3 years: 57%
  • 3 to 4 years: 27%
  • 5 or more years: 17% Source:  GMAC 2011 Corporate Recruiters Survey

Job opportunities also emerge for MAcc students when companies come to campus looking for new hires. Of the employers that conducted on-campus recruiting this year (68%), a majority of the financial and accounting firms were visiting schools with the intention to fill full-time positions. In addition, a majority of companies also visited campuses to recruit for internships, which offer one of the best ways to demonstrate your skills to a potential employer. Our 2011 employers’ survey revealed that of the accounting and finance firms that employed interns last year, 60% extended a job offer to interns who had applied for full-time positions.

The Skills and Talent Stand Alone

The recession and financial crises worldwide have put a spotlight on the value of the accounting credential that negates misconceptions of the degree being just for “bean counter” types! Companies seeking Master of Accounting grads intend to fill positions not only in accounting, but in consulting, finance, and investment banking, as well as operations and other areas that draw from a portfolio of business skills. The table below speaks to some of the skills and abilities that a graduate program in accounting can offer you.

Jobs, Job, Jobs

The growing complexity and globalization of the industry is also driving employer demand for accounting candidates with advanced degrees. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2011 industry outlook predicts 22% growth in accounting and auditing jobs in the decade between 2008 and 2018, and indicates that those with master’s degrees and CPAs have the brightest prospects for the top jobs. Overall, nearly 8 in 10 recent grads from quantitative master’s programs would agree that their degrees prepared them to meet job market challenges and provided a competitive advantage in the workplace.

See if Accounting Is Right for You 

Are you inspired to discover the accounting-related careers that await new grads? Do you want to assess your quantitative skills or get ready for the GMAT exam? Visit the Store and check out the GMAT BusinessReady™ Collection (featuring the combined tools for accounting, finance, quantitative skills, and statistics) to help you prepare for success before your master’s classes begin! -Research Center at GMAC