While earning an MBA provides broad knowledge of the main business functions, it doesn’t provide any particular licensure. In other words, an MBA graduate may be qualified for a finance job, but there’s no law — or often even a corporate mandate — that the finance job requires an MBA.
MAC graduates, however, are prepared to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam and earn their CPA designation. Some auditing and tax jobs, for example, require a CPA. For some other jobs, a CPA can do the work with less supervision and fewer regulatory requirements, making the accountant a more efficient hire for the company. A CPA is proof to clients and employers that you know the legal and accounting requirements that companies must follow.
You’re not going to go to graduate school just for the next job. You’re going to graduate school for your career — the next job and the job after that and the job after that. So what kinds of career paths do MBAs and MACs have?
MBA graduates start out with broad exposure to business so careers in investment banking and consulting, for example, are common choices. Other MBAs will focus on a particular field, such as marketing or operations, and eventually advance to senior positions, often in the C-suite.
MAC graduates typically start in roles focused on accounting, often in public accounting firms or within corporate finance teams. Like MBAs, careers in the financial industry are common, as is consulting and MAC graduates often rise to higher positions within accounting or consulting firms. Or, also like MBAs, they may work their up through corporate roles, often ending up in senior executive roles such as corporate treasurer, corporate controller, chief accounting officer or chief financial officer.
Other accountants take their know-how and skills to start their own businesses, including public accounting firms, consultancies and others — including many non-accounting businesses.
Those who have MAC degrees have plenty of options in their career paths, but the unique nature of their in-depth knowledge and skills also ensure there will always be a job waiting for them that only they can do.
Interested in how the MAC pays off? Download our analysis, “The ROI of the Master of Accounting Degree for Working Professionals.” It’s a concise, but instructive, perspective of several facets of the degree and the investment required to earn it.