Friday, July 8, 2011

Sometimes I feel guilty…

Greg is graduating in April 2012. If I finish my master’s degree at BYU, I will graduate in April 2013. My plan has always been to get my MAcc (Master of Accountancy), at least ever since I started at BYU. But what does that mean for Greg? It means he has to bum around Provo for a year, meaning more limited choices for his options in starting his career.

Why is it so important for me to get my MAcc? Your options are so much more open if you get a master’s degree. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you’re pretty much stuck in a cubicle making journal entries, doing the same thing day after day, week after week, month after month, capping at an average salary. You can go far, but it’s a lot harder. You will have a much harder time getting into the jobs that will give you the experience necessary to get into even better jobs.

Let me break it down for you – most people would say the best thing you can do for your accounting career is to work for the Big 4 for a couple of years. Who are the big four? Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG, and PWC. These are accounting firms who audit other businesses. They’re a super huge deal. You get so much experience, and once you have one of them on your resume, you’re set for life. Well, the Big 4 only want to hire you if you’re CPA eligible because they want you to get a CPA. Each state has different rules for the CPA exam, but most states, while they don’t exactly require a MAcc, they do require a high number of upper level business and accounting classes that are kind of hard to reach without a MAcc.

So, if I don’t do that MAcc, I can get some boring accounting job and maybe pursue a MAcc later in life. But that means living somewhere else long enough to establish residency, and taking the GMAT, which I don’t have to worry about if I do the MAcc at BYU. Or, yeah, I could probably get those required classes for the CPA without doing the extra year for the MAcc (if I worked my butt off and took 18 credits winter semester)… but, not gonna lie, some of the MAcc classes really interest me! They have classes on investing, real estate, financial planning – stuff that I feel like I can really use to benefit my future family.

So what is my plan? Ideally, I want to work for the Big 4 because they will pay for me to get my CPA (and that’s an expensive test to take – they’ll even pay for my test prep!). Then I will have Big 4 experience and a CPA certification on my resume – I can walk away from work for awhile, have a family, and then when my kids are older, I can walk back into the business world and say “Hey, I’m kind of a big deal, I have Big 4 experience and a CPA and you will hire me and pay me well and let me work a flexible schedule so I still have time with my husband and children.” And they will say “Oh my gosh, yes please, you are so awesome, we would love to have you, take as much time off as you need, whenever you need it, and here, take a million dollars per year!” (I wish). No, but really – I’d have some sweet skills to offer, and they’d be sooo much more willing to let me work a flexible than if I didn’t have such a strong background.

But is it really fair for me to ask Greg to put his career on hold so I can get mine in full swing? Especially if we’re planning on him supporting us once we start having children? Especially since he wants to pursue an MBA and needs strong business experience to take that route?

Warning: this will sound extremely judgmental. Probably cuz it is: I have a few female friends/friends of friends/acquaintances/random people from my home town who I creepily blog stalk who are just following their husbands wherever they need to go. “Oh, you want to move to Europe. Ok!” “I’m not gonna be able to graduate cuz you are starting a job across the country? Ok!” For some of them, it’s because they have strong career opportunities no matter where they go (power women, with strong degrees, like nursing or business! You go girls!). For others, it’s because they have zero opportunities no matter where they go. Maybe I should be more like those girls, and just give up this idea of being a power working woman. Maybe that’s what would be best for our family?

Lots to think about …


  1. Do it. Not selfish.

    But then again... we all know what kind of woman I am *cough*feminist*cough*!

    Just do what's right for the two of you, whether it's you take the year now or not. It's between the two of you and Heavenly Father. The end.

  2. Why doesn't he just get his MBA at BYU? They have a super good program.
    Greg and I went through the same issue since he graduated in April and I still have another year. But we worked it out and things will work out the way they're supposed to for you too.

  3. Marc and I had the same exact issue too with Marc graduating one year before me. He worked in Provo for 1/2 a year and in Georgia for the second half. I'm only 1 semester away, so I'll be in Provo away from him for four months minus visits about once a month. It's super hard, but I'm not going to throw away my education if I'm only 1 semester away. Marc needs to get his MBA, but he has to work for a few years before getting his MBA-so same problem as Greg. Basically what I'm getting at is that sometimes you have to make sacrifices somewhere. Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
    PS I'm going to be in GA when you get married and I think the day you get married happens to fall on the every other Saturday we go to the don't think I'm stalking you if I see you at the temple that day.