“I think that’s what they’re going to want. They’re coming here to really get the tools and knowledge to really have an edge when it comes to their career. The accounting firms definitely would like that level of preparation.”
Career preparation will go beyond academics, with a strong emphasis on readying students for recruitment and presenting opportunities for students to meet employers, Gallogly says. Students will be instructed in resume-creation and job application cover letters. They’ll participate in mock interviews. There will be career fairs, on-campus recruiting, and company presentations. “The students are going to get a lot of choice,” Gallogly says. An interview, in person or via Skype or phone, will be required for admission – and admissions officers will consider applicants’ communications skills, which will be a central focus for the program, as Stern administrators want to ensure graduates will be “not just good with numbers but also working with clients.”
Either the GMAT or GRE will be required for admission. Selectivity will parallel that of Stern’s MBA program, Gallogly says. “We’ll be on the higher end, that’s for sure,” he says.
There will be one intake, in the fall, and no more than 65 students in a cohort, Gallogly says. The students will take many required classes as a group, which will foster close ties, he believes. “I think sometimes people coming to New York feel . . . this might be a little intimidating or competitive or cutthroat. I expect that this is going to be a very strongly bonded cohort – that’s a little bit different than people might expect in coming to a large university in New York.”
HIGH-LEVEL COMPETITION FROM PEER SCHOOLS
With its new accounting MS, Stern will be competing against other top schools offering such programs, including the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce, where out-of-state tuition and fees for an accounting MS cost $36,520 (in-state $30,176); the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, where the MS costs $59,778 for out-of-state students ($54,778 in-state); the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, where out-of-state residents pay $50,048 ($34,832 in-state).
Stern administrators highlight the prominent position of the accounting sector in New York, with Deloitte, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Ernst & Young, and KPMG all headquartered there. “With the concentration of accounting firms – including the headquarters of the Big Four – located here in New York, the employment opportunities for accountants are extremely strong,” says Alex Dontoh, deputy chair of Stern’s accounting department.
Recruiting and placement firm Robert Half International last year noted strengthening demand for entry-level accounting professionals, particularly for anti-money-laundering specialists, bookkeepers, business analysts, business systems analysts, financial analysts, internal auditors, payroll clerks, risk and compliance professionals, senior accountants, and staff accountants.
FIRMS HUNGRY FOR ACCOUNTING GRADUATES: ROBERT HALF
“Public accounting firms are focusing heavily on campus recruiting and hiring accounting graduates,” the Robert Half employment forecast report says.
While jobs for accountants and auditors are predicted to increase 13% from 2012 to 2022, that rise would parallel the overall rise for jobs of all types, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Employment growth of accountants and auditors is expected to be closely tied to the health of the overall economy,” the bureau reports. Hiring of master’s of accounting graduates during the recession dropped sharply from 8,087 in 2007 to 6,378 in 2008, then burst upward to 13,451 in 2010, according to the American Institute of CPAs, showing how closely accounting jobs are tied to the economy.
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