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The ROI of a Masters in Accounting

Dec 18, 2023
The ROI of a MAcc beyond financial returns, emphasizing the intentional programming that propels students into lucrative careers.

By Eigen Escario

Pictured: Emily O'Dell, Vanderbilt Director of Admissions of the MAcc Program

Emily O’Dell

The Vanderbilt Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program is a fast track to the Big 4 Accounting firms, but the return on investment (ROI) of a MAcc for students goes further than financial returns. Emily O’Dell, Director, Master of Accountancy Programs at Vanderbilt Business, shares why a MAcc program is worth the price tag.

A Professional Accounting Career with the MAcc

The Vanderbilt MAcc is a fast-paced program offering 2 distinctive tracks designed to launch students into public accounting careers with compounding positive returns.

“Every piece of programming that we have is intentional to get you ready for the job that launches your business career,” O’Dell said. “For example, during orientation, our students participate in a leadership communications course to work on their personal brand and public speaking.”

In addition to students gaining foundational skills necessary for success through the program, O’Dell places emphasis on the value of being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

“All of the students that we bring into the program exhibit high levels of professionalism, strong communication skills, and aptitude,” O’Dell said. “Students who are not accounting majors with enough hours to sit for the CPA exam typically can’t get the same job unless they obtain the MAcc in order to take the CPA exam.”

The Value of The Big 4

The MAcc program also boasts exclusive partnerships with the Big 4 accounting firms, which O’Dell highlights as an extremely valuable opportunity for a long-term career in accounting. The Big 4 includes Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG. 

“At a Big 4, you’re understanding so many different types of businesses, career paths, industries, companies – you’re able to learn foundational business acumen to figure out what you want to do,” O’Dell said. “If you want a clear path and know what the next steps are to a successful business career, the long-term play in public accounting is absolutely worth it.”

ROI of the Vanderbilt MAcc

O’Dell also cites the program’s success rates to quantify the ROI of a MAcc.

“Our students have 100% employment, so they are all able to secure these internships that roll into full-time offers,” O’Dell said. “The success rate speaks for itself. Our students tend to perform very well in the internship and are very successful in securing return offers.”

While the program does require significant financial and time commitments, O’Dell asserts that student’s CPA and internship opportunities give them a headstart for a long-term career in public accounting.

“With the program’s 100% employment rate, there’s bonuses for passing the CPA exam before starting full-time,” O’Dell said. “Some companies offer about a $5,000 bonus or financial help to pay off student loans. The internship that students do also offers about $11,000, which helps living costs while participating in the MAcc program.”

Ultimately, O’Dell concludes that no matter the career path, students will be able to see the ROI of a MAcc degree and CPA credential in any industry or niche that they find themselves pursuing.

“If you’re interested in any type of career area – manufacturing, beauty and fashion, music, private industries, sports – there’s a niche for it in accounting,” O’Dell said. “You can pretty much do anything you’re passionate about since there’s a business side to everything.”

You can read more about the MAcc class of 2023’s exceptional outcomes here.

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