Looking at Today’s Young Accounting Professionals

Amanda BeitelFor students graduating with an accounting degree, and looking forward to fall recruiting, September becomes the perfect time to begin meeting with recruiters from accounting firms for  launching a career in accounting.  A career in accounting can be challenging and rewarding, which allows many in the field to achieve a comfortable work-life balance, while still achieving their professional goals.

One such young professional working in the accounting profession, Amanda Beitel, 29, was recently highlighted by the Statesman Journal in its on-going “Today’s Young Professional” series. After completing much of her undergraduate coursework in accounting through the online degree program at Linfield Adult Degree Program, Ms. Beitel continued her studies to obtain a graduate degree and her CPA.

Ms. Beitel now enjoys working as an accounting manager for Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency. Her duties include, but are not limited to, managing the accounting and procurement functions for the department, as well as supervising internal control reviews and cash management. In addition to her work for the state, she has a small tax and accounting practice where she assists individuals and small to medium-sized businesses.

Many accounting students are eager to start their accounting careers. To help juniors, seniors, and post baccalaureate accounting students get started, OSCPA (Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants) is hosting a free Career Showcase on September 28, 2011 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. Students will have an opportunity to meet recruiters from public accounting, government, and other industries to start networking for potential internships and employment. For more information, please contact Kris McDowell at kmcdowell@orcpa.org, or 503-597-5477; 1-800-255-1470 ext. 13.

For more information on online accounting degrees and how you can get started contact the Linfield Adult Degree Program today and we can help you start toward a career in the field of accounting.

Earning an Accounting Degree in an Online Classroom

Online college education continues to grow in popularity for the flexibility and accessibility the format offers. Students value being able to complete their online degrees while continuing to work or seek employment, and maintain their at-home life. A concern that some students have before enrolling into online courses is how specific classes or courses will work in an online format.

For accounting courses, the transition to online is easy.

“Accounting is particularly well-suited for the online environment,” said Jeff Edwards, Accounting Instructor, Linfield Adult Degree Program. “The technology and the learning tools in accounting are probably more advanced compared to other subjects. For example, a pre-formatted Excel template used for homework helps save students time, so they can concentrate their focus on accounting concepts, rather than Excel set-up.”

Online accounting degree programs utilize a number of tools that help students during their studies so while they study and learn, they are also able to receive immediate feedback. The Homework Manager System is one such tool. This program allows students to work through practice problems while receiving immediate feedback to help students learn and understand the concepts before they attempt the graded problems. Instructors can also provide students with audio and visual resources, such as narrated PowerPoint lectures that are incorporated into the online classes to enhance learning.

Though a class may be online, the instructor-student interaction is still crucial to learning. In addition to the various tools that can be used to help students earn their online accounting degrees, instructors are available to answer questions, participate in online discussions and provide feedback on course work.

Returning to college as an adult is a big decision. In addition to some of the normal factors one must consider, including degree and institution, prospective students must also decide between a more traditional, campus-based college or earning their college degree online. Some students may prefer the structure and tradition of earning a degree in-person and on-campus. Others may prefer or need the convenience and flexibility that online classes offer. Online classes allow individuals to advance their education while still maintaining other commitments they have in their lives.

For individuals considering going back to college to earn an accounting degree, online education options are available. For more information on Linfield’s Adult Degree Program online accounting degree, please contact us.

Jeff Edwards, CPA, Accounting Instructor at Linfield College and Portland Community College, contributed to this article.

4 Ways to Use your Experience to Earn an Accounting Degree

If you’re considering pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting here’s a useful tip: brainstorm all the different ways your life experience – professional, academic, and personal – has prepared you for this degree. There are lots of ways to leverage your past experience to help you earn an accounting degree. Here’s how:

  1. CLEP Exam: The College Level Examination Program, or CLEP for short, allows students to earn credit for knowledge they’ve already acquired through independent study, prior course work, on-the-job training, or professional development, by taking an exam. You can challenge several business courses required in Linfield’s Accounting Degree Program through CLEP exams. Linfield also recognizes the DANTES exams that are comparable to CLEP exams. DANTES is for military personnel and stands for Defense Activity for Non-traditional Educational Support.
  2. Prior Course Work: If you’ve ever completed an associate or bachelor’s degree or taken courses at an accredited community college or four-year college, that coursework will likely count toward your accounting degree.  Your assigned advisor after you Request Information about the Linfield accounting degree can help give you an idea which courses will count toward your degree.
  3. Prior Learning Assessment: One way to earn college credit toward your accounting degree for life experience involves taking a special Linfield course, the Prior Learning Portfolio course, which is designed to teach you to prepare a portfolio that carefully analyzes and documents your prior learning.  For example, a small business owner may have acquired both the practical and theoretical knowledge equivalent to BUSN 423 Entrepreneurship and BUSN 321 Marketing. Students in the Linfield Adult Degree Program may earn as many as 31 of the required 125 semester credits through the portfolio process.
  4. Internship for College Credit: During the time you’re pursuing an accounting degree at Linfield, secure an internship at a local accounting firm, or business organization. Hours worked at the firm can transfer into college credits toward your degree. Discuss your interest in arranging for an internship with your academic advisor at Linfield early in your program.

There are a variety of opportunities and ways to utilize work experience and put it toward college credits. Though each person’s experience is unique, Linfield’s Adult Degree Program can help you determine if you are able to gain credit for your knowledge and experience en route to earning an accounting degree online.