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I'm looking at a career change. Is 35 too old to get into accounting?

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TonySpero (Jan. 22, 2013 @ 9:31p) |

bump. Any update OP ?

tajar96 (Apr. 20, 2013 @ 4:07p) |

No. there is no late for something you want to do.

bbmak (Apr. 20, 2013 @ 5:38p) |


Why would you want to get into accounting?

That seems like the territory of eagerly just graduated "Professionals" that think they'll make a name for themselves, not something someone does in their 30s.

I want to do a lot of things with my life, accounting is near the bottom of that list...

If you are interested and have the skill set, 35 is absolutely not too old.

You may find some useful information here:

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1196427/

No, it's not too old - go for it. Accountants would probably appreciate someone interested enough in it that they were willing to change their career in their 30's to their field.

technolich said:   Why would you want to get into accounting?

That seems like the territory of eagerly just graduated "Professionals" that think they'll make a name for themselves, not something someone does in their 30s.

I want to do a lot of things with my life, accounting is near the bottom of that list...

I think this depends on the person - for me, accounting and finance are some of the most creative things I could be doing and I really enjoy it for that reason.

Probably not. Keep in mind there appears to be a large shift towards accounting in the past year or two though.

35 is the age where you should be starting to peak in your career... IMO you're way too old. The best age to get into accounting is about half your age, right out of college about 21. You missed the boat by about 16 years son.

JF5885477 said:   35 is the age where you should be starting to peak in your career... IMO you're way too old. The best age to get into accounting is about half your age, right out of college about 21. You missed the boat by about 16 years son.
Were you just throwing out numbers at random here?

I got wrapped up in the making money when I was younger (selling cell phones in a retail store) and never finished school. About 2-3 years ago I woke up and said making $50k a year isn't going to cut it. I feel limited without a degree. I just finished my AS in accounting and will be around 35 year old when I finish my BS. I enjoy accounting and finance, also enjoy real estate. I'm just not sure what other fields I should be looking at.

If you enjoy accounting and think you can make a long term career of it, I'm not sure why you would think 35 is "too old" to get into it. There are people who go to medical school in their 40s and 50s.

JF5885477 said:   35 is the age where you should be starting to peak in your career... IMO you're way too old. The best age to get into accounting is about half your age, right out of college about 21. You missed the boat by about 16 years son.

I wouldn't trust advice about the accounting career from someone who thinks that 21 is half of 35 and that 35 minus 21 equals 16.


(I wonder should there have been a couple emotes in that response? )

ankitgu said:   
I think this depends on the person - for me, accounting and finance are some of the most creative things I could be doing and I really enjoy it for that reason.


Creative accounting could certainly be enjoyable while it lasted. Madoff style

durtydub said:   I got wrapped up in the making money when I was younger (selling cell phones in a retail store) and never finished school. About 2-3 years ago I woke up and said making $50k a year isn't going to cut it. I feel limited without a degree. I just finished my AS in accounting and will be around 35 year old when I finish my BS. I enjoy accounting and finance, also enjoy real estate. I'm just not sure what other fields I should be looking at.shouldnt you have asked this question when you first embarked down this path a couple years ago?

I'm curious where you live where $50k is considered limited? How much do you expect to be making once you graduate? I'm not sure you should be expecting to get rich from accounting any time soon, unless you are planning to use your accounting skills to cook books and get away with embezzling it of course...

It all depends on what kind of field of accounting you want to be in. Do you want to be a CPA at a Big 4 or in private or CPA doing personal/corporate taxes. As far as Big 4 is concerned, they do recruit straight out of college. So if you were coming in as an first year associate, you would be working alongside kids who just graduated. Also, as a former Big 4 auditor in a major city, I seldom see new associates above 25 years old.

So if I were you, I would decide or look into what field in accounting would interest you first.

steve1jr said:   ankitgu said:   
I think this depends on the person - for me, accounting and finance are some of the most creative things I could be doing and I really enjoy it for that reason.


Creative accounting could certainly be enjoyable while it lasted. Madoff style

I've also been told that if your accountants are the ones that make you money, you have a real issue

durtydub said:   I got wrapped up in the making money when I was younger (selling cell phones in a retail store) and never finished school. About 2-3 years ago I woke up and said making $50k a year isn't going to cut it. I feel limited without a degree. I just finished my AS in accounting and will be around 35 year old when I finish my BS. I enjoy accounting and finance, also enjoy real estate. I'm just not sure what other fields I should be looking at.
I wonder if there are positions that will take you with your AS while you complete your BS? That way, your day job will be related to the work you do, and you might even get some educational reimbursement from your employer. Just a thought

Either way - I think it's a wise move and you have had the motivation to likely get through the toughest parts, so it should be easier from here on it, because you will have covered the core topics that some stumble over.

35 is definitely not too old, but don't think that accounting is going to substantially boost your income immediately. Starting salaries in a CPA firm will probably be between $40k (small, one office) to mid $50's (Big 4). You're probably looking at $40's or $50's for starting salary in an accounting department. Accounting is a great degree to have (you'll never go long without a job), but explore your options with it. It may be relatively easy to get a job in an entry level position, but I've found a lot of entry level accounting positions are really about learning processes; it can take a while (10+ years) to learn and experience enough to get a CFO or top finance job where you can really put your logical reasoning skills to the test. Again, it's a great degree to have, but expect the first few years to be frustrating and tedious at times. Talk to some prospective employers or people who have positions you'd like to have (it sounds like you aren't 100% sold on accounting from your posts above) and see what their thoughts are on it. The degree may not be as important as the experience you've already accumulated (perhaps aside from corporate requirements to have a degree to get into a certain job).

tchen811 said:   It all depends on what kind of field of accounting you want to be in. Do you want to be a CPA at a Big 4 or in private or CPA doing personal/corporate taxes. As far as Big 4 is concerned, they do recruit straight out of college. So if you were coming in as an first year associate, you would be working alongside kids who just graduated. Also, as a former Big 4 auditor in a major city, I seldom see new associates above 25 years old.

So if I were you, I would decide or look into what field in accounting would interest you first.


I've heard that firms are interested in diversity and therefore non traditional students sometimes have a better shot at Big 4 firms.

durtydub said:   I'm looking at a career change. Is 35 too old to get into accounting?

It depends. How much accounting experience do you have now? What do you want to get out of it? If you just want a CPA next to your name, you can get it at any age with a lot of work. If you want to get a shot at the Big 4, you are probably a bit late as there's a long list of young talents 2/3 your age doing the same thing.

CPA+MBA from prestigious schools= High 6 figures C level positions . Plus it helps if you look the part

If you have a wife and kids, starting in public accounting at your age will be a problem.

unimeg said:   tchen811 said:   It all depends on what kind of field of accounting you want to be in. Do you want to be a CPA at a Big 4 or in private or CPA doing personal/corporate taxes. As far as Big 4 is concerned, they do recruit straight out of college. So if you were coming in as an first year associate, you would be working alongside kids who just graduated. Also, as a former Big 4 auditor in a major city, I seldom see new associates above 25 years old.

So if I were you, I would decide or look into what field in accounting would interest you first.


I've heard that firms are interested in diversity and therefore non traditional students sometimes have a better shot at Big 4 firms.


Of course that what they say... but in my 7 years in Big 4, I can't say I met a lot of over 30 associates.

Real accountants have lost most of their hair by age 35; if you still have it, pick another field.

Go Go GO OP! Never too late to learn. If you like to learn, then no harm in pursuing. Please share what you decide for your next steps.

It's never too late to be who you might have been.

George Eliot

ankitgu said:   durtydub said:   I got wrapped up in the making money when I was younger (selling cell phones in a retail store) and never finished school. About 2-3 years ago I woke up and said making $50k a year isn't going to cut it. I feel limited without a degree. I just finished my AS in accounting and will be around 35 year old when I finish my BS. I enjoy accounting and finance, also enjoy real estate. I'm just not sure what other fields I should be looking at.
I wonder if there are positions that will take you with your AS while you complete your BS? That way, your day job will be related to the work you do, and you might even get some educational reimbursement from your employer. Just a thought

Either way - I think it's a wise move and you have had the motivation to likely get through the toughest parts, so it should be easier from here on it, because you will have covered the core topics that some stumble over.


Everything I have seen pays about $13 an hour. Ill keep my current job for now.


tchen811 said:   It all depends on what kind of field of accounting you want to be in. Do you want to be a CPA at a Big 4 or in private or CPA doing personal/corporate taxes. As far as Big 4 is concerned, they do recruit straight out of college. So if you were coming in as an first year associate, you would be working alongside kids who just graduated. Also, as a former Big 4 auditor in a major city, I seldom see new associates above 25 years old.

So if I were you, I would decide or look into what field in accounting would interest you first.


I plan on getting into tax.


Glitch99 said:   durtydub said:   I got wrapped up in the making money when I was younger (selling cell phones in a retail store) and never finished school. About 2-3 years ago I woke up and said making $50k a year isn't going to cut it. I feel limited without a degree. I just finished my AS in accounting and will be around 35 year old when I finish my BS. I enjoy accounting and finance, also enjoy real estate. I'm just not sure what other fields I should be looking at.shouldnt you have asked this question when you first embarked down this path a couple years ago?

I'm curious where you live where $50k is considered limited? How much do you expect to be making once you graduate? I'm not sure you should be expecting to get rich from accounting any time soon, unless you are planning to use your accounting skills to cook books and get away with embezzling it of course...


I just finished my AS so I can go any route in business and not have to take extra classes. I live in the Chicago area and am maxed out at my current job. I understand that I will start out in the $40-50k range but I feel that there is more upside.

I am starting a new career as a financial adviser at 60. For those of you who say "good luck with that", thank you, i will need it lol

Get a degree in social engineering. The possibilities are limitless.

Yes!

I got into accounting when I was 34. I started at the bottom of the ladder as a "consultant" (the lowest level) in a Big 4 company, making $41k. Ten years later I'm now a senior manager making 150k. Worked out really well for me.

+1 OP. I'll be finished with my BS in Accounting at 35, I work FT and attend SUNY PT. I have an AS in Construction Management. Don't limit yourself to only the big 4 or accounting firms, and expand your search. Financial compliance today is a neccesity to every business line there is.

BigTR said:   If you have a wife and kids, starting in public accounting at your age will be a problem.

Agree with that. I'm in public, and at a large non-big 4 firm. Over 30 is one thing, over 30 with a family, is tough in public even at the higher levels.

we don't discriminate, I've had a few around 30 year old associates, if they have the right atitude about it they can succeed. However, the older you get the harder it is to motivate yourself to deal with the hours and entry level BS.

If I were in that position, 35 and out of college I'd probably be looking more at privite industry or at least lower hour type positions. but to me it really depends on what the mindset is

If you start at 35 and stay with the same company, you'll have 30 years at that company by the time you retire. I'd say that's a pretty good tenure. I started in Accounts Payable. AP is a good place to start because you will learn a lot about how the company is structured. I chose to branch into Finance (that's where my degree is) and it worked out well for me.

If you like numbers, I'd say go for it!

Just remember after you graduate and you are sitting there at your job interview, and the boss asks you what one plus one equals, remember the right answer: "what do you want it to equal?"

After running his family's business for ten years, my dad became a CPA in his late 30s. He already had an MBA at like 23, and had taught business for a few years but he had to study for the exams and then start at the bottom in a firm before striking out into his own practice in his 40s. I say go for it!

good luck with that, i never went the cpa route wasn't interested.
I worked at non-profit, then a startup and now I am at a fortune 500 at one of their us sites.
Its a been a long road but fun.

Colonel Sanders KFC age 65. go for it

I'd do it. I believe the job market is fairly decent for them (correct me if I am wrong) and the starting pay isn't "bad" compared to some other entry level positions you could have after getting your degree.

Skipping 7 Messages...
No. there is no late for something you want to do.



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