OHIO’s Online Master of Accountancy Program Overview

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Learn more about Ohio University’s Online Master of Accountancy.


Hello everyone. Welcome to Ohio University’s Online Master of Accountancy program overview. Today we are going to discuss Ohio’s MACC program and what you can do with this Master’s degree.

Hi everyone. My name is Kimberly and I am an Ohio MACC specialist. Today we are joined by Dr. Jennifer Steven, who is our MACC program director. Dr. Stevens, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

Yes. Thank you, Kim. Well, welcome. I am the program director for the Masters of Accountancy at Ohio University. I have an undergraduate degree in accounting, as well as a Masters of Accountancy. I am a big proponent of the program. Sometimes I tell the story that I didn’t really want to do the MACC, but I wanted to get the 150 credit hours to get my CPA, and then once I did it, I found it hugely beneficial from a standpoint of advancing my skills as well as networking and starting to really build my professional career.

So I have an undergrad and a MACC. I then worked for Ernst and Young in their fraud and forensics practice for several years in Chicago. After that, I worked for a smaller boutique consulting firm called Alvarez and Marsal. They were … They mostly do bankruptcy turnaround work, but they were starting a forensic accounting practice. So I continued my career there. I then went for a brief time to an investment research firm called Gerson Lehrman Group. They provide investment research to the buy side, so hedge funds, private equity firms, buy side analysts. And I really got some exposure to the capital markets, so that was very interesting.

I then went back for a PhD. I have a PhD in accounting from the Ohio State University. My first academic job following the PhD was at the University of Notre Dame. I taught accounting there and now I am a Bobcat, so I am at Ohio University. I have been instrumental in the launch of the MACC and I’ve really helped design our program. It’s a fairly new program, but we’re excited because we built it around a case-based curriculum. So we’re looking to really help students not only get the credits needed to fulfill CPA requirements if necessary, but also to kind of allow them to take on leadership roles within their organization and build skills for the longterm.

That’s awesome. And do you remember what year you joined us at Ohio?

I joined us in 2016.

Wow, that’s awesome. Thanks so much for that. So if you’re considering an online degree, one of the reasons you’re probably here is because of its online nature and the flexibility that it allows you to be a working professional as well as learning at the same time. And that’ll really help towards working towards your CPA licensure education requirements and things like that.

Now, depending upon which path you come in on, our students usually complete between five and eight semesters. So that’s around two to three years. And as Dr. Steven mentioned earlier, we are a case-based curriculum. So that means we are using today’s industry leading best practices. A little bit later we will be talking about Ohio University’s leadership development program, which is an on-campus event that is certainly one of our highlights. But in the meantime, Dr. Steven, is there anything unique about the program that you’d like to point out?

Sure. I would just like to take a minute to talk about Ohio University’s student experience. So Ohio University’s mission is to provide a transformative learning experience for each and every student. And our university and our faculty is dedicated to providing that to every student. So we do have this beautiful residential campus in Southeastern Ohio where we have very close relationships with our students, but we really try and mirror that in our online programs and offer that same experience to our online students.

And so for example, we developed this Masters of Accountancy program for an on-campus version and an online version at the exact same time. So you’re getting the same curriculum, you’re getting the same cases. And you are also getting that very close, one on one relationship with a faculty member because we all value that and we try and mimic that in-person feeling into the online environment. And so we are dedicated to each and every student’s success. And we really put in a lot of effort to make the online experience flexible yet very personal.

I like that. And I have found that at least working with our students, that you guys are online all the time. Students can be emailing professors well past business hours and even talking amongst themselves on our Blackboard message boards well into the night, whereas I don’t think that would normally happen in an on campus program.

No. And I know every student’s name, I ask their background at the beginning. Sometimes they ask me for career advice. We can meet in my virtual office. So I hold office hours just like I would hold on campus. I hold them online. And so students can come in and we can chat. And we do form very close relationships with all of our students, including our online students. And we get to see them at the leadership development program and meet them in person, and then also if they attend graduation.

That’s great. So some of you might be asking what career prospects you might have following a MACC. So this is what I like to tell students about accounting. Accounting is extremely versatile. We call it the universal donor of the business school because employers recognize that those with accounting skills are information specialist, and the 21st century is all about information and organizing information and dealing with big data. And they know that everything runs through the financial system of a company, and therefore accountants are very well-versed in data as well as general business processes. So if you have a degree in accounting, you can take a job in marketing or finance or management. But if you have a degree in marketing or management or finance, you can’t necessarily take a job in accounting. So I really like to try and convey to students that, with accounting, there are a broad array of possibilities.

It’s not just that you might work in accounting, it’s that you’re acquiring these data and information skills that are going to allow you to be successful in a variety of businesses and a variety of different positions. So for example, you might take a job in consulting, or you might take a job in management. You could be a CFO, you could work at a accounting firm, and you could also be a very successful entrepreneur. A lot of … Every company is going to need someone that understands finances and accounting, because otherwise the company won’t continue. And so we find that a lot of people with degrees in accounting go on to be entrepreneur. And the other thing I would like to comment on is that we have a very strong job market for those with a Master’s of Accountancy. So what my boss, the director of the School of Accountancy at Ohio University likes to tell our students, I can guarantee that you will have a job following this degree.

I can’t guarantee you that you’re always going to like your job. But the good news is that if you don’t like the job, there are five other jobs out there that you could pursue or take. So I would just … I think that it’s a very versatile degree. It is really … It puts you in a great position to meet the demands of this next century of very data-driven, financial decision making.

I would agree with that. And I would say now more than ever, employers, they like the Master’s degree. It’s great that people have an MBA, but at the same time they’re looking for people who have specialized skill sets that can fit and jump into roles that provide strategic insights. And I think that’s what our MACC does. I mean we have a great MBA too, but this program really does set you up to learn the language of business and interpret those numbers and provide that strategic insight that allows you to just have such a variety of different options. Absolutely. Thank you so much for that.

In this next section, we’ll deep dive into Ohio’s MACC program, including the curriculum and determining what path is right for you. So on the screen here you see what our three paths are available for you. Now, Ohio University is the only program that has a bridge path so that no matter what your background is, your undergraduate background, your work background, there is a path for you to get your MACC degree. So we’re going to deep dive in the next few slides about it, but just know that whether or not you haven’t an undergrad in accounting, there’s a path for you. If you have a business degree, meaning a marketing or finance degree, there’s a path for you. Or even if you majored in pottery studies in undergrad, this is a program for you.

And it’s reasonable too. As we go into it, it’s not an extremely large amount of credits here. It is something that is manageable and workable. So we’ll go ahead and keep moving. So just going into detail now, this first path is the accounting path. For those of you have an undergraduate degree in accounting, this is probably the fastest path to meeting the educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam. So Dr. Steven, how does this path really prepare students for that CPA exam?

So our curriculum is going to be made up of seven core accounting courses, and you will get those core courses regardless of the path you’re in. So all the accounting path students, the business and past students, and the non-business path students will all get the seven core accounting courses, of course at different times after you know the non-business and the business students have had additional pre-reqs to get them ready for those classes.

But our core accounting courses are designed to not only help you on the CPA exam, they will, but they’re designed to really improve your high level critical thinking and decision making skills. So we’re focused on long run, longterm career skills in these courses. We’re not just teaching to the test. Yes, the classes are going to help prepare you for the CPA exam because we’re teaching additional accounting technical skills.

However, we are also focused on, again, the implications of the numbers for decision making and a lot of the gray areas in accounting. That’s where accounting gets interesting. Anyone can follow some black and white rules, and computers will do that. And so where our value comes in is interpreting numbers, navigating gray areas. That’s why have designed these seven courses around the case-based curriculum because a lot of people might think that accounting is black and white, but it’s not really. It’s about information and organizing and interpreting information for decision making. So that’s what you will get out of those seven core courses. And in the accounting path then, of course, we do require an additional three courses in data analytics, and this is to really help refine those analytics skills because the world is now all about big data and accountants are information specialists. So we really need to be versed and well-trained in dealing with data.

And here you’ll see those courses for the accounting path. There are the seven core accounting courses and the three data analytics courses, combining to 30 credit hours for you. So if you have any questions, you can certainly reach out to one of our enrollment specialists who can get you those course description.

So this is the next path here. This is the business path. This is for those of you with an undergraduate degree in business. So something like finance, managing, and marketing. It is 42 credit hours. Those of you who want to kind of like beef up your understanding of accounting will be in this path. So Dr. Steven, why would someone who’s like, “I’m already currently working in business, why would I want to pursue a MACC and how does this path help me?”

So again, this degree is going to provide you very specialized knowledge and understanding the numbers behind business. So I think that this provides kind of a leg up on a lot of other people if you’re looking for a new job. So it’s nice to have a combination of skills. You understand, you’re a marketing person, yet you also understand how those marketing decisions flow down into bottom line accounting numbers. Because again, all businesses have to make a profit or they don’t exist very long. And so employers really appreciate the accounting skills that can help really make or inform business decisions. And so this program will provide those specialized accounting skills and also those data skills that we’ve been talking about in the age of big data and turning all of that data into usable information that’s helpful for decision making.

So if you have an undergraduate degree in business but not accounting, this is a great compliment to your undergraduate degree, and it will open doors to a lot of additional opportunities that weren’t available to you before, because once an employer sees that accounting again, they will often think or know that you have a great understanding of business as well as the financial side of things. And in order to get you up to the prerequisites needed in order to take the core courses. We do have this bridge program that’s going to give you some crash courses in basic accounting so that you’re able to undertake the Master’s level courses and feel confident while pursuing them.

I like that. So you take the foundational courses first, you feel confident in all the systems and all the numbers, and then you take the same seven core accounting courses as well as the three data analytics courses from the accounting path to just get you there. I like that.

Correct, correct. And then these will also satisfy the educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam. So if you are interested in taking the CPA exam, make sure to check with your enrollment advisor and we’ll just double check the requirements for every state. But in most, if not all cases, this program will get you to the requirements needed to sit for the CPA exam.

For sure. And I do look at other programs out there, and this is one of the few, Ohio’s program is one of the few programs out there where you can have a non-accounting background and a business background and still get there. So that’s awesome. Thanks.

So here are the courses that you can see here for the business path. Again, you have the four accounting foundational courses that you’ll take prior to the core accounting courses. So those four are the bridge courses, and then the three data analytics courses after the core courses, resulting in 42 credit hours. And that’s pretty reasonable. I can’t seem to think of any other programs out there, especially online programs that can get you to the hours that you need and give you the educational background to get you to where you want to be to earn your MACC degree. So if you have any questions about course descriptions, feel free to reach out to your enrollment advisor.

So finally, if you’re like me and have no background in accounting or business, this non-business path curriculum is for you. Again, whatever your undergraduate degree is, whether it be an engineering, sciences, arts, this is great for people who maybe had a career and decided accounting and finance might be better for me. It is 45 credit hours and will get you to where you need to be. So Dr. Steven, why have this? This is unique to the online space for sure.

Yeah. So this, again, is unique to Ohio University in that we are providing a path for somebody that has a degree in sociology or psychology, a non-business degree, to get the educational requirements to be able to sit for the CPA exam and pursue a longterm career in accounting. So I think who benefits most from this degree would be people who don’t really feel like they have a longterm career path ahead of them. They might have a job, and the job is okay, but they don’t see it as a career and they can’t see that longterm career trajectory that is reaching out in front of them. And so accounting provides a great longterm career option because it is so versatile. You can start in one place in accounting and you can just somehow you’ll find that you would move in into increasing roles or different types of organizations.

But accounting provides a really great, stable, longterm career path for those that want basically continual employment, because there’s always jobs, and accountants do tend to move up in organizations faster because they do have that financial knowledge for decision making. And so I think that this is a really great option for someone that has come out of undergrad with a degree, and they’re having trouble really finding a job, or finding something that they view as a longterm career. And accounting can be that career.

I like that. So in addition to the accounting core that we previously talked about, as well as the accounting bridge, these people, these folks here, they take four general business courses, is that correct?

That’s correct. So they get a little less data analytics, but because they don’t have any background in business, we needed to get them more general business knowledge. And so we will give them some general, four different MBA level business courses to get them that general business knowledge they need, as well as a specialized knowledge in accounting to pursue the MACC and the CPA.

That’s great. And then it gives them a leg up. It gives anybody a leg up when you can go into an employer and be like, “I have a background in …” And I’ll go to the next slide very shortly and we’ll see what those business courses are. But you have that management background and the accounting background, so that’s great.

That’s great.

All right, so here is the non-business path curriculum. You’ll see we have the four accounting foundational courses, the four general business courses that are at the MBA level to get you that business background. And then the four … Sorry, the seven accounting courses that everybody takes in the MACC program, giving us a total of 45 credit hours. That’s just two, … One more course actually that would get you to the MACC program if you were a business background student. So not unreasonable. And especially if you’re a career changer and you’re determined that this is right for you now, this is the program for you. There’s nothing else like it, especially on the online space.

So after those three paths, obviously you’ll work with your enrollment advisor to determine which path is right for you. But no matter where you came from, here are our general admissions requirements. You do need to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Again, no matter what that bachelor’s degree was in, we have a path for you. You’ll need your transcripts, your resume, a personal statement, three letters of recommendation. We do not require the GRE or GMAT. And then we do have an application fee, which you can work with your enrollment advisor. But since we have Dr. Steven here and she is the program director, I wanted to get some insight, Dr. Steven, like what do you look for in a Master’s degree candidate? Is there anything that can help our students stand out that would get them accepted into our program?

Sure. So in a Master’s degree candidate, what I really want to see is that the person has thought through their longterm career goals and that our program aligns with their longterm career goals. So I want to see that I have clear goals of, even if they’re broad, X, Y, and Z, and this degree is going to help me get there. I want to make sure that our students, our applicants have thought through this degree and that they think that it is right for them because I want them to be successful in our program.

And so I want them to express the motivation and that they also understand the commitment that it’s going to be for a year and a half, or two to three years, depending on the path of part time work. So it’s exciting to learn while you’re working. It’s, I think, in the long run you’re going to be expanding for opportunities incredibly, but you also are going to have to be very disciplined when it comes to work life balance and managing your time. So that’s what I look for. We want to accept students that we know and think are going to be successful in our program.

Great and all that information you can add into your personal statement. And I promise you that every single person on the admissions committee reads every single document that we send over to them. So again, work with your enrollment advisor. We always can add commentary about specific students. So add it to your personal statements, showcase that resume, make sure it’s up to date, and we look forward to working with you guys.

In this next section we’ll explore why you should choose Ohio University for your Master of Accountancy. So obviously if you’re here, you’ve heard of Ohio University, but you still might be on the fence about choosing this program over another. So here are some more talking points for you. Ohio University is an AACSB accredited university, and has been recently ranked by US News as one of the best online business schools.

Not only that, but I really wanted to say that our faculty really helps differentiate us from any other program out there. We have very accessible faculty that are more than willing to explain concepts and have you go through any real world experiences that you’re working through to help you understand. And also help you in your current jobs. Like that’s what they’re there for. And then another differentiator for us is our leadership development program, which we’ll be talking about right now.

As I mentioned earlier, Ohio University offers all of our College of Business programs the Leadership Development Program, which is a two day workshop held two times a year on campus. So you as online students are able to connect with the campus and attend. And honestly, it’s one of … All the time we hear back that it’s one of the favorite aspects of the program. So what happens during this event is you hear from world class speakers and you really learn about leadership, including how to lead yourself, how to lead and influence others, how to lead in business and enterprise in today’s modern environment. And then you hear from business experts about various global issues, like the topics change every single time we have one of these. It could be about current events or what is in the industry right now. But you get to really connect the dots between what you’re studying online and what is actually happening in the real world.

And then I think my favorite part about LDP is that you become a part of this on-campus community. So all of these people that you’re meeting on the internet through the message boards, and then all the faculty that you’ve connected with over the years, they’re all attending this event as well. So it’s a great networking event, but it’s also something that makes this a very really experience for an online Master’s degree. And Dr. Steven, I know you’ve attended, so from what your perspective is, what do people take away? What is your favorite part about LDP?

So my favorite part about LDP is I think that it really reminds the student, reminds you that you are a part of Ohio University. And we have a very rich history, we have a great alumni system. As I mentioned, we had this beautiful brick campus down in Southeastern Ohio, and that we are dedicated to providing, the same experience for all of our students, whether they’re on campus or online. So this Leadership Development Program really kind of brings the student back and allows them to remember that they’re part of this big, big campus community. It’s not just an online community, it’s a residential community. It’s an alumni community. And we are dedicated to our students from the time they enter the program until, I don’t even know when, I don’t want to say until they die, but perhaps, because we offer continual assistance through our networks, and we really want success for each and every one of our students in the long run.

So, but overall, the students have fun with the Leadership Development Program. They’re hearing really interesting speakers and they get to meet everyone that they’ve been interacting with online, both fellow students as well as their faculty. And so it’s a really great kind of time to step away from your normal day to day activities and really immerse yourself in the education that you’ve been experiencing for the last two years, or one and a half years, or three years, whatever it may be. And so we do find that once the student comes one, they want to come again. So they will come more than once. And you are welcome to come more than once, but you do have to come to one, and we find that students just really, really enjoy it.

Awesome. That’s great. Thank you. So as an online student, I promise you that you’re never alone. From the very start, even now I’m sure, you’ve heard from your dedicated enrollment advisor who will answer any questions you have about the program, especially help you through the application process and connect you with some of the resources and tools that you need to get started once you’re accepted as a student. So the Ohio University service starts even before you’re a student here.

But once you are a student, as an online graduate student in the College of Business, you are actually paired with a student support specialist or a coach who is your main point of contact throughout your entire experience as a Bobcat. Your student support specialist can help you with registering for classes, making sure you’re on deadline, asking you if you need any help. This person is available most of the time most business hours as well as sometimes afterwards.

Especially, as a working professional, it’s hard to get someone on the phone in the middle of the night, but they’re there for you. We also offer 24/7 live tutoring and writing center services through the Ohio University Libraries. As graduate students, probably not as much is needed in that front, but you never know. It’s there for you. All the same campus resources that we have for on-campus students at Ohio University are available to online students as well.

So you have your enrollment advisor who helps you get there. You have your student support specialist who is with you the whole way. But also throughout your entire time we have the program director who is Dr. Jennifer Steven, who we heard from earlier, as well as the faculty. These people are your frontline defense in terms of getting your questions answered and getting everything, any sort of questions or what if scenarios played out in your head. I know as an online student myself, I first connect first with my fellow students, but if I can’t get a concept or need extra time, my program director is always willing to take the time to answer anything that I have. So really rely on these folks. We’re here for you. It’s great. It truly is.

So thank you so much for joining us today. I know we talked a lot about the different aspects of our Ohio online Master of Accountancy program, or our MACC program here. As you know, we’re actively looking for our next set of students. We have three starts per year. Our next term coming up will be summer, but we also are accepting students in the fall and the spring of each year. So if you are interested or you have further questions, you can see our contact information, our email, and our phone number on the screen in front of you. Or if you’re already in contact with an enrollment advisor, feel free to ask them any questions. I can connect you with Dr. Steven, but thank you so much for attending today and we look forward to having you as a future Business Bobcat.