From the first time Christopher Lee, BS’14, MSA’15, stepped foot on the IUPUI campus for his freshman year of college, he knew he wanted a master’s degree. It was all part of his plan to become a CPA.
Being a CPA with a master’s degree would skyrocket his career.
The accounting industry is one of the fastest growing in the country. With more than 142,000 accounting jobs expected to be created through 2024, Christopher needed an edge that would separate him from the crowd.
“If you don’t get your CPA license, you’re going to miss promotions; you’re going to get stuck,” explains Christopher. “I didn’t want that to be me. I want to be a leader in my industry.”
At such a young age, and with his career just beginning, Christopher didn’t want to hit a ceiling early in his career. He knew in order to sit for the CPA exam, he needed to complete 150 credit hours, and the typical undergraduate degree only requires 120. He had two choices: Take 30 additional credit hours of electives, or enroll in the 30-credit-hour Kelley School of Business Master of Science in Accounting Program at IUPUI.
“In my opinion, taking elective courses to fill your 150 credit hours is a waste of time. Not only is the MSA preparing you to take the CPA exam, it’s preparing you for life,” Christopher says, explaining why he chose to pursue his master’s degree while earning credit for the CPA exam.
The Kelley School at IUPUI offers a 4+1 program, designed specifically for students like Christopher who want to pursue their master’s in accounting immediately following their bachelor’s degrees. The MSA Program provides much more in-depth practice on a variety of accounting topics, rather than giving a broad overview of the topic—which pays off once it’s time to take the CPA exam.
“After completing my Kelley MSA at IUPUI, I was beyond ready for the CPA exam,” says Christopher, who had one of the highest scores in the state. “In fact, compared to the classes in the MSA Program, some of the problems on the CPA exam seemed much broader in scope. I felt like I went into the exam with a huge advantage.”
Today, Christopher is a CPA and an experienced senior tax associate at PwC, one of the largest accounting firms in the world. Having completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Kelley Indy, he can focus on his top priority—moving up within his company.