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  1. #1
    twhitehall1 is offline Registered User
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    SUNY Empire Accounting Program

    Hello All,

    Found the forum after looking for reviews of SUNY Empire. I wanted to finish up my undergrad degree in accounting and then finish a masters in accounting so I can take the CPA exam.

    I wanted to know if anyone else has finished this degree and if so:

    1) How did graduate schools respond to this degree? Did it hurt your chances of getting into a graduate school?
    2) How did employers in the accounting field respond to an online accounting degree?

    Evidently CUNY's Baruch College doesn't even accept undergrad accounting course transfer credits from SUNY Empire so I don't want to get a worthless degree...

  2. #2
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Evidently? Where's the evidence?
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  3. #3
    decimon is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    Evidently? Where's the evidence?

    In the past I've read that other SUNY schools may reject ESC courses.

  4. #4
    decimon is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by twhitehall1 View Post
    Hello All,

    Found the forum after looking for reviews of SUNY Empire. I wanted to finish up my undergrad degree in accounting and then finish a masters in accounting so I can take the CPA exam.

    I wanted to know if anyone else has finished this degree and if so:

    1) How did graduate schools respond to this degree? Did it hurt your chances of getting into a graduate school?
    2) How did employers in the accounting field respond to an online accounting degree?

    Evidently CUNY's Baruch College doesn't even accept undergrad accounting course transfer credits from SUNY Empire so I don't want to get a worthless degree...

    I think you're stuck with having to check with each prospective graduate school. Or finding a forum with ESC grads discussing their fates. There are some college ranking or rating websites where people weigh in with their experiences.

  5. #5
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    There are no unified admissions standards for "graduate schools"; you need to specify which ones. My hunch is, though, that most graduate programs would not dismiss ESC degree out of hand; I would further guess a majority would treat it like any other degree. Excelsior College degrees are known to be accepted at grad schools... I can't think of a single reason ESC degrees would be rejected at same schools.

    For that matter, why would foreign degrees meet better acceptance than ESC? It does not make sense. International students like myself get into American grad schools all the time.

    On employers: it's too broad a cathegory. Certainly Big Four prefer to recruit fresh grads and seniors at top schools (or at least AACSB research universities). Most employers in the industry, though, would accept any accredited degree in Accounting . My wife applied to exactly one position in US with her Excelsior College BS in Accounting (with Florida Auditor General) - it was enthusiastically accepted. It did help that she had a couple of sections of CPA exam passed. She was perceived as an equal to (and outperformed) UF and FSU grads. Empire State would be similarly embraced.
    Last edited by Stanislav; 08-08-2017 at 08:27 PM.
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  6. #6
    twhitehall1 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by decimon View Post
    In the past I've read that other SUNY schools may reject ESC courses.
    I spoke with an admissions transfer counselor via telephone this afternoon...

    "ESC Accounting courses are not vigorous enough for us to accept them as transfer credits"

    Anyone else here with ESC degree that can attest to their reputation?

  7. #7
    twhitehall1 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanislav View Post
    There are no unified admissions standards for "graduate schools"; you need to specify which ones. My hunch is, though, that most graduate programs would not dismiss ESC degree out of hand; I would further guess a majority would treat it like any other degree. Excelsior College degrees are known to be accepted at grad schools... I can't think of a single reason ESC degrees would be rejected at same schools.

    For that matter, why would foreign degrees meet better acceptance than ESC? It does not make sense. International students like myself get into American grad schools all the time.

    On employers: it's too broad a cathegory. Certainly Big Four prefer to recruit fresh grads and seniors at top schools (or at least AACSB research universities). Most employers in the industry, though, would accept any accredited degree in Accounting. My wife applied to exactly one position in US with her Excelsior College BS in Accounting (with Florida Auditor General) - it was enthusiastically accepted. It did help that she had a couple of sections of CPA exam passed. She was perceived as an equal to (and outperformed) UF and FSU grads. Empire State would be similarly embraced.
    Excellent point, I guess my question is: Is Empire State looked at like a SUNY School, or some random online college that's a business turning out degrees to anyone who can afford tuition?

    Do any firms "recruit" at Empire State?

    If I can attend an actual in person SUNY School is that a better idea? I highly prefer online education as I learn better/faster the self taught method...

    Very nice to hear about your wife's success, with some sections of the CPA exam passed she proved her intelligence for sure. Congrats to her. Thanks for your response.

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  9. #8
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by twhitehall1 View Post
    Excellent point, I guess my question is: Is Empire State looked at like a SUNY School, or some random online college that's a business turning out degrees to anyone who can afford tuition?
    My hunch is, most employers will see "State College", think "oh, it's a public school" and won't look twice. It satisfies screening requirements just like the vast majority of accredited schools.

    Quote Originally Posted by twhitehall1 View Post
    Do any firms "recruit" at Empire State?
    Public accounting firms? I don't know, but my guess is "no". Having said that, these are by far not the only potential employers for an accountant , most of which do not formally "recruit" anywhere. You use job listings, agents, networking to find a position and apply, like most people do.

    Quote Originally Posted by twhitehall1 View Post
    If I can attend an actual in person SUNY School is that a better idea? I highly prefer online education as I learn better/faster the self taught method...
    If you want to be "recruited" by say PWC, you might want to attend a flagship (but not just any SUNY school... check where they recruit). Otherwise, while explicit SUNY name would be marginally better, and will appease DL haters, I don't believe the difference is worth inconvenience and opportunity cost. Especially after you prove you can pass the exams. Caveat: I do not know what NY job market is in 2017.

    Quote Originally Posted by twhitehall1 View Post
    Very nice to hear about your wife's success, with some sections of the CPA exam passed she proved her intelligence for sure. Congrats to her. Thanks for your response.
    Thanks. For full disclosure: Toronto job market was far tougher for an immigrant; I don't believe ESC or SUNY would help much though. She's Florida CPA and Ontario CPA CA now.
    Last edited by Stanislav; 08-09-2017 at 10:19 AM.
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    PhD (Computer Science, Florida State University)
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  10. #9
    Elephant123 is offline Registered User
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    To build on Stanislav's comment, it depends on what your are going to use the degree for. If you are looking to advance in your current job, then Empire State is a good school and shouldn't be an issue. I got my accounting degree via distance learning and it helped me advance at my current job.

    If you are looking to break into the accounting profession, it would be easier if you went to a AACSB accounting school. Reason why is because some AACSB schools will make you take leveling/bridge courses if your accounting degree came from a non-AACSB school (I went through this before going for my masters in another discipline). This is also a reason why ESC accounting credits may not transfer to most CUNY/SUNY schools.

    Also just to add about CPA requirements, you may need the 150 credit hours and some states require that not only the degree be from a regionally accredited school but may need to even be accredited further (including AASB or ACBSP - see Texas).

    I would go over the requirements for your state.

    Last thing, if you want to be recruited to big 4/regional firms, go on the ground to bigger state schools. I would check who/when recruiting fairs are for accountants . Might even be best to join the accounting club as it may give you mpre access to recruitment.

    Hope this helps.

  11. #10
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by twhitehall1 View Post
    I spoke with an admissions transfer counselor via telephone this afternoon...

    "ESC Accounting courses are not vigorous enough for us to accept them as transfer credits"

    Anyone else here with ESC degree that can attest to their reputation?
    Please forgive my language, mods.

    Bullshit.

    I've spoken to a lot of admissions people and the response is pretty uniform:

    "Once you apply and have your transcripts submitted they will be reviewed by the registrar."

    But, because I'm an especially open minded person, I called Baruch and asked them specifically about SUNY ESC. Their response was (paraphrased):

    Baruch College is AACSB accredited and Empire ESC is not. As such, they are limited in which business courses can be accepted for transfer into a business program. Some (typically lower level) courses will likely be accepted but the bulk of the courses wouldn't be for transfer purposes. This is true of any non-AACSB credits being transferred into an AACSB program. To see which courses would be accepted, however, you have to submit the transcript and have it evaluated.

    No mention of the credits "vigor" whatsoever.

    For graduate admissions, apply and they will review. Non-AACSB business degree holders may be admitted but may have to complete foundations courses.

    None of this is new information. And none of it amounts to "Baruch College won't accept ESC credits because they are not 'vigorous' enough."

    Is Empire State looked at like a SUNY School, or some random online college that's a business turning out degrees to anyone who can afford tuition?
    SUNY ESC has little by way of reputation in New York State. Some employers have a slightly negative view towards it. Most simply have never heard of it.

    Do any firms "recruit" at Empire State?
    No.

    If I can attend an actual in person SUNY School is that a better idea? I highly prefer online education as I learn better/faster the self taught method...
    There is nothing wrong with SUNY ESC. However, there are better SUNY options out there in terms of name recognition.

    There is a website that does nothing other than help you find SUNY online programs across the whole SUNY system.

    SUNY Plattsburgh has a decent, if not exceptional, reputation and has an online B.S. in Business. Of course, they are also not AACSB accredited which means you'd run into the same issues with SUNY ESC if your intention is to transfer credits.

    Which brings me to my other issue...

    credit.transfer.is.not.the.same.as.graduate.admiss ions.standards.

    I'm not sure how many times it needs to be said on this forum. I got into an AACSB accredited MBA program with a non-AACSB bachelors. It happens. It happens a lot. At least two people in my cohort don't even have business undergraduate degrees. Where you can run into issues with a non-AACSB accredited undergrad is in states where that is required for licensure.

    But there are plenty of other SUNY options where you'd likely face few issues going on to graduate studies. SUNY Polytechnic has an online Master of Accountancy that is aligned with CPA requirements. Not that SUNY Poly is going to rev up employers.

    If you want a school where you'll be recruited then, frankly, none of these are the best option. Binghamton University (formerly SUNY Binghamton) has a pretty solid accounting program and some pretty big firms recruiting there. The schools that are leading the way in online studies, at least in SUNY, don't have that luxury.
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  12. #11
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neuhaus View Post
    I'm not sure how many times it needs to be said on this forum . . .
    I know that I never get tired of that story, so . . .
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  13. #12
    foobar is offline Registered User
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    Pass the CPA exam and grad schools and employers care much less about where your accounting degree is from. There are plenty of graduates from elite accounting programs that can't pass the exam.

  14. #13
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by foobar View Post
    Pass the CPA exam and grad schools and employers care much less about where your accounting degree is from. There are plenty of graduates from elite accounting programs that can't pass the exam.
    ..
    There are a number of professions that require licensure in order to get the most from your career. Psychology /Counseling , Nursing and, I guess, Accounting too. We hear the same thing about all of them . . . Once you get your license, the importance of where you went to school drops dramatically.
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  15. #14
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    ..
    There are a number of professions that require licensure in order to get the most from your career. Psychology/Counseling, Nursing and, I guess, Accounting too. We hear the same thing about all of them . . . Once you get your license, the importance of where you went to school drops dramatically.
    To add to this, once you start banking years of experience in a certain profession where you school can drop in importance.

    Your first job out of the gate might get tricky. But no one is going to pass up a CPA , particularly one with specialized skills and years of experience, because they don't like the undergrad institution. Unless you're in a tight labor market where there is a massive glut of CPAs that is really unlikely to happen. Even if more competitive markets, like NYC, it might mean that you don't get the job at PWC or E&Y and have to settle for a lesser known, but still perfectly fine, firm.
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  17. #15
    suelaine is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by twhitehall1 View Post
    I spoke with an admissions transfer counselor via telephone this afternoon...



    Anyone else here with ESC degree that can attest to their reputation?
    Well, I earned my ESC degree before the popularity of online classes and the Internet, and it was not an "online" degree even though I earned it by participating in non-traditional options, including a few printed distance learning courses but mostly by meeting in person a couple times a month with my professor/mentor/instructors, and working independently between these scheduled meetings. I felt that it was at least as reputable as any SUNY college so seeing this thread questioning the reputation actually surprises me a little. I do think the reputation was quite high at one time but I don't know if that has changed. I was never in an accounting program so I can't attest to that. ESC was definitely one of the forerunners in non-traditional options for adult learners and they offered ways for adult learners to avoid attending traditional classes.
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