Ask a consultant

  • Updated: February 10, 2008 - 5:06 PM

Q Since the 150-hour rule has come into play in higher education, have you seen any impact in the number of students choosing accounting as a major? We often hear that accountants are the "No. 1 draft pick" out of college and wonder if colleges and universities are educating students about this and encouraging them to reap the long-term rewards that come with an accounting education.

SALLY MAINQUIST

PRESIDENT AND CEO

CERTES FINANCIAL PROS

A The 150-hour rule for CPA licensure became effective in Minnesota on July 1, 2006. In essence, this change requires a fifth year of education for individuals who plan to become CPAs. The 150-hour requirement has been the rule for surrounding states for some time, so this new requirement in Minnesota is generally not a surprise to those planning to major in accounting.

In 2008, accounting continues to be a highly desirable major with strong enrollments and lots of interest. As professors, we work with students who have an interest in accounting to let them know about the long-term benefits of an accounting education and advise them regarding the alternatives available to meet the new requirement.

We tell each student seeking CPA licensure to carefully consider the options and develop a plan that is well suited for their long-term career objectives.

Many students elect to earn a graduate degree. For instance, in July of 2005, the University of St. Thomas launched a master's of science degree in accountancy that provides a very attractive alternative to meet the 150-hour requirement while earning the added credential of a graduate degree. The Carlson School of Management launched a similar program in August 2006.

Individuals interested in CPA licensure should consult the MN State Board of Accountancy website at www.revisor.leg.state.mn. us/arule/1105/ for official requirements.

JANICE RAFFIELD

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS

OPUS COLLEGE OF BUSINESS

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