Career Advice–Would really appreciate any help. Unemployed at the moment.

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  • #3106823
    ZM
    Participant

    I graduated with an accounting degree in the early 2010s. Due to not networking enough I worked lots of deadend jobs. My grades were decent (i.e. 3.5 GPA, etc). I'm in my late 20s right now. Currently in Lambda School's Data Science and Machine Learning program. I should be done in March 2021. I've sought the help of accounting recruiters and for the most part don't want to work with them. Biggest success I got with one of them was driving 20+ miles to two prospective employers and both of them turned me down. With my current program it's difficult to get into a ML position because the field is heavily skewed for master's and PhD applicants. I might as well open the door to accounting and after a couple years of experience make my break into AI/ML positions. I'm not afraid to say it: if I could live my life all over again I wouldn't have gone to college. But I'm still young enough to turn everything around.

    I want to maximize my chances of success so I want to combine accounting with machine learning. I'm pretty sure I'm at 146 credit hours so I need 4 more credit hours.

    1) How do I make sure I'm at 146 hours? Last time I checked there's a process I have to go through where I have to submit my transcripts to make sure I hit 150 hours. I can't waste time and money waiting for my application.

    2) Any cheap ways to get my last hours? I've looked into BYU's Pathway program, coursera programs, as well as AWS certifications. I think the only way for me to get those hours is by enrolling into my local community college. Money is kind of an issue but getting that CPA would increase my odds of getting hired into either accounting or the tech world. Worst case scenario I borrow money as I'm currently unemployed.

    3) Should I shoot for tax positions at smaller firms? I've been asking around and the older 40+ people are telling me to either call up smaller firms or study for the CPA.

    4) I currently live in Chicago and am thinking about relocating to another state like North Dakota. Should I study for the Illinois board or for the state board I want to relocate? I don't want to get into specifics but I want to leave Chicago.

    5) What would you do in my situation? Should I email my alma mater's professors? I'm lost, if it really comes down to bunkering down and studying for the CPA I guess I'll do it. I can't go back to working dead end jobs again.

    I really appreciate the help. Thank you so much.

    #3106985
    monikernc
    Participant

    It is hard to know what you want to be when you grow up – I get it.

    Will Lambda help with job placement?
    You should be able to get an unofficial transcript from your alma mater. A phone call to the registrars office can you help you determine how many credit hours you have or how to get transcripts. My school allows alumni to create an account and download unofficial transcripts quickly and free. See what you can find out from your school.
    Recruiters can be awful. You will probably have to find your own job. Have you ever worked in accounting? See if you can go to your school’s Meet the Firms as an alumni. Reach out to small firms. Take the free quick books certification classes online and test for their certification to show something recent and related. Do you remember accounting? Take some free coursera classes, or other, to refresh.
    The IRS needs entry level people apply and see what happens.

    Why North Dakota? Don’t run away to the most remote place you can think of. Try to stay put and find a job until you have some experience.

    If you stick with lambda and get some decent coding skills and gain some accounting experience you may end up with highly employable skills.

    Figure out what you want to do besides get a job. I never say this but: see if you can go into the military, Navy or Air Force, as an officer and you may be able to develop professional skills there.
    Or go to Boone, NC, apply for a masters in accounting or study anything else they offer, at Appalachian State – slow down, take it slow, and figure it out while working towards something you care about. This is my Disneyland and you can come out of there as anything you want to be. Stay out of debt.

    Whatever you do go find joy.

    AUD - 93
    BEC - 82
    FAR - 76
    REG - 88
    How have you been?
    Ninja book and MCQs and the forum, all first try! 2016
    Licensed State of Montana April Fool’s Day 2020
    State of Colorado June 2020 - AICPA Ethics 93
    Experience was the worst part of the journey for me. You?
    If you want things to change you have to do something different.
    #3107690
    ZM
    Participant

    Thank you monikernc

    #3108098
    monikernc
    Participant

    @ZM I hope you figure it out! Good luck! 🍀

    AUD - 93
    BEC - 82
    FAR - 76
    REG - 88
    How have you been?
    Ninja book and MCQs and the forum, all first try! 2016
    Licensed State of Montana April Fool’s Day 2020
    State of Colorado June 2020 - AICPA Ethics 93
    Experience was the worst part of the journey for me. You?
    If you want things to change you have to do something different.
    #3109118
    JFKGY
    Participant

    Did you want to go for the CPA direction or the AI/ML direction?I don't think a tax job will lead you anywhere close to AI/ML. Forgive me if I didn't get your messenge correctly…

    Don't leave Chicago. Chicago itself is very great. Try to think of a bigger picture of AI/ML. Look into some really odd places that might have less competition. Like small workshop of app development, small invention workshop of household products, try to see if there's any fellowship program or work as an apprentice. The old fashioned way would be looking into factories that produces these products, get in there, and hook yourself up to the designer.

    If whatever program you are in, is an official program, and is recognized by the industry, then I don't think it's a Master PHD problem. Yes, it will be harder, but no it will not be if you can demonstrate you are special worthy and willing to go the extra mile.

    NY - License Approved December 2020.
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