Is CPA worth it in late 40's?

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    I am in the process of getting an MA in Accounting, but will be 49 by the time I finish it. I am debating taking the CPA exam at the end. Given that I will be almost 50 by the time I finish taking the exams (assuming I pass all on the first try!), is it worth it at that point? I had a career in my 20's, then became a stay at home mom for 12 years, then went back to school for accounting. I have been working part time as an accounting assistant for 5 years, but other than that, no real experience.


    Not to discourage you, I don't see any benefit from it

    I'm 29…Passed my exam, 3 yrs of tax and audit experience, waiting for my CPA certificate in the mail

    I applied lots and lots of accounting jobs (tax/audit) over the last three months, had 10 interviews, but still can't land a job for myself; Whereas other fresh college grads with no experience before, they were able to find a jobs sooner than me.

    I just don't see and don't know why I would sit for the CPA exam.


    Yes, getting the CPA is worth it. I know a lady who started testing in her 60's. She wanted it, and went for it. You can do it.


    I completely disagree with crossovercpa!

    If you want it, go for it!!!! I see absolutely no reason at all not to!!!


    Finished my MS and got my CPA at 42, and I've seen folks here late 50's and early 60's. Is it worth it to gain the ego boost of passing one of the toughest exams in the US? Is it worth it to do something for YOU after years of raising a family? I think so!

    And increasing my income by 40% didn't hurt!

    Age is irrelevant. At 49, let's be 100% honest, you likely have close to another 20 years in the workforce unless you're exceptionally lucky. You still have a lot to offer.



    I am 48, I also went back to school for accounting after raising four children and running my own business. My dream is CPA and that's what I am doing. so age? who cares. I personally think we are being over 40 stereo typed. Seriously, Go for it, make these youngins jealous. I'm in it with you. Congrats on a bold decision!

    It begins with a 75
    Been here too long as a cheerleader.....time to pass

    I am 46 and I will pass the cpa exam this year. I had a career before this (owned three businesses) and switched at 41. I did two years at a cpa firm to fulfill the experience requirement (one year in IL) and then switched over to the University where my husband is a professor. If he makes a move, I will have a job where ever he goes and we will retire together. The CPA designation will open a whole new tier of jobs that I currently have the skills but do not qualify on paper. It is NEVER too late to better yourself and strive to reach a goal. Do not limit yourself to CPA firms for the rest of your life…there are other fantastic opportunities on the non-traditional path.

    When I was 29, a fella I dated told me that the best years of my life were OVER. I gave him the finger, walked away and met my husband a year later… the best years of my life were YET to come.

    Don't let ANYONE discourage you from the dream of a better life!

    PS. My mentor is a lady that raised 6 kids and then got her CPA at 55. She currently owns a large firm and is still going to work every day at 82!


    I also TOTALLY disagree with crossover.

    I am 51 and passed my final part in February of this year. If there is a desire in your heart to get your CPA(I sense there is or you wouldn't be asking the question), listen to it and not anyone else. Look to those who encourage and not discourage.

    You'll be 50 no matter if you take the exams or not.

    Good luck.


    I'm 29 and I think that you should totally do it. If it's what you want DO IT!!!! Don't let anyone or anything hold you back.


    I agree with those of you who are encouraging Nelsonx5. Go for it. I am 38 and i am almost done with my exam. You will have nothing to lose by getting the license. However, you might lose something and regret why you did not go for it when you have the time. Go for it and all the best.

    Thank you to all those who provided encouraging words. You shed light on the fact that you do not only ave to be on your 20s to do the CPA. You can do it at any age!


    go for it!!


    Thanks for all the encouragement! I keep waffling back and forth whether it is worth the effort. I know I will have to sacrifice to make it happen, but my kids are all off to college next year (triplets), so my house will be quiet. I keep thinking I will regret it if I don't go for the CPA license. (And I will have a lot of college to pay for!)


    Turning 48 this year and got licensed last year.

    Those young punks have nothing on the wisdom and maturity that those of us over 40 bring to the table (and ability to juggle multiple issues at one time that only moms can do).

    I just landed the best job I've had in my accounting career – and with the highest pay. The fact that I am a CPA was important to their hiring decision.


    I have been inspired by all of your posts! Thank you! I am now seriously considering taking the test(s). This may be a silly question, but does anyone else feel overwhelmed when they look at how much information is involved here?


    Take it chapter by chapter, don't look at how far the road is, look back at how far you have traveled to get where you are now and reaffirm yourself that you CAN DO IT!

    CPA designation means a lot in our industry, and just because one person has had a hard time finding a job doesn't mean that you will (Their accounting market is probably saturated). Keep your head held high and your eyes on your goals.


    @crossovercpa – you say that undergrads with a “lack of experience” have taken all your offers? I assume this means you have networked, created a great Linkedin profile, cold called, engaged in an extensive personal marketing plan, and never game up? If all this is true, I will agree with you; however I doubt it is.

    I am a recent undergrad; this by no means qualifies me any more than you. What I do have is an unstoppable drive to to succeeded and an unquenchable thirst for learning; your posts sheds lights on an attitude much different from this.

    Change your mindset and change your life.

    @Nelsonx5 – GO FOR IT!

    Best of luck to both of you.


    Adding to the chorus – I'm 40 and I went back to school for my masters almost 4 years ago, a career change (my second, actually!) and in the midst of raising kids (my youngest was 1 when I went back, she'll turn 5 shortly after I graduate in December). I never questioned whether I'd sit for the CPA exam, that was the main reason I decided to get the MSA and not an MBA. Assuming all goes well, I'll finish REG in August and get my license once I've graduated. Go for it!!



    @Nelsonx5 I'm so glad you started this thread because I too am also in my 40s. I stayed home with my 3 children for 10 years before I made the choice to re-start my career. I just finished up my masters in accounting and sat for 2 parts of the exam during my last semester. My youngest is only 4 so I won't lie it has been tough getting in the study time but I would say it is well worth it. I am hopefully now just one test shy of being a CPA. All the sacrifices are well worth it. I start work full time again this fall and I know I would not have gotten this job without being on the CPA track. I had my MBA and couldn't get an interview because I was out of the workforce for too many years. A recruiter told me I should get my CPA and it was great advice!


    I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but if you're doubting yourself and asking for advice from anonymous people on the internet to see if you should even try, then don't even try and just give up.

    This is a hard process. The exam itself is hard, but getting a job will be just as hard (especially in this economy).

    If you're juggling a job and family life on top of studying, you really need to commit yourself entirely to this.

    Nobody can assure you of the outcome you're seeking, but in my opinion not trying at all is the worst thing you can do for yourself.


    IMHO, CPA title opens doors regardless of age. I'm 40 and currently working on getting promoted by the end of this year. The fact that I will be possibly a CPA in a few months (granted passing of BEC) happened to get message across much faster and wheels finally started to move in a direction I've always dreamed of.

    Another thing, age is often not so much of a factor especially if person looks youthful and/or handsome//beautiful. That coupled with a CPA title or even being in progress on the exam, opens even more doors, that's just a reality fortunately or not.

    Moral of the story: pass CPA, make effort to look good 🙂

    Just do it!


    Reading these posts were so encouraging to me I had to register so I could respond! I too am 48 years old, raising 3 kids, working, and trying to get through this @!!%$ test. I am studying for FAR for the second time. I am scheduled for July 31 but do not feel I am retaining the information well enough to be ready to take it again. I am using Yaeger and Ninja notes. I have used the full course and now using the CRAM. I feel like I need a new study strategy/curriculum because this one doesn't seem to be working for me. With less than 3 weeks to go, can anyone give me some advice here? I don't know why I am having such a hard time remembering the material, especial PV all categories. I refuse to believe it is my age! HELP!


    Espresso, just out of curiosity how is asking if obtaining a CPA as a mature adult will be well received in the job community any different than every other question that is asked here?

    Because frankly “if you're doubting yourself and asking for advice from anonymous people on the internet to see if you should even try, then don't even try and just give up” pretty much applies to every.single.question. that is asked here. LOL.

    Actually that makes this entire message board moot.


    My mom started studying for the CPA after 3 children at the age of 42. She went on to have a career for 25 more years.

    A lot of it depends on your idea of retirement. Personally, I don't believe that most people will be able to retire at 65. Thus, you could have a 20-30 year career as a CPA.

    Will it be easy to get a job and compete with fresh CPA grads? No.

    But it will be easier to start your own firm as people tend to trust accountants with a few grey hairs.


    I'm not on the “fresh grads get all the good jobs” bandwagon. Employers still value outside work experience and frankly, life experience as well. I did my two years at a cpa firm with a group of new grads and they all considered me the mother hen which was OK. My kids are their age but every single one of them asked me for help and guidance. They were a great bunch and I miss them but I never wasted one minute worrying that I was old enough to be their mother. AND…I climbed to the top of everyone of those grain bins right along with them. Now that was fun!

    I will grant you that it was NOT a Big4 firm but that was not and is not my goal.

    You have to take a look at where you stand TODAY and make decisions accordingly. Go find the best job, niche, career that works for you and grow a future. NO ONE, young or old, is promised tomorrow so work for your goals TODAY!

    Good luck!!!



    I am trying to get a new job (cause I don't like where I am) and the recruiters are telling me that even just passing two exams is an asset. I know a lady who got her CPA when she was nearly 60. I definitely makes you a cut above. It is hard to say why you are having trouble with the hiring process, but don't be discouraged. I would practice with the interview process. Getting a job a lot of of times is a matter of your fit with the company and what the job market is. Keep trying to figure it out and you will succeed. If you are trying for jobs where you are overqualified they might think that you won't stay with the job. Recruiters have also told me that companies have become very specific about what they want. I still think that a CPA is an asset to the right company. Good luck!


    In your late 40's?! Shouldn't you be running out the clock in Florida by now?


    Like many have said above, go for it if it's YOUR dream. Otherwise, you will have a helluva time coming up with motivation to plow through 100 hrs of lectures and ten thousand multiple choice questions. Not to mention the heartbreak you'll feel when you're looking back at anything less than a 75 after refreshing for 2 1/2 hrs – that is, if you're like the 85% of us who don't pass each section the first time through.




    I guess I didn't think about that, you have a good point there. touche

    I suppose it was the way that the message was originally written that triggered my response.

    I think we can all agree though that it is what it is. There's no point in wasting time in wondering and it's better to just to grind it out and just go for it if you're honestly wondering if you should even try or not.


    OP, I don't really see the dilemma over whether or not taking the CPA exam is worth it. It's definitely passable and can only help your career.

    I mean, unless you've already locked in an accounting position where the CPA would be of little or no value, then it can only aid you in your accounting path.



    Great post! You read my mind!


    When I told my friends and some of my family that I was going back to college to finish my degree I was 36. Everyone of them told me “Are you crazy, you'll be nearly 40 when you graduate.” I told my grandmother and she said “It's about time.” I asked her why she didn't say “You'll be nearly 40 when you graduate”? She said “Oh my, you've found the fountain of youth! If you don't graduate from college you'll never turn 40. Honey 40 is coming, with or without a degree. You might as well have one.”

    I finally got licensed at 44 and I only have one regret. My grandmother didn't live long enough to see it. So if it's what you want, then go get it. Time is marching on. You might as well be the guy holding the big stick leading the band!

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