Online Master of Computer Science after CPA?

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    I am thinking about applying a online master of computer science after getting my CPA and CFA level 2.

    Reasons are as follows:

    1. I am really worried that I will be replaced by automation. All major companies are automating as much as possible.

    2. I hope get into a good online master of CS program and after graduate, it will open more doors for me –like data analytics job, or even second tier consulting firm?

    Right now I am doing FP&A, and feeling bored all day every day…

    I am currently learning Python on coursera. After Python, I will look into SQL and VBA.

    I appreciate any comments.



    Hey DDylan

    I am curious to hear your thoughts on how you could be replaced (in FP&A)? Or is your concern just a general concern?

    I am currently in a reporting role so I am using a tremendous amount of SQL (probably 25-50% of my time each week) on creating and analyzing business reports.

    I also experimented a bit in Python and hope to continue honing those skills in the near future.

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    Hi Phil, theres a lot of process that can be improved/automated such as the deal valuation and the majority of the management reporting in FP&A. Right now I do not see too much sign of mass layoff just due to automation, but I believe once the company develops a good template/system, most of the “analyst”, including me, will be let go.

    Knowing SQL is a big thing at this moment, but from what I understand, sql is mostly just pull/manipulate data in various ways. In essence, there is not much analytical behind it (not trying to undermine sql, but just my pure opinion, and I may be wrong)



    Having certifications (CISA?) and learning languages will make you far more marketable than a token degree.

    “You have a computer science degree … oh, what can you do?”

    “Well, I know python … php … etc”

    Degrees don't mean much and have very minimal ROI. Employers care about what you can specifically do that will alleviate a pain point for them.



    @jeff Thanks for the suggestion. But the problem is, if you just say you know python, sql or whatever language, it's just cheap talk, not very convincing. Kinda hard to get into some analytic type of roles. I looked into CISA before when I was an auditor, but I gave up after getting CPA and realizing audit is not for me…



    Well, having a computer science degree doesn't mean you can actually code.

    A guy with a popular podcast – James Althucher – when he talks about college degrees, he talks about getting a computer science degree and then had to go to the local trade school to actually learn how to code for his new job. It's anecdotal for sure, but I think there's a void between academia and the real world.

    The draw of more school (in my opinion) is that it's something tangible – an objective box that people can check off.



    My knowledge is very limited on this but if it means anything, a lot of professors from my state university in Minnesota kept touting Accounting with IT. 1 – accountants are in demand 2 – IT people are in demand. 3 – There are not many Accounting/IT people. They kept talking about VERY SOLID job security and HIGH PAY! Definitely worth considering in my opinion. I'm keeping that option open myself, but one thing at a time for me. CPA first.

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    Attempt at reposting (after I edited my response a member ago it doesn't show up..weird):

    Based upon my experience a lot of automation is hyped. I have been involved both manufacturing changes (and system changes) where a bunch of hocus pocus was touted and was supposed to automate but when it came down to working in the real world it never did.

    Some examples include automated reporting between systems (to eliminate data entry). So yes, in this case a data entry position was eliminated or repurposed but now a new position was created (an analyst to review the garbage and mispostings between systems).

    I am by no means doubting that automation abilities are continuing to improve since many companies just can't wait to get on board for the reasons you mentioned.

    I see this being more of an issue in very large and moderate sized companies but something but less so in smaller companies (economies of scale). In fact, this has already been going on in many larger companies for some time.

    I also echo Jeff's point about having a degree in something versus being able to do it are different things.

    My personal belief is that future CPAs should have a 2 year school. Half of the stuff they teach in undergrad is completely worthless and unnecessary for success as a CPA.

    I learned way more about all facets of accounting on my own studying for the CPA exam then I ever did in school (not exaggerating….being forced to recall a book of information for each exam forced me to learn the concepts and commit to my long term memory).

    REG - 93 (taken during DEC-18)  90% Gleim MCQ/book + 10% Wiley MCQ

    BEC - 79 (taken during FEB-19)  100% Wiley MCQ/book

    FAR - 88 (taken during APR-19) 100% Gleim MCQ/book + Ninja Audios

    AUD - 85 (taken JUN-19 )  100% Wiley MCQ/book + Ninja Audios

    CA ETHICS (passed first attempt)



    I am kind of thinking about the same thing as you.
    What type of jobs/roles do you think would be ideal for someone like you?(someone with CPA AND programming knowledge?)

    Little background about myself, I did 5 years of financial reporting at an international bank, recently finished my CPA exams, doing online programming class via Udemy. Switched job about a year ago, currently doing PPNR modeling (part of FP&A/CCAR), which involve little bit of coding/modeling using Python and R. Even with this, still feel like my role can be replaced anytime..

    Done... now what?
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