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If you like accounting, a CPA is a much better option. The job opportunities are just better for CPA's especially in the entry level market. Later in your career, it is helpful to have an MBA or other type of masters such as a masters in accounting or tax, but I have both and have gotten much more use out of the CPA. If, however, you are interested in finance, the MBA would be better.
Before starting on any of these, you would be better off to collect few years of job experience. During you job experience you will find your true calling and will get the answers by looking at the skill set of persons with CPA or MBA.
MBA prepares you for more diverse roles and CPA prepares you for more specific roles in accounting and finance.
I am a recent graduate, and have passed the CPA exam and received my MBA. Most of these answers seem to be correct in that an MBA path will probably give you the opportunity to meet the 150 hours requirement to sit for the CPA exam. Having both a CPA and MBA can be a great boost to your career.
The CPA is a great certification to have if you think that you enjoy accounting related jobs. Once you have the CPA, the path is clear for you to be promoted to high levels in almost any firm or company.
An MBA is similarly useful because it opens you up to many career opportunities. With an MBA, you will almost never be denied the chance to move to a different position due to lack of education. An MBA can also help you to move from the accounting career path into another field if you choose to do so later in your career. The sky is the limit.
With that said, there are some drawbacks. Obtaining your MBA will probably be expensive. Unless you are able to receive significant financial aid, you can expect MBA course tuition to be approximately 3 times higher than standard undergraduate courses. If you choose to pursue an MBA and use student loans, you need to be aware that you are taking on some financial risk.
The CPA exam can also be challenging. I was lucky enough to have some down time between graduation and my start date for work. I used this time to pass the exam, and I would suggest you do the same if you have a similar opportunity. The exam fees and study materials are also quite expensive, but you can probably have them paid for by your employer if you have a job lined up by the time you graduate. You will also need to have 2 years of work experience before you obtain your CPA license.
At this point, I have no regrets about my decision to pursue both the CPA and MBA. I would suggest that you continue to consider both options, and talk to a career advisor at your school. Good luck!
Many get an MBA to satisfy the hours requirement for the CPA license. If you don't pass the CPA exam, you'll have an MBA!
To advance in your career, you will want at least one of the two.
Consider your career goals to help you decide.
A CPA prepares you for a specific position in the accounting field while an MBA can provide a much broader business nackground normally with a specification in something like accounting, management or marketing. As L. Rivera mentions, if you are set on an accounting career you can get your Bachelors Degree in Accounting then sit for the CPA exam. If you wnat a broader educational background an MBA provides that. In today's day and age I would suggest specializing in something versus just general Business or Business Managemnt.
If you have reviewed the courses required for both and feel that you do not have a preference, then check out the labor market statistics to see which profession has more opportunity for the future. (http://www.bls.gov) you can review by state or by the nation. It is possible to get an MBA and take the courses needed to sit for your CPA exam. This may be another option and increases your employment opportunities. Also contact your college's Business Department. They can be very helpful.