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NextGen Magazine


Why Now—More Than Ever—Is the Best Time to Become a CPA

Megan Burke, CPA, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor of Accounting at Marist College, NY; Content Writer for UWorld Roger CPA Review
Published Date:
Jun 15, 2020

UWorld Article-Image_May2020


As COVID-19 continues to unravel, its short-term effects are easy to see, such as changes in daily routines and new societal norms. However, what’s not as transparent is how far-reaching the impact of the pandemic will be, such as its effects on the economy, business practices, and—perhaps most importantly—job security.

Luckily, CPAs have always been considered an essential service—but even more so today. Here’s why now, more than ever, is the best time to become a CPA.

1.     You may never have time like this to focus on your professional goals again. Traditionally, preparing for the CPA Exam can feel like a daunting task. Finding the time and prioritizing studying can be difficult, especially if you’re already a full-time professional, starting a family, or doing both. It can also be an isolating experience as you forego social activities with family and friends in exchange for productive study time. However, with the shelter-in-place order still in effect, now is the perfect time to hunker down and focus.

In addition, if you’re in a situation where you’ve been laid off, furloughed, or have been thinking about a career change, this is the opportune time to invest in yourself and your professional goals. 

2.    CPAs are even higher in demand. While CPAs have always been in high demand, the impact of COVID-19 has made their role even more urgent—now, and especially in the foreseeable future. As businesses across the country are making critical operational decisions due to closures and other adjustments, they’re turning to CPAs to help guide them with forecasting, cash flow analysis, revenue, and more. 

When restrictions begin to lift and the country slowly reopens, there’s no doubt CPAs will continue to be in high demand for their trusted advice as they aid individuals and businesses through uncharted waters. 

3.    Prepare yourself for economic uncertainty. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate has soared to 14.7%—roughly equating to 20.5 million Americans losing their jobs since the start of the pandemic. Analysts are calling this the worst unemployment rate the nation has seen since the Great Depression, and that it will take years to bounce back.

Now’s the time to make your career bullet (and future) proof. During times like these, CPAs are typically on the front lines, playing an integral part in economic recovery. Obtaining licensure not only guarantees job security for a lifetime, but also gives you peace of mind for whatever situation may arise, whether it be a recession or pandemic. There’s a reason why this designation remains the gold standard of accounting; it’s value is not only highly coveted, but exceptionally timeless.

Although today's climate presents many challenges, it’s for these very reasons that you shouldn’t hold off on licensure. There’s truly no better time to invest in your future. This is probably the greatest opportunity for the CPA profession to be the calming force in a whirlwind of unpredictability.