Texas MPA Admissions Blog

Insider Information for Prospective Students

Category: Careers

Congratulations, MPA Class of 2015!

2015 Commencement

Students from the MPA Class of 2015 are already demonstrating great success! At the time of graduation:

  • 97% accepted offers of employment. 1% opted to continue their education post-MPA.
  • 94% of our international MPA graduates accepted offers of employment. 

Our MPA graduates secured full-time employment in a variety of geographical areas throughout Texas, the Northeast, West, South and Midwest and with a wide variety of employers:

  • 4% consulting
  • 5% industry
  • 5% investment banking and other financial services
  • 86% public accounting


Accounting Career Options

Researching your career options?

Start Here, Go Places” is an informative website that was created by the AICPA. I recommend visiting this site if you are researching your career options, as it contains a wealth of information about accounting careers, including portfolios of CPAs, a salary snapshot, and a scholarship search. One highlight is the “Build Your Future Me” interactive feature. After answering a series of questions, you will receive suggestions for jobs in the accounting profession that may be a good fit for you, as well as a plan for getting there.

Increase in Finance Majors Pursuing Accounting

MPA director Jim Franklin and one of our current MPA students were highlighted in a businessweek.com article which stated that finance majors are increasingly adding accounting to their skill set. A couple of notable quotes from the article:

“…The number of finance majors at McCombs who pursued master’s degrees in accounting nearly tripled from fall 2009 to fall 2010, according to Jim Franklin, director of the graduate accounting program. The figure jumped again based on enrollment for this fall, even as undergraduate finance recruiting picked up during the 2010-11 school year.”


“Many more [finance students] now see accounting experience as a way to stand out to financial-services firms, and accounting careers as a potential way to break into finance later if jobs are scarce.”

Texas MPA students pursue not only careers in accounting but also finance-related careers. A list of employers who have recently recruited our students is available on our website.

Financial Jobs in Texas

Texas is the place to be if you’re seeking employment in the financial sector. According to a recent FINS.com article, Texas added the greatest number of financial sector jobs over the past decade. Even better, The Business Journals reported that Texas is the national leader in private sector job growth.

Ready to relocate?

Accounting Job Market Strong

Although the unemployment rate remains high, public accounting firms and companies in industries such as financial services, health care and consumer goods have increased their hiring of accountants. Jim Franklin, director of the Texas MPA program, was recently quoted in Fortune magazine:

“Of the 330 accounting and finance majors graduating from the Masters of Professional Accountancy program at The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, 90 percent have already landed jobs.”

Our students have pleasantly discovered that the supply of accounting graduates is barely meeting the demand!

Career Options

Chris Doll, MPA ’07

The 10-year job outlook for accounting-related careers is strong. Even in tough economic times, 90% of our MPA students secure employment by the time they graduate. The majority of our students opt for positions with public accounting firms upon graduation. However, our top-ranked program attracts employers from a variety of sectors, such as consulting, finance, industry, and public service.

Several McCombs Today articles highlight the interesting and varied career paths of our MPA alumni:

  • Chris Doll, MPA ’07, worked in corporate real estate development and started his own real estate investment firm before launching a not-for-profit organization called House the World, with a mission to provide innovative housing solutions for people who live in substandard conditions throughout the world.
  • Bonnie Chan, MPA ’94, is currently a director of finance at Sara Lee. Upon graduation, she worked for the City of Austin in performance auditing. She then moved to the Internal Audit Department for Gateway Computers and served as accounting manager for Dean Foods before joining Sara Lee.
  • Don Maranca, BBA, MPA ’93, initially started his career in public accounting with Arthur Andersen and then Maxwell, Locke & Ritter. He subsequently worked as a financial analyst at Dell, started his own event management company, joined Applied Materials, worked in business development, and served as director of operations for two smaller firms.
  • Thomas Garza, BBA, MPA ’09, decided to volunteer for Teach for America prior to attending Harvard law school.

Need more information on career options? I recommend visiting the Start Here, Go Places web site created by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Austin Featured in Time Magazine

Austin, TX is highlighted in the recent Time magazine cover story and in a Time.com video feature. The article “The Workforce: Where Will the New Jobs Come From?” illustrates why cities like Austin are showing early signs of job growth. Time.com also published the “10 Jobs for the Recession,” and, not surprisingly, accountant was listed at No. 2!

Start Here, Go Places

“Start here, go places” sounds like a fabulous marketing campaign for the Texas MPA program, but it’s actually a very informative Web site that was created by the AICPA. I highly recommend visiting this site, particularly if you have a non-accounting background. It contains a wealth of information about accounting career options, including portfolios of real CPAs. One highlight is the “Build Your Future Me” interactive feature. After answering a series of questions, you will receive suggestions for jobs in the accounting profession that may be a good fit for you, as well as a plan for getting there.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Accountants Needed in Turbulent Times

As you’re applying to the Texas MPA program, you may be wondering how the current financial crisis is affecting the state of the accounting profession. Members of our Department of Accounting Advisory Council recently provided us with their points of view on the demand for high-quality accountants.

Today the CPA profession has a tremendous need for highly skilled accounting graduates who want to use their professional skills and training to provide financial and auditing service with integrity, help restore confidence in the system, and ultimately contribute to modernizing and improving financial reporting and auditing, in the U.S. and internationally…I would highly encourage students to consider an accounting career. CPAs with integrity will always be in high demand.

Jeanette Franzel, U.S. Government Accountability Office

In the current economic environment I believe accounting students will experience better return on their educational investment than students in many other majors. Accounting students are valued for their accounting expertise as well as their financial and business potential. While it is likely this is shaping up to be a challenging period, it has been my experience companies will continue to invest in talent, however, they will focus this investment on quality instead of quantity. UT accounting students are well positioned for this type of strategy.

Lyn Beaty, Halliburton

In turbulent times, the role of the accounting profession is needed more than ever. We provide high integrity and high quality financial reporting. We are the trusted advisors to our companies providing strategic insight and creating value. The need for credentialed, ethical and talented professionals that make this possible will remain strong.

Brad Halverson, Caterpillar

Understandably, it can be difficult for students making career decisions to witness shifting market conditions. The accounting industry is not alone or immune to present circumstances, but as the economy evolves, our services are needed to address new challenges and meet changing market demands. The ability to attract students and retain talented individuals is important to organizations today because we see students as the leaders of tomorrow who will navigate a more complex accounting industry and help companies and the U.S. remain competitive in the global economy. In addition, it has been predicted that over the coming decades, the professional services industry will face a decline in the number of skilled workers, giving today’s students an influential role to play in the future of the accounting profession.

Don Wagner, Deloitte