ABSTRACT:

Students are often concerned with, and advisors are often confronted with, questions about the best way to obtain the 150 hours required for CPA licensure in most states and jurisdictions. This research provides insight through an experiment in which CPAs in public accounting provide assessments about how actively their organization would recruit job candidates whose profile descriptions differ only as to how they met the 150-hour requirement. By manipulating, at seven levels, the independent variable describing the method by which a hypothetical student obtained 150 hours, the study indicates that, in general, CPAs tend to value more accounting-specific coursework leading toward a degree, preferably an advanced degree. The study also provides suggested courses of action for students who do not have the option of pursuing a graduate degree.

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