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FM Accounting Graduates Get Jobs and Launch High Paying Careers Locally

Posted: June 28, 2019 — Plan to get a good-paying steady job after only two years of college? Plan to transfer to a four-year college and save lots of money during your first two years?  Then plan to check out the high-tech, updated Accounting A.A.S. career degree available at the FMCC/State University of New York Johnstown campus. This degree features traditional in-class instruction for full time students, as well as online courses and flexible scheduling options to empower non-traditional working adult students and stay-at-home moms.

According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for accountants was $69,350 in 2017, and the top 10% earned more than $122,000. Of course, those figures include the compensation for Certified Public Accountants, who must obtain a five-year college degree and pass the rigorous Uniform CPA exam that is given nationwide.

Still, FMCC two-year degree accounting graduates report entry-level salaries of $35,000 and more, plus benefits, for full charge bookkeeping and multiple career-building positions. Other FMCC accounting graduates transfer to local colleges such as SIENA, SAGE, and a variety of SUNY four-year institutions that have articulation-transfer agreements with FMCC.  These students then enroll in programs that can lead to the coveted CPA credential and a variety of managerial careers.

The FMCC accounting program has been fully computerized since 2007 and features small classes and individual attention from veteran teaching faculty members, including Mark Swain, an Assistant Professor with an MBA and corporate accounting experience and Laurence Zuckerman, CPA, an Associate Professor with public accounting and dot.com start-up experience.

A one-two career punch that helps FMCC graduates step into the workforce immediately includes required courses in Advanced Bookkeeping and Computerized Accounting Principles. These courses pave the way for students to earn the nationally recognized Certified Bookkeeper and Certified QuickBooks User credentials.

Local employers make heavy use of QuickBooks and this credential is a powerful resume builder that can lead to fast job placement.  Kate Frank is living proof. Ms. Frank graduated from the FMCC accounting program in May 2019 and passed the Certified QuickBooks exam on her first attempt during the Fall 2018 semester. After taking online courses and then finishing her degree as a full time student in the traditional classroom, all while working multiple jobs and being a Mom, Ms. Frank, a distinguished FMCC accounting graduate, launched her new career at a local employer. Now she serves as Assistant to the Association Controller, after working many years at a non-profit agency.

Asked about how the FMCC accounting program impacted her career, Ms. Frank stated, “The accounting program at FM is fantastic. The teachers are incredibly helpful and encouraging, in addition to being experts in their subjects. I learned so many things I’m already using professionally.”

In addition to accounting software training that builds a bridge to job placement, accounting students at FMCC also receive thorough training with Microsoft Excel, which is integrated throughout the Accounting program and many business courses at FMCC. That is augmented by instruction with state-of-the-art tax research programs, such as Thomson-Reuters Checkpoint, which is used in accounting, tax, and law practices throughout the country. Students also use software to prepare individual tax returns and can receive free training from the Internal Revenue Service to prepare tax returns for low to moderate income taxpayers through the IRS-administered Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

Additional elective courses that are popular with FMCC accounting and business students include Personal Finance and Principles of Investing. Knowledge in these areas can be a critical underpinning to your long- term financial success. Accounting students can also join the student-run business and investment clubs here at FMCC.

The bottom line? Accounting is a great stepping stone to many lucrative business careers and the accounting and business courses that you have available at FMCC are a fast and cost-effective way to way for you to maximize the return on your college education investment.

This article was written by Laurence K. Zuckerman, CPA, MST.  Mr. Zuckerman is an Associate Professor at FMCC/State University of NY in Johnstown. He may be reached by email at laurence.zuckerman@fmcc.suny.edu or at 518-736-3622 ext. 8937.

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