“I did a lot of research looking for an online MS in Accounting. Based on its reputation, course offerings, and affordability, I felt that choosing the program from UConn was a no-brainer. I didn’t see anything else that came close to it.” –Jackson Perry, MS in Accounting graduate, UConn
For Jackson, the online aspect of the program meant that he could earn credits without having to be in a traditional on-campus program. This was important because, as a Sergeant Major in the Army, he was required to travel extensively.
Since graduating from high school 18 years ago, Jackson Perry has been in the Army. During his service, he earned an undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland. But with retirement from the Army just a couple of years away, he decided he needed to up his game to secure a good job in the Accounting field once he was discharged. “I really want to get my CPA license. But I needed those additional credits to even apply to sit for the exam. I was specifically looking for a program accredited by AACSB.”
So Jackson started an Internet search. Once he came across UConn’s MS in Accounting (MSA), he said it was a really easy choice: “Based on its reputation, course offerings, and affordability, choosing the program from UConn was a no-brainer. I didn’t see anything else that came close to it.”
The online aspect of the program meant that Jackson could earn credits without having to be in a traditional on-campus program. This was important because, as a Sergeant Major in the Army, he was required to travel extensively. In fact, he completed about half of the coursework while he was stationed in Europe. “I had a busy job and moved around a lot. It was incredibly helpful that I could log onto the Husky/CT platform anytime, anywhere,” he says.
From Italy to Storrs
Despite being stationed in Italy when he started the program, Jackson decided that it was important to do the required four-day in-person residence seminar (ACCT 5505—Understanding the Responsibilities of an Accounting Professional) prior to starting the online coursework. As he notes, “Even though I had to travel to Storrs, Connecticut from Italy, I knew it would be so helpful to take the seminar first.”
About half of the students he met during ACCT 5505 ended up being his classmates for the entire program. He also met all of his professors, each of whom talked in detail about the specific courses they would be teaching. Says Jackson: “Since I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to take, that was a huge help. They also went over all of the tools we would be using and made sure everything was working perfectly. I would definitely recommend taking the four-day seminar first.”
Flexible course load, flexible platform
After finishing the seminar, Jackson began his coursework in May 2017, taking two or three courses each semester, completing the program in August 2018. In addition to ACCT 5505, there was only one other required course, but even that was flexible, says Jackson. “They offer 3 great electives and you choose one. Then for your other 8 courses, you choose from 17 electives. And all of my professors were fantastic! Each was extremely responsive and professional. When I would email, text, or call a professor, they’d respond that same day.”
About half way through the program, Jackson moved back to the United States and has been living in the Washington, D.C. area since. “I was still traveling a lot. So I continued to appreciate the flexibility of the online platform—and I especially appreciated the tools we were given to use, like Google Docs, which made it easy to connect with other classmates when we needed to work on group projects,” he says and notes:
“Between the Husky/CT Platform and tools like Google Docs and video teleconferencing, you don’t lose anything by doing coursework on line. The system was extremely reliable; it was always up and running. I never had any trouble connecting or downloading large files.”
Double the credentials
While in the program, Jackson also earned the new Advanced Business Certificate in Accounting Analytics. He credits the foresight of Program Manager, Erika Durning for his getting this credential. “Erika was evaluating my transcript to make sure I had met all of the MS in Accounting requirements. It apparently popped into her mind that if I took one more course, ACCT 5557 – Advanced Accounting Information Systems, I could earn the certificate at the same time. It was my area of interest anyway, so it was another no-brainer! In addition to the technical knowledge I gained, I learned how to manipulate the data and present it in a way that non-technical people could use it to make decisions.”
When Jackson retires from the Army in a year or two, he knows he will be starting from scratch in the Accounting field. Sure, he has soft skills, like management abilities and his top secret clearance, but he knows that his Army skills really aren’t that transferable. Thankfully, his MS in Accounting from UConn—and ultimately his CPA once he passes the exam—will jumpstart his new career!