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A Second Look at

Accounting Have you ever thought about becoming an accountant or learning about the field?


The truth is not enough students are considering accounting. To help, Point Park University (PPU) and the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) offered a free, one week summer camp last summer for high school students who were interested in learning about job opportunities in the accounting field. The program is called ACAP (Accounting Career Awareness Program).

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ACAP teaches high school students about great jobs in the accounting profession. The students live in Point Park University’s residence halls while attending workshops designed to increase their awareness of accounting. They also learn about the academic courses and job experience required to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Accountants are highly sought after and well paid. All businesses need accountants! The larger the company, the more accountants that are needed to prepare the tax returns and the financial reports that are used to make business decisions. The average starting salary is $45,000 for a student graduating from college with a degree in accounting and good grades. Accountants can also further their careers and salaries by passing a test to become a CPA. Historically, the number of minorities who pursue accounting has been low. One reason is simply the lack of awareness about the benefits of the accounting field. Think about it this way; we have all seen TV shows about doctors and lawyers but when was the last time you saw a show about accountants? In addition, students often learn about and become interested in fields like accounting because they know someone in the field, typically a family member or good friend. Since minorities are underrepresented in the field of accounting, the chances of middle and high school students knowing an accountant are fewer. Many also believe that to be an accountant you must have superior math skills. Yes, you need to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide; however, you do not need to be mathematicians with straight A’s in all math classes to become an accountant. Promise Scholar, Erika Mangual participated in the program as a student supervisor for the week. As an International Business major and current college student curious about accounting, she had a unique perspective. “I am not majoring in accounting. However, I decided to get involved with the ACAP because I was interested in learning about what accounting does and why it is so pertinent in the world of business. I also wanted to participate in the program for networking purposes. I was able to build relationships with the high school students that participated in the program and give them advice about what to expect in college. I also met many professionals both in the accounting field and other business fields.

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The best advice I could give any and every student considering Business is to have a very open mind about accounting. Most people perceive accountants as people who crunch numbers. That's not the case. Companies are not able to survive without accountants. I realized through supervising the program that gaining a Minor in Accounting will be extremely beneficial to me personally, especially because my major will be International Business. With an accounting degree, any career choice is possible!” Due to the success of the program in July 2013, Point Park University and NABA will offer ACAP again in summer 2014. All students who have an interest in a business-related field, especially accounting, are encouraged to attend. Students must have a 2.75 GPA and two letters of recommendation, one from a teacher. For more information on the 2014 Accounting Career Awareness Program, please call Edward Scott at 412-392-6194 or email him at

(Photo by Martha Rial)

Edward E. Scott (MBA, CPA) leads the ACAP program and is the inaugural appointee to the George Rowland White Endowed Professor of Accounting and Finance position at Point Park University. In 2011, George and Kathy White donated $1 million to PPU’s school of business in order to promote accounting career awareness to minority high school students. 31 ideapod // FALL 2013

IdeaPod Fall 2013  
IdeaPod Fall 2013