Returning to school is a huge decision many working adults consider at some point. The urge to advance your career and expand your network is enough to lure you in. Among the most popular of master’s programs is the Master of Business Administration, or the MBA. According to Yahoo, MBA applications are up 17.6% from 2019 at the leading business schools. Many saw the COVID-19 pandemic and work-from-home culture as an opportunity to apply and enroll.  

But what is the value of a master’s in business? Is the time commitment and money worth the degree? The Wall Street Journal recently quoted, “About 98% of universities that offer master’s of business administration programs were making more money than they had borrowed two years out of business school. Meanwhile, only 6% of those who graduated from law school were making more money than what they had borrowed, two years later.” It appears, compared to other programs, that the MBA has a much higher return on investment.  

The necessity of MBA’s

However, our recruiters who specialize in Accounting and Finance maintain that they don’t see the MBA as a requirement to succeed in this field. Lisa Figuccio, a Senior Director here at Green Key says, “A lot of candidates do have MBA’s, maybe 30-40%, but clients don’t necessarily ask for it.” So while business school can open several new doors, it is not completely necessary to land a fitting job. Flexibility may be the reason those with an MBA are making more money. Law school and medical school are often too demanding to work at the same time; the MBA allows students to continue working and making money while also earning their degree.  

Alternately, Figuccio says that specific certifications, such as the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam, are more worthwhile; more of her clients request CPA’s over MBA’s. 

The NYS Society of CPA’s claim that CPA’s are in higher demand now than ever before. They say, “As businesses across the country are making critical operational decisions due to closures and other adjustments, they’re turning to CPAs to help guide them with forecasting, cash flow analysis, revenue, and more. When restrictions begin to lift and the country slowly reopens, there’s no doubt CPAs will continue to be in high demand for their trusted advice as they aid individuals and businesses through uncharted waters.”

Additionally, Ryan Calpin, Head of Marketing Tech at Green Key, says that agency and consulting firms are the “craziest market right now.” 

Any master’s degree or certification is going to have its advantages. Learning to manage projects, earning mentorships, and building connections will certainly cultivate your professional career. Whether or not you have one on the resume, check out our Accounting + Finance job board today and connect with one of our awesome recruiters! Your next role could be waiting.  

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Green Key

How to Build a Resume For a Career In Banking

Across the nation, accounting, finance and business majors are locking in this summer’s internships. Some were lucky enough to accept offers in the fall. Most are doing that now.

There’s one group, however, that is looking ahead to summer 2021. Those are the undergrads intent on a career in investment banking, where internship recruiting by many of the largest banks and firms starts earlier than almost any other industry sector.

Certainly, not every banking intern is recruited in their second year of college. But especially at the leading business schools like Wharton, Stanford, Chicago’s Booth, Sloan at MIT and Harvard among them, the competition for top students is so keen recruiters have been known to offer summer jobs to freshmen.

Brian DeChesare, founder of two blogs jobs on alternative assets and banking, says the internship timeline “starts ridiculously early.” Recognizing that is especially important for students at schools not among those most targeted by the industry. Students at lesser-known universities, he says, can earn one of the prized internships but only if they make the right connections and take steps far earlier than they might think necessary.

In an enlightening Q&A DeChesare interviews an investment banker who explains in detail how, after deciding on a career in investment banking while a senior in high school, they went about achieving that goal. The article traces the steps the banker took beginning in the first weeks after starting college right through the final year.

The most important lesson, the one the unnamed banker says is the biggest takeaway, is building and maintaining a network of contacts. “You cannot afford to screw up relationships,” the banker says. “That means if you contact someone for a coffee chat or networking call, you must show up on time and do it.”

How does a freshman with no contacts build the kind of network that will help them land an internship? It takes work and a bit of luck. The banker in the article explains how they did it:

“I did some cold outreach on LinkedIn, eventually got a response from a search fund professional, and asked him for advice about the investment banking recruiting timeline.

“He was impressed that I had researched his firm and reached out to him only a few weeks after arriving at university.

“He explained search funds and offered me a part-time internship, which I quickly accepted and used to learn the basic buy-side and sell-side processes.””

That’s a message every student should keep in mind. Whether investment banking, hedge funds, some other related sector or, for that matter, any industry, making and sustaining contacts is as key to landing an internship and later a job, as is academic success. And it’s never too early to start.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash


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Green Key

Employee Benefits for a Supportive Workplace

Employee satisfaction doesn’t just start and end at the salary. For a company to really take care of their employees, they have to offer a strong benefit package. Working adults want to feel appreciated and safe; offering specific benefits and wellness programs prove they are valued and protected. In the past, companies have used perks such as game rooms and happy hours to boost workplace morale and culture. But in recent years, it’s become clear that those ideas aren’t what keep people happy.  

We’ve summed up a variety of employee benefits that create a supportive and inclusive workplace. It’s important to understand that people just want to feel comfortable. This will lead to a stable environment, reduced turnover rates, and a stronger acceptance within the company.  

Leave for all parents

Traditionally, only those who have given birth are offered time off as new parents. However, more and more companies are supporting paternity leave in addition to maternity. The early relationship between a newborn and any parent is crucial for development. LinkedIn says, “Offering gender-neutral parental leave, including leave for parents of newly adopted children, can help contribute to lasting bonds between parents and children in early development while also creating a positive work-life balance.” 

Flexible scheduling and work from home opportunities 

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, especially in this Green Key Unlocked installment, trusting your employees to get their work done, while adjusting to their own schedules, has become essential. Not every job requires employees to stay behind their desk from 9am to 5pm. Paid time off, floating holidays, leaving early to pick up children, and civic duties such as voting should all be considered here. In fact, many companies have seen an increase in productivity with the option to work at your own pace. It also establishes an element of respect between workers and upper management.  

Domestic partner benefits 

It’s no surprise that fewer people are waiting to get married these days, or not married at all. The demand for domestic partnership benefits is growing. Offering healthcare plans to those in cohabitation helps to promote an inclusive workplace. As a society, we should always be adjusting to the general way of life. This should also include support of the LGBTQ+ community, especially for any transgender employees who may require medical coverage for surgery and therapy in order to transition.  

Family building benefits 

LinkedIn also stresses the importance of family building benefits. “For a long time, family-building benefits were limited to fertility tests and, in a few cases, in vitro fertilization. But this family of benefits has expanded into other areas as well, including egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption, and more,” they say. Many couples and families struggle to expand, and these benefits allow them to do so in a seamless process.

Retirement plans 

Offering pension plans or 401(k)s allow employees to comfortably prepare for retirement. Indeed stresses, “Retirement benefits can help provide employees a well-organized and reliable way to save money and plan their financial futures for themselves and their families. When employees do retire, they will have a predetermined budget to live on depending on how much money they saved through their employer’s retirement plan or other retirement options they pursued.” 

Tuition reimbursement 

A huge benefit that employees seek is tuition reimbursement to continue their education. Within reason, companies may offer certain amounts of money for specific courses related to their industry. Indeed says, “Typically, companies set restrictions on course types, ensuring the courses taken relate to their role at the company, or require employees to continue working for a certain amount of time after completing their coursework or degree.” 

Remaining accountable

If you’re looking to support your employees and prove their value, consider these benefits and more. In a time when people are moving along if they’re not satisfied, remaining sensitive and competitive will recruit new talent and devote to those who stay. 

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Green Key