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Engineering --> Accounting Firm --> Analyst Job ?

Folks,

I am another one of those that thinks finance career is more interesting and better suited to me than engineering eight years into an engineering job. I have been reading investment related books in the last year or two and I simply enjoy the material and think working in investment/finance area suits me better. I have been reading various routes people who have been in my shoes have taken and wanted to see if you agree with what I have found and answer some questions I have.

My financial/family situation simply doesn’t allow quitting my full-time job and doing an expensive MBA or other finance/math degree. There is a part-time MBA program available in my city but school doesn’t have much of a reputation.

Some people have suggested taking basic level CFA exams, which I will do although I read getting a job after CFA is not easy either.

I have started to apply for some entry level jobs in equity/investment analysis although my chances are next to nothing without financial or accounting experience.

Do you think a part-time accounting diploma/certificate will be of any use to help me get a job an analyst?

Recently I also found a job position in an fairly big accounting firm for which I have some relevant skills. They help their engineering clients claim R&D tax credit and have a position where they value engineering degree and experience. Do you think a position like this will give me some accounting knowledge which I can then later put on my resume to get an analyst job? If this is not much of use and will make me look like someone doesn’t know what to do with career when I apply for an analyst job, I can stick with the CFA option and in parallel try my luck at applying for analyst jobs.

I would appreciate some guidance.

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What species of engineering?

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

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http://financialexamhelp123.com/

Materials Eng. Not very math intensive.

Accounting’s not going to be much of a help getting an analyst position.

Honestly, the best approach at this point is probably networking; for that, the local CFA society will likely be a good route.

Many entry positions advertized look on the CFA charter – or at least having passed the Level I CFA exam – as a plus, but that’s in addition to demonstrated skills/experience.

Best of luck!

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

Financial Exam Help 123: The place to get help for the CFA® exams
http://financialexamhelp123.com/

^ Thanks. What’s your take on my last of the three routes - accounting firm route (R&D Tax accounting)?

careerjumper wrote:

Materials Eng. Not very math intensive.

Don’t sweat the CFA quant stuff:  if you survived calculus, it won’t be too challenging.  It’s the volume of syllabus material you have to watch out for.

“Mmmmmm, something…” - H. Simpson

careerjumper wrote:
^ Thanks. What’s your take on my last of the three routes - accounting firm route (R&D Tax accounting)?

I doubt that that would help you get into an analyst position.

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

Financial Exam Help 123: The place to get help for the CFA® exams
http://financialexamhelp123.com/

I did this > MSEE > Engineering 8 yrs > MBA-Chicago > CPA/ABV > now run a valuation firm valuing tech IPOs and M&A.  So I made the transition into finance through a valuation job in a CPA firm.

Analyst (ER) jobs look more favorably at CFA than accounting/CPA.  Accounting experience will help you with making adjustments for valuing companies (LIFO>FIFO, CapExp, CapLease, etc, all in CFA Vol 2), so it’s not bad to get some accounting experience, but you will need CFA to get a look at an ER job.

^ Thanks. Are you faimilar with accouting firms that deal with helping clients with R&D Tax? I am just afraid of this route because R&D Tax accounting seems too narrow (and is not going to help with valuation like yours did).  But that is my best chance at getting into accounting area considering they value engineering experience. Do you think a big-4 accounting firm will let me switch to a different role (somewhat more relevant to analyst job like valuation) from R&D Tax once I have a few years experience with them? Even if they do, I am just afraid it is a round-about route taking more time and involving more risk than doing CFA and applying for analyst jobs in my engineering field. Any thoughts?

Tax is a narrow niche as you recognize, there’s no carry over to finance. You may do tax for a year or so just to get into a Big-4, pass L-1/2, and try to transition into a “transaction-group” (valuation).  With 2 years of valuation and the CFA you would have a good chance to go to PE, ER, or VC covering your engineering area.  

But I think your best chance into ER is to work for an engineering firm that is covered by ER– they will salivate if you know the sector products, pricing, supply chain, and have contacts that can help research.  That may be the better route into ER than doing tax.

You may also think about corp/project finance with your engineering background.  My brother-in-law did this route and worked for Citigroup solar finance group, but he didn’t do CFA (he did Yale-MBA + civil engr).

You’ll also have to deal with the Income Tax Act of Canada. If it doesn’t give you the urge to shove two red hot pokers into your eyes, I don’t know what will.

“Mmmmmm, something…” - H. Simpson

I’m a fellow engineer that transitioned into finance. I think by virtue of an engineering degree (even though it’s materials enginerring) future employers will automatically assume that you math/analytic skills are up to par if not better. So use that to your advantage.

That being said, you’d probably have to take a pay cut or lateral move if you are lucky - gotta start somewhere.

But CFA + engineering + interview savvy combo can go a long way…..

Thanks for the positive note. Yes, I am willing to take some pay cut but hoping it is not too much to affect my life much. My bigger worry is getting an interview at all.

Maybe try searching someone in your network and network’s network and ask for referral……u may get an interview call……..i am sure there must be some transferable skills from your current job…..good luck

Do not go the accounting route. In the position that you describe, you’re not going to be doing anything that would be of value to an analyst. Unless you’re in some sort of transactional role that requires you to perform financial statement analysis (like in Transaction Services at the Big 4, as someone mentioned above), working in accounting won’t be of any real value to you.

Just get the CFA. Even just having just taken L2 played a large part in allowing me to jump from assurance –> consulting –> PE. Also, during my time as a consultant, I got to work on several diligence projects for both PE firms and strategic buyers. This also helped. Consulting would be a much better route to a role as an analyst than accounting, and given your background as an engineer, it would also be attainable.

Thanks for the advice folks. You are a friendly bunch!

living in the real world.

Hello Careerjump,

is this thread still Active?

i am now in the same situation as you were in 2015.

can you please let me know what you upto now?

i am a Mechanical Design Engineer and I have sufficient satisfaction now. Been in engineering for 8 years now, Design, development, production, project engineering.

i am now a project manager and we are a supplier of automotive parts. I am doing well and job is interesting. However, I feel there is no money in mechanical products since the profit in this industry is not competitive to IT or business consulting.

can somebody please tell me how to change my career line? 

Can I go in to IT project management?

can I go to business consulting? Engineering consulting?

Will there be an opening for me in Big 4’s?

What are my options? 

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Career_boost wrote:
Hello Careerjump,

is this thread still Active?

Given that the last post was over four years ago, I’m inclined to doubt it.

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

Financial Exam Help 123: The place to get help for the CFA® exams
http://financialexamhelp123.com/

Can this thread be re-initiated ? Or should I start a new thread ?

Thanks

Career_boost wrote:
Can this thread be re-initiated ? Or should I start a new thread ?

Thanks

I’d start a new one; this one’s dead and buried.

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

Financial Exam Help 123: The place to get help for the CFA® exams
http://financialexamhelp123.com/

Thanks magician