On Aug. 19, EY announced the launch of the “EY Career Path Accelerator,” a first-of-its-kind program, providing an alternative path to meeting the 150-credit hour requirement for certified public accountant (CPA) licensure. The accessible and affordable program provides students with job-related learning and skills development to apply to their future careers in the accounting profession. The program is supporting nearly 60 EY US interns in its inaugural cohort.
In order to be eligible for CPA licensure, individuals must complete a total of 150-credit hours of education to sit for the CPA exam. The challenge is that many undergraduate programs typically include only 120-credit hours, leaving students to figure out how to complete the remaining requirements. Some choose to pursue master’s degrees and extend their education for up to a year, but others may have monetary constraints, lack of financial aid or need to enter the workforce as soon as possible.
The EY Career Path Accelerator is designed for students on track to become eligible for CPA licensure who are not pursuing a master’s degree. It provides a series of virtual courses administered by Hult International Business School and hands-on learning through the EY internship program, enabling participants to receive the guidance they need to be successful and equipping them with the future-focused skills and subject matter knowledge that they’ll need upon entering the workforce.
“While there are several different pathways for students to meet the requirements to be eligible for CPA licensure, time and financial resources can limit the choices or feasibility for a significant number of students, particularly those from marginalized or socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds,” said Ginnie Carlier, EY Americas Vice Chair – Talent. “With this program, we’re not only helping students jumpstart their accounting careers earlier, but we also hope to attract the next generation of transformative leaders, while equipping them with relevant, future-focused skills and the mentorship necessary to succeed.”
The EY Career Path Accelerator provides students with accredited business and elective courses that can be applied to the 150-credit hour CPA licensure requirement. These additional credits such as data visualization, digital learning and others made available through the EY Career Path Accelerator can be earned on a schedule that is compatible with students’ work or family obligations.
As a leader in the accounting profession, EY US takes a strong interest in maintaining a vibrant and growing pool of transformative leaders. But even as demand for CPAs continues to grow, data from the most recent AICPA Trends Report 2019¹ shows the number of CPA exam candidates decreased by 7% between 2017 and 2018.
“We believe that addressing barriers to equity and inclusion enhances our ability – as a firm and as a profession – to attract and to grow the next generation of CPAs. This program is one step toward improving diverse representation across the EY organization and within the field of accounting,” added John King, EY Americas Vice Chair – Assurance.
The Ernst & Young Foundation has provided more than $100,000 in need-based financial aid to 75% of the inaugural EY Career Path Accelerator cohort.
Additional program benefits and resources include EY academic counselors to support students throughout the program, opportunities for students to engage in a learning pod community with an EY professional, portable credentials with no obligations or commitments to EY US and integrated learning incorporating targeted skills in business, technology and leadership.