EY Launches Career Path Accelerator to Eliminate the Barriers to Entry and Enhance Talent Diversity in the Accounting Profession
Ernst & Young LLP has launched a first-of-its-kind program, the EY Career Path Accelerator, to provide an alternative path to meet the 150-credit hour requirement for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure. The program will provide students job-related learning and skill development at an affordable cost and is supporting around 60 EY US interns in its inaugural cohort.
Many undergraduate programs typically include just 120-credit hours, whereas a total of 150-credit hours is required for the CPA exam. Students therefore choose to attain master’s degrees but not all have this opportunity due to financial constraints.
The Career Path Accelerator Provides a Viable Alternative
The EY Career Path Accelerator will help students who are not pursuing their master’s degree to gain eligibility for CPA licensure. A series of online courses by Hult International Business School and a hands-on learning opportunity through the EY internship program will equip learners with future-focused skills and subject matter knowledge alongside receiving guidance for entering the workforce.
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EY Americas Vice Chair – Talent, Ginnie Carlier said that though there are many pathways for students to attain the CPA licensure, time and monetary constraints limit their choices, especially for those belonging to the marginalized or socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. “…We also hope to attract the next generation of transformative leaders,” she added.
An Answer to the Growing Demand for CPAs
The EY Career Path Accelerator will offer accredited business and elective courses to students. Additional credits like data visualization, digital learning etc. made available through the program can be earned simultaneously with the students’ work or family obligations.
Additional resources and benefits of the program includes opportunities for students to engage in a learning pod community with an EY professional, integrated learning incorporating targeted skills in business, portable credentials with no obligations or commitments to EY US, technology, leadership and EY academic counselors’ support to students throughout the program.
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In the AICPA Trends Report, a 7% decrease in the CPA exam candidates was seen between 2017 and 2018. Nevertheless, the growth in demand for CPAs is positive and EY US aims to maintain a vibrant and growing pool of transformative leaders through such initiatives. The foundation has provided over $100,000 as financial aid to 75% of the inaugural Program participants.
John King, EY Americas Vice Chair – Assurance explained that the program is a step towards improving diverse representation across the organization as well as in the accounting field. “We believe that addressing barriers to equity and inclusion enhances our ability to attract and to grow the next generation of CPAs” added John.