Business & Economy
The Martin J. Whitman School of Management’s master’s in professional accounting program has received STEM-designation. The class of 2022 will be the first to graduate with this new STEM certification.
“We have made notable innovations to our master’s in professional accounting program, including adding required courses relating to accounting analytics and business analytics. These requirements emphasize students’ need to have strengthened skills relating to these modern approaches to accountants’ work,” says Alex McKelvie, associate dean for undergraduate and master’s education and professor of entrepreneurship. “Each course incorporates advanced application tools and add-ins that rely on statistical principles and introduces other software tools (e.g., Access, Tableau, Power BI, SAS) that help manage big data with analysis and data visualization. The addition of these STEM-focused courses—in addition to the other required and elective courses that are already technology and quantitatively oriented—allowed us to request STEM-designation for the program.”
Joseph Comprix, chair of the Lubin School of Accounting, adds “We are grateful that the STEM-designation of our program now reflects that mathematics and technology are central to accounting.”
A STEM-designated program allows international students on an F-1 visa to extend their time in OPT (Optional Practical Training) from 12 to 36 months in the U.S. This makes graduates from STEM- designated programs more hirable and able to gain valuable experience relevant to their field of study. The Whitman School already has STEM-designation for their master’s programs in business analytics, finance, marketing and supply chain management, as well as its MBA program.
“This STEM-designation for our master’s in professional accounting program reflects the commitment of our faculty to help our students prepare for an important shift that has taken place within the field of accounting,” says McKelvie. “There is now an even greater emphasis on the production and evaluation of accounting data being reliant on technical tools and approaches that fall under the guise of data analytics. This content is now on the CPA exam (starting in 2024) and in high demand by our corporate partners. Having STEM-designation allows us to continue to attract the best students globally to our accounting program and prepares our students for jobs at top accounting firms.”