News from the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy

Accounting Degree in Demand in Meridian

MSU-Meridian saw a major increase in enrollment this past fall, and the accountancy program played a significant role in that.

The east Mississippi campus reported a 12 percent growth in enrollment for the fall 2019 semester, from 584 the previous fall to 654. Most of this increase was seen in business and accounting.

A Bachelor of Accountancy degree was introduced in 2016, and it has proved to be a compelling draw for area students. Previously, the Meridian Division of Business (DOB) had offered a business degree with a concentration in accounting. The change means that MSU now provides the same degree at both campuses.

“Offering the Bachelor of Accountancy at the Mississippi State University Meridian campus provides place-bound east Mississippi and west Alabama students with the opportunity to earn a top Mississippi State accounting degree close to home,” states DOB Head Dr. William Hill. “Further, along with the greater accessibility, the degree builds on the competitive advantage of the Business Division’s outstanding accounting professors. That combination provides students with effective tools needed to compete in the job marketplace.”

Many Meridian students are tied to the local area, and a Bachelor of Accountancy enables them to pursue higher level, better paying jobs there. They are sought out for positions in Meridian’s sizeable health care industry or in nearby aerospace defense companies Lockheed and Raytheon. Some are recruited into – or promoted within – the hospitality industry, including the Pearl River Resort in Philadelphia, MS. Another frequent employer is the State of Mississippi; graduates who take positions with the Department of Revenue and the Office of the State Auditor often can work from home.

Those who join accounting firms typically go to work for mid-size or regional firms such as HORNE, Rea Shaw Giffin & Stuart or Swain & Collins. To meet the requirements for CPA certification, they might enroll in the Master of Taxation or Master of Professional Accountancy program in Starkville, or those who are place-bound may qualify by earning an MBA in Meridian.

“I get calls all the time from employers asking me to refer students to them,” says Dr. Kevin Ennis, Professor of Accountancy. “A Bachelor of Accountancy degree from the Adkerson School of Accountancy means a lot to employers and students.”