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An In-Depth Interview with Somer Anderson

Approximately 7,000 students are enrolled in colleges across the U.S. Out of these schools, Maryville University has become a popular education destination. Many students at Maryville have chosen to make use of the  available 90 programs that the school offers.

By 2014’s end, it was said that nearly 6 million students across the world had been enrolled in at least one online class, and that 3 million more were enrolled in nothing but online courses.

The interest surrounding online degrees is growing, and with this growth, comes questions from online students. To clear up some information about Maryville’s online courses, here is an in-depth interview with Somer Anderson, the Assistant Professor of Accounting.

How long have you been in higher education and what do you teach?

I’ve been in higher education for seven years. Previously, I was an Auditor at a public accounting firm and before that, a finance manager at a large healthcare organization. I teach Financial Accounting, Auditing, Accounting Information Systems, and QuickBooks at the school.

What led you to switch to teaching full time?

While I worked as a finance manager, I started to teach a weekend accounting program. I fell in love with the teaching job and got hired as a full-time teacher soon after

What are the core components of the online Bachelor of Science in Accounting program?

The core curriculum is based around the average student’s career goals. We have pathways that can take you directly to the CPA, forensic accounting, or to an accounting services career, among other careers.

What makes the program unique?

We are primarily focused on our students’ career goals. We have designed the courses to provide support and guidance to students.

Why is now a good time to earn a BCACC degree?

The industry is constantly changing. Technology and cloud computing are technology leaders, as are mobile devices, and social media that improves our access to various financial data. This means more clients who are better informed, and highly-skilled professionals who are knowledgeable.

What courses are popular?

The forensic accounting courses are the most popular. We see the importance of developing these skills and, because of this, require our students to take a forensics accounting class.

 Are there any other certifications or exams that are required in addition to the BSACC for a typical career?

Students are heavily encouraged to continue on to the Master of Science in Accounting degree so they can gather adequate credit hours to take the CPA exam. They are also encouraged to become QuickBooks certified

What is teacher-student interaction like?

The teachers are interested in individual student success. We interact with online students during the week through different discussions and videos. We’re well connected and active within the accounting community, which enables us to connect lucky students with internships.

Can you describe the educational backgrounds of BSCAA students? Are they already interested in accounting?

It depends on each student’s educational position upon program entry. Entering as a freshman, students should not have taken an accounting course and usually don’t realize their talent for it until they take ACCT 210. Students who are further along in their education, have often taken ACCT 210 and 211, and have already realized that they enjoy this type of work and are good at it.

Do you have any advice for new students?

Don’t go through the motions. Take your time and engage with course material, ask questions, and video chat with your professors when you have the chance. You get what you put into your education, and when your teacher is aware that you are invested and understands your goals, he or she will help you to meet these goals.

Do graduates usually pursue a master’s degree? If so, why?

Yes. The CPA exam requires 150 credit hours, and students typically have 128 credit hours upon completing a bachelor’s degree. They get the rest through the Master of Science in Accounting. The program helps them to obtain the hours, and sharpens their skills.

What are the most desirable career outcomes for BSACC students?

To become employed in their chosen career field, regardless of whether it’s a CPA at a firm, or as a forensic accountant for the FBI.

Which employers are popular for students?

Accounting firms, corporations, banks, insurance firms and the government, in many cases.

Does Maryville offer career assistance?

Yes- through the Maryville career services page. I post jobs, events, internships etc onto the Accounting Program Canvas page.

What feedback do you get from students?

Students are thankful for their experience because they are employed at the end of their schooling and prepared for the CPA exam that is to follow.