DePaul University’s graduate tax and accountancy programs are once again ranked among the top 10 in the nation by TaxTalent in its 2016 Top in Educational Survey of employers. DePaul’s MS in Taxation (MST) was ranked at No. 4 and the Masters in Accountancy (MACC) placed No. 6. DePaul was the only school from Chicago in both of these top 10 rankings. DePaul’s undergraduate accountancy program also was recognized for its excellence, placing at No. 10 nationally.
“Having both undergraduate and graduate programs ranked nationally proves that employers like what they see from DePaul graduates,” says John Ahern, interim director of the School of Accountancy and Management Information Systems. “We have been able to recruit and retain the highest quality faculty, who provide a top-notch education that appeals to employers. We also actively seek out employment opportunities for students, providing them a wide variety of career opportunities and mentorship.”
TaxTalent’s rankings are sourced directly from the employer perspective. Every year they poll over 150 hiring managers of in-house corporate tax departments to get their expert opinion on national accounting programs. The goal of TaxTalent’s survey is to bridge the gap between academia and the professional world by aligning the needs and wants of employers with how schools are preparing students for their future careers. DePaul’s MACC and MST programs align with that goal as they bring real-world education into the classroom.
“The MST program is taught not out of textbooks, but from the original source material by practitioners—people who are actually doing what is being taught,” says Ron Marcuson, director of the MST program and a retired tax partner with 30 years of experience at Ernst & Young. “What we do is give students the technical skills necessary to succeed in their current jobs or to help them move to a better job.”
The MST curriculum is constantly being reevaluated and new seminar courses are added regularly to address new hot areas in tax according to employers. In addition, DePaul offers flexibility to MST students by offering the exact same high-quality instruction, outstanding faculty and content-rich curriculum entirely online. The online format provides students the opportunity to gain the necessary skills to advance in the taxation field during the student’s own timeframe.
Also available in a high quality online format, DePaul’s MACC degree program prepares accounting students for forensic and internal auditing roles that are in high demand by employers. The program is designed to resonate with students and provide skills that employers seek.
“Our master of accountancy program is very unique,” says Cindy Durtschi, associate professor and director of MACC. “Most master in accountancy programs act like a fifth year to make students eligible for the CPA exam. Our program prepares students to succeed in an accounting career by teaching advanced skills that are high in demand. Where we set ourselves apart is a curriculum that makes our students better accountants by having real-world practice in the classroom setting.”