Big Four accounting firm PwC partnered with Saint Peter’s University to offer a first-of-its-kind program in March 2022. By May of 2022, the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy approved a “Work for Credit” option for CPA candidates. Participants can earn up to 30 educational credits toward CPA licensure in New Jersey through paid, full-time experience at the firm. One of the goals of this program is to help CPA candidates, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, reach the 150-credit requirement for the CPA Exam.

To aid in this effort, candidates get an immersive experience in the areas of tax, accounting, analytics, data science or project management without classroom components. “The goal was to support students, drive change across the profession and open the doors for a more diverse pipeline,” explained Rod Adams, PwC Talent Acquisition and Onboarding Leader. And while this program is currently only available to New Jersey licensing, it is the hope of Adams that one day other states, universities and firms will adopt a similar system.

Participants of the program were chosen based on leadership, relationship and technical skills. Saint Peter’s University is said to grant corresponding academic credits while the firm covers the cost of tuition. So, how did PwC come to choose Saint Peter’s? Adams said the firm considers the university to be a bold, innovative and proactive partner that educated some of the firm’s best employees. “Saint Peter’s shares our commitment to breaking down barriers and encouraging more people to choose accounting, because it’s a very rewarding career and we don’t want them to walk away because of financial reasons,” said Adams.

Prior to the launch of this new program, PwC established the While You Work – CPA Acceleration Program in 2021 with the help of Northeastern University. The program provides Black and Latinx rising college seniors or recent graduates with the opportunity to receive a master’s degree while working part-time at the firm. For more news on PwC, visit its Newsroom here.

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