California State University, Long Beach
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New Master Degrees Start Up

Published: September 1, 2015

With the new school year just beginning, CSULB will also see the startup of two master degree programs—a Master of Science in Accountancy and a Master of Science in Supply Chain Management.

Proximity to two of the nation’s major ports make CSULB’s degree in supply chain management the key to ensuring products get where they are going for the right price.

Supply chain management traces the management of the flow of goods, materials and information all the way from the source of the raw materials to the consumer, explained Sabine Reddy, a faculty member of the Management/Human Resources Management Department since 2001 and director of the new degree program.

The nearby ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles handle about 40 percent of the nation’s containerized goods, and the surrounding region hosts a massive transportation and logistics industry, which accounts for approximately 600,000 of the region’s jobs.

“The demand for logisticians and supply chain management talents is exceptionally high in the region,” said Reddy. “The close proximity of the University to those businesses gives our graduates a distinct advantage in terms of networking and job placement.

“It also is very relevant to the business of retailing,” she added. “For example, look at Target and Walmart and how they manage their flow of goods. The field of supply chain management has become more complex with the advent of offshore production and the outsourcing of products and goods from farther and farther away. It looks at the transportation and logistics involved. It integrates these areas from the perspective of management in an effort to smooth out getting stuff from one place to another at the right price.”

The program is located within one of the world’s most active supply-chain environments. “Most Fortune 500 companies have a presence in California and more than two dozen Fortune 500 companies are headquartered within an 80-mile radius of the University,” she said. “Fast-growing industries, such as health care, energy, entertainment, high-tech and business services have a large presence in the region.”

Through a cohort-based model, students are exposed to a range of supply chain topics that include developing an advanced understanding of operations planning, logistics and transportation, project management, strategy, and leadership in a global supply chain environment. The program consists of 10 courses to be completed in either 16 months in an accelerated pace, or in 21 months for working professionals.

The program features a course in leadership. “In our estimation, most people who go for a master’s degree already have a background in the technical aspects of the supply chain field. But they also need to have leadership skills to advance into managerial positions,” she said. “In terms of career progress, this degree will be useful in a multitude of ways. It all depends on whether a student’s planned career is in logistics, warehousing, retail, manufacturing, or even the fashion industry. Students with dreams of working in a leadership position at Boeing will also find this degree useful.”

Logistics is also important an important component of the degree because the topic is at the core of supply chain management. It involves all aspects of transporting goods from points A to B. “It is about how to optimize scheduling and inventory management,” said Reddy. “It means selecting the right transportation medium whether it is by air, by rail or by truck.”

Technology application is featured as well. “We don’t teach any specific software use as much as the underlying concepts and methodologies,” she said. “Software applications vary from company to company so it is more important to understand the concepts rather than how a specific software functions. We do not teach technology for technology’s sake. It is a means to an end.”

Reddy encourages potential students to check out the MS in Supply Chain Management website at the College of Business Administration to answer any questions they may have.

“There is a wealth of information about the program,” she said. “The website offers details on admission requirements and potential scholarships.”

For more information, check out the website.

When aspiring Certified Public Accountants were informed in January 2014 they would be required to have 150 hours of instruction to qualify for the license, they saw their salvation in CSULB’s new Master of Science in Accountancy.

“CSULB provides the additional 30 units required to complete the 150 units and includes the relevant ethics courses including Professional Ethics required by 2017,” explained degree program director Rod Smith, a member of the university since 2006. Through a lock-step cohort-based model that begins every fall, the M.S. in Accountancy program consists of two semesters and a summer session. The first 14-member cohort will attend classes and complete three four-unit courses during the fall and spring terms, and six units in the first summer session.

Students interested in getting their CPA license can also work on taking their exams while completing the MS in Accountancy program.

Graduate students in the MSA program will work with the Career Development Center to help them continue their professional development and prepare for employment while pursuing their MSA. Additionally, students will interact with accounting professionals as active members of Beta Alpha Psi and the Accounting Society.

The new degree program to prepare CSULB students for a lifetime of public and private accounting jobs.

“All the classes will be offered on Fridays and Saturdays and can be completed in one year,” explained Smith. We are trying to make it as easy as possible for our graduating seniors to move into the program. This year, the instruction begins in August and students will be out by July next year.

“We expect that many of the students will be working professionals,” he added. “In the first year, half the students are international while the rest are local working professionals who need the additional hours to take their CPA exam. The accounting faculty will teach the new classes that build on what the students learned as undergraduates. Students will learn new material on such topics as corporate governance, accounting, auditing and business competence that they need for their CPA exams.”

The new program comes complete with an advisory board that will include accounting professionals, current and former students as well as faculty members. The advisory board represents local industries who have a history of recruiting at CSULB.

“Our students will have the opportunity to talk with other professionals and CSULB’s Office of Career Services is ready to advise them,” said Smith. “There’s an active market for accounting. This degree is valuable both for the department and the College of Business Administration. Accountancy is a good field to work for. Accountants are in high demand. It is a rewarding career.”

The master’s program prepares students for many careers. “I like to say accountants can do anything,” said Smith. “This degree is aimed at meeting the requirements of being a CPA and work in public accounting. The CPA certification looks good on a resume to work in almost any senior accounting position. It always has had a prominent place on my resume.”

Smith is grateful to the Accountancy Department and the College of Business Administration for their steady support of the new degree program. “This is important not only to the CBA but to the university as a whole,” he explained. “It is part of an active program that runs through the CSU in general to provide courses to meet the 150-hour requirement of the CPA exam.

“Plus, there is value in having this program here in Long Beach,” he added. “The market for accountants is probably at its peak in this area. We have all four of the major accounting firms working in this area. Long Beach is an active financial hub.”

Aspiring accountants ought to think about how they can get the biggest value for every dollar they invest in their education. “I think we provide that,” Smith said. “We are a bargain.”

For more information, check out the website.