Two year associates degree or a full bachelors?
Ivy League or Community College?
Distance Learning or Four Years in a Dorm?
Liberal Arts or Career Focused?
Near to home or strike out on your own?
State school or load up on debt?
Go now or work for a few years?
Go with your friends or start anew?
So many good questions. And while Todays-Learners cannot substitute for good discussions with your counselors, family, and friends, we do have some insights into how technology is changing learning, how technology is shaping the world that you are preparing for, and which schools are on the cutting edge….
Many homeschoolers are discussing their plans post high school on LetsHomeschoolHighschool.com
Some thoughts on careers….
The Money Season
By Colleen Kay Watson, Career Professionals®
Working 10 weeks a year has never been so profitable. There are excellent opportunities to make money in tax preparation. It takes a great deal of knowledge to file taxes correctly, making this a skill that is in demand.
Tax preparers are paid according to their level of tax knowledge. “This is a career where the more you learn the more you earn,” according to Karen Palm, CPA, and CFP.
The only clear negative to a tax preparation career is the seasonal nature of the business. It could be compared with the long hours retailer’s work from Thanksgiving until Christmas. Or like a professional athlete, being totally absorbed in their season. During the season you work very hard, and the rest of the year you can take time off.
Palm said, “Working seven days a week and 70 to 100 hours is normal for tax preparers, but is only for about 10 weeks annually. The tax season is from the beginning of February until April 15th or a little later.” Further evidence of the seasonality of this work can be found at H&R Block. A large percentage of their offices are only open from January 1st until April 15th every year.
H&R Block, www.hrblock.com, offers classroom training every fall. National Tax, www.nattax.com, and Professional Career Development Institute, www.pcdi-homestudy.com, offer home-study courses. The costs vary between $200 and $660 to become certified as a tax preparer. These classes start at the beginning of September and go thru mid November.
One can either take a tax preparation class or go the top of the ladder as an accountant and /or CPA. An accounting degree can take five years to complete and then one needs a couple of years working for a CPA firm. “The long hours during the tax season has been a strong deterrent in getting young people to seek careers as high level tax professionals,” exclaimed Palm.
The more you earn…
The shortage of high-level tax professionals translates into higher incomes for those who enter the profession. Robert Half salary survey has corporate tax accountants with 4 to 5 years of experience earning an average of $54,946. Denise Sposato at H&R Block World Headquarters indicated, “Tax preparer incomes vary depending on their level of certification and area of the country. Typically preparers are paid an hourly base salary plus incentives. The higher their level of experience and certification, the more they earn. Additionally, they can work a flexible schedule.”
The continuing money season
What can you do with your tax preparation experience? – A lucrative second income evening and weekends – Own full-time tax service business. – Well-paid career with a tax preparation firm – Or in corporate tax work, – Or tax management and planning.
The Vacation Season
The seasonal aspect of tax preparation has their pros and cons. The long hours during the tax season can be draining, but then they are over and summer can be a nice long vacation season.