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Do small and midsize CPA firms care my age when applying for staff positions? Lost some opportunities at B4 as I'm not 20s.

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I was 30 when I started as a staff 1 fresh out of undergrad. There was also an intern in their late 40s that was offered a job after they finished their undergrad. I have seen multiple others that started later than the average age. I would say that age isn't generally an issue unless you somehow make it an issue.

likefunny

Do you have a prior PA experience? If not, it is unlikely you will get a chance unless you know someone. Small firms has limited resources so they don't want to train people. Anyway, join a local CPA society and make some connections. Age doesn't matter. Many people with Masters are not in 20s. Or if you want to work in big4 or PA, please consider pursuing advanced degree. Good luck.

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Interned and started as staff at big 4 at mid 30s

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Similar experience! Interned in early/mid 30s, full time offer (PA is career #4 for me). Still here 6 years later.

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Ive worked with a staff in her mid 30s at b4, and met a half dozen others. I don’t think it’s a major issue overall.

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I was >30 when I started at PwC.

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Fresh grad. Was a career changer and got an offer from my masters program.

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I started at small firm and moved to top 10. I was late 30s and noticed a similar issue when applying to large firms, so I started small. It sucks. It really shouldn't be happening, but there's lots of more pressing things that are wrong. Just find a workaround for now.

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I started at 36. It doesn’t matter.

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I started my career at GT in my mid thirties due to a career change from the military. Age generally isn’t an issue unless you make it one.

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If you’re starting at an entry level position, it may actually be a positive.. they like seeing more maturity at the entry level positions.

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Despite these stories, age very much can have a negative impact on getting hired and in career progression. You can google ideas for your resume to help prevent being rejected on the pre-screen.

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I haven’t seen any preference to younger candidates vs older candidates assuming we’re talking about entry level B4. The toughest thing for many people who start a career in public accounting in their 30s is that their direct supervisor, in many cases at least, will be in their mid-20s. And if you’re in your mid-30s, there’s a good chance you’ll be older than everyone on the team except for the partner. I’ve seen a few people struggle with this dynamic.

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I’m older than or the same age as most of the partners I work with. It hasn’t been an issue at all. It wasn’t an issue with me reporting to someone who might be younger than me either in terms of seniors when I was an associate. You just have to come in with the attitude that you may be older than them but know much less in terms of real world accounting knowledge.

Had a staff joined in the 30s close to 40s. The only thing I would recommend considering is whether your family and personal commitment allows you to work the PA hours and the staff salary. Otherwise it's a challenging experience for both you and your team.

Yeah age isn’t a reason you won’t get hired at Big 4. Experience might be though if you’re not a fresh grad. If you have 7 years of experience but it’s not right to hire you as an exp senior, you will probably get passed over since that’s too much for a staff.

If you are only in 30s still good.

Haha idk about this. The people in my office are pretty ugly

likefunny

I was in my 30s when I started working at EY

I’ll echo the I started in my 30s at EY as a college hire

I don’t think it’s an issue. There also probably shouldn’t be age discrimination going on.

Age isn't a protected class when youre in your 30s.

smart

At least on my team, not really. We had a staff in his 30s (left for industry) and we have someone else starting full time who was a completely different field (chemistry)

The idea that a recent college graduate is "fresh" inherently means people who didn't just graduate are "stale", right? It's not stated but I feel like that's not a leap. The general consensus is that experienced = "seasoned" and yet in public accounting the fact that you have experience makes you unhirable for low level jobs where you could get your foot in the door.

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