The Master’s in Governmental Accounting gave me the confidence and inspiration to earn my doctoral degree. Pre-COVID-19 I travelled a good bit for work.

Master’s in Governmental Accounting looks too good to be true

“The Master’s in Governmental Accounting at Rutgers looked too perfect for me,” Catherine Sykes said to herself.  “I must be missing something.”  She dug deeper into the program.

“I checked that it was accredited, fully online, and not requiring me to move.  I looked at the curriculum, the courses I might have some choices in that could benefit me in my current profession as an auditor. I also wanted a full set of tools at my disposal as I went further with my career.  Those courses spoke to me, and I knew that this was going to be the perfect fit.”

For some time, Sykes had been an accounting professional in the private sector before the Great Recession and home tax accounting programs ate into the industry.  She decided that the time had come to follow her long-held desire to get involved in public accounting from a governmental perspective.

She comes from a public service family: for generations, family members have worked in the public sector, given their lives to public service, and set stellar examples for her and her siblings.

Sykes built her reputation for audit thoroughness, and she enjoyed the work.  Looking for a good fit in the public sector for her skills and interests led her to TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration).  She is now a senior auditor with TIGTA. 

“When I came on board with TIGTA, it was the perfect marriage for me to go into the Master’s in Governmental Accounting at Rutgers,” Sykes said.  “I knew that I wanted a master’s degree, I wanted the public administration aspect, and I needed that solid governmental foundation as far as accounting was concerned.”

“We studied and became familiar with actual comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFRs), the financial report of a state, municipal, or other governmental entity.  Through the real-world application of learning materials, we learned and faced problems in class that will show up in practice. It was almost a residency experience.”

MACCY in Governmental Accounting Scarlett Ladies from LEFT Dr. Catherine R. Sykes, Ms. Mehru Syed, Ms. Jess Lugo, and Ms. Noemi Contreras-Woods.
MACCY in Governmental Accounting Scarlett Ladies from LEFT Dr. Catherine R. Sykes, Ms. Mehru Syed, Ms. Jess Lugo, and Ms. Noemi Contreras-Woods. “When we finally met in person, it was like we had been friends since high school.”

Key takeaways:

  • Because the faculty are experts and professionals from the field, you have confidence in their guidance to the curriculum.
  • Faculty take the academic practice and elevate it to a more real-world experience.  Challenging students in the ways they might be challenged in the profession.
  • In addition, they instill instruction values that help students gracefully transition from learners to practitioners and on to leadership roles.  Emulating the professors' techniques at RBS in the day-to-day catapults you toward success.
  • The program offered an exceptional blend of accounting, management, economics, and government that I wanted.
  • Courses that left major impressions on me both professionally and personally: Ethical Issues in Public Financial Management, Public Sector Auditing, Governmental Accounting, and Auditing, and Advanced Topics in Governmental Accounting.
  • I am encouraging both of my daughters to explore the Master's in Governmental Accounting program at RBS for themselves.
  • Originally, I intended to gain knowledge and expertise in my field by pursuing the Master's in Governmental Accounting degree.  However, the experience gave me confidence, courage, and inspiration to further my academic career to earn my doctoral degree.  Thank you to the Rutgers faculty!
  • I will explore teaching opportunities as a part-time and virtual instructor to give back to the academic community that served me so well.

Press: For all media inquiries see our Media Kit