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On the way to becoming a CPA

Swinburne Online student Steve Cross never enjoyed school. However, after working up to a certain point in his job, he found returning to study was the only way to enhance his career.

‘I didn't enjoy school, not even a little bit. I couldn't wait until it was over and I had no intention of going to further studies when I left. So I entered the workforce and worked my way up the ladder mostly in accounting and logistics roles,’ Steve says.

‘But I found it hard to get employers to consider me for middle to senior accounting roles, despite my experience, because I didn't have those three magical letters after my name (CPA). I then started looking at further study to enable me to secure a job that would let me pay the bills.’

The 44-year old Sydney resident pursued a TAFE course 20 years ago and decided it would be better to have a university degree to back that up as things had probably changed a lot since his TAFE days.

‘When I started looking at university courses I really gave it a lot of thought. After all this was a significant time and financial investment I would be making. I needed a course that would allow me to work full-time and study in the evenings and that was close to home so I wouldn't be spending hours travelling to and from campus,’ he says.

‘We all have busy lifestyles these days and I found Swinburne's Online Campus an attractive alternative to normal classroom study. Swinburne offered me a degree that would lead to CPA accreditation where I could choose my own study schedule and I could do it from home so there was no time lost travelling.’

Steve is now studying a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) with Swinburne Online and has found this method of learning to suit his needs.

‘Online study seems to suit me and everyone at Swinburne is committed to helping students succeed.’

‘The eLA's are full of helpful tips on what to do and the courses have been structured in such a way as to maximise your learning. The feedback I've received on assignments and activities has been really helpful in developing my writing skills and critical thinking, which are essential in universities.’

After completing his undergrad, Steve hopes to move on to become a CPA and further his career in the field. He says committing to a degree is a big decision as it requires a large amount of self-discipline.

Steve has found that with a full-time job, the key to his success in online study has been through organisation, planning and making study a priority in his life.

‘At the end of the day it comes down to "you get out what you put in". You have to be much more self-disciplined and motivated to learn than in a normal classroom situation. And you have to be organised. I've worked out the strategies that work for me - organisation, planning and preparation are the key elements for me to succeed,’ Steve says.

‘For those who have a busy lifestyle, who don't think they can fit a uni course in, online study is a perfect solution and Swinburne Online does it well. You can study from home, during your lunch hour at work, or even on the beach if you really wanted to.’