Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

Jing Zhou, McMaster University Continuing Education Accounting graduate

This past November, Jing Zhou was one of 20 students to receive an award of academic excellence from McMaster University Centre for Continuing Education (CCE).

Jing Zhou is not afraid of taking on a new challenge. After completing a master’s degree in Finance in China, she began a new life with her husband in Toronto in 2013. A few years later, she decided the time was right to embark on a new career.

“I wanted to move into accounting. I thought it would open up job opportunities for me here,” Zhou said. But as a mature student, the 30-year old did not want to spend two to three years in a classroom.

Zhou explains that her husband had come to Canada in 2009 to pursue a master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at McMaster University while she completed her studies back home. After graduation, he was able to secure a job in Toronto and the couple began the process of building their future together in Canada.

“My husband introduced me to McMaster, and I knew the school had a solid reputation,” Zhou says.  
After researching her options Zhou decided that the Accounting Diploma offered through McMaster Centre for Continuing Education—which can be completed in only one year—seemed like the perfect fit. She decided to commute between Toronto and Hamilton for classes.

Although McMaster University Centre for Continuing Education accounting students have the option of completing their courses online, Zhou said she valued the enriched learning that can take place in the classroom.

“My instructors were all very good. They all had their CPA designation and are professional accountants,” she noted. “They can teach you the theoretical knowledge of accounting, as well as the practical environment.”

Zhou also enjoyed meeting and learning from her fellow classmates. Many were already working, she said, and were happy to share their knowledge and experience.

The Diploma in Accounting covers a wide range of topics, including financial accounting, management accounting, auditing, and taxation. Courses are approved by the Canadian Professional Accountants (CPA) Ontario, which enables McMaster Centre for Continuing Education students to apply them towards educational requirements for a CPA designation.

“That was a big advantage,” said Zhou, who plans to earn her CPA as the next step in her career.
In the meantime, Zhou was fortunate to secure employment as a staff accountant at Kudlow McCann Professional Corporation shortly after completing her diploma in June 2017. With no Canadian job experience, she said it was the strength of her results in CCE’s Diploma in Accounting program that helped land the position.

“My interviewer was impressed by my marks, so my diploma was very helpful in finding my job,” she explained.

Zhou would have no hesitation in recommending McMaster CCE to others looking to further their education or make a mid-life career change. “Choosing McMaster continuing education saved me a lot of time,” she said. “And time has value.”