With a degree in computer science, Martin Man has decided to work in a bank as one of the IT support personnel. "My work involves the use of a stock trading software. I believe that a deeper understanding of finance, accounting and banking business operations will help me do my job better," he says.
He has assessed various programmes in finance and accounting but none has met his needs, Man says. "Finally, I applied for the master of science in applied accounting and finance, offered by the Hong Kong Baptist University, which has given me insights into both disciplines," he adds.
The programme has also attracted accountants and finance professionals. says Professor Lin Zhijun, director of the programme. "Many accountants apply in order to learn about the latest developments in finance and the new compliance standards. Finance professionals, meanwhile, want to learn about accounting standards."
According to Lin, this is the only course in Hong Kong that integrates applied knowledge and skills into accounting and finance. "The programme emphasises real international cases. Students acquire an in-depth understanding of accounting and finance. This makes the programme suitable not only for accounting and finance professionals, but also for managers and executives in other business areas," he says.
Man says he gained a better understanding of financial statements, accounting standards and the financial market, which he found very practical in his job. He likewise learned how to interact with students from different backgrounds and gained insights into their careers.
Lin says applicants must have a basic knowledge of accounting, a bachelor's degree with honours in business from a recognised university, or a degree in other disciplines with relevant experience or training in accounting, finance, management or related fields. Part-time students must have at least three years of relevant work experience.
The programme's part-time mode takes 18 months to complete. Lectures are held on weekday evenings and Saturday afternoons. The course can also be taken full time. Many fresh graduates who take it are from China.
The programme is accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and CPA Australia.
"It is a stepping stone for students to further their studies in the field," says Lin.