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Someone Forgot To Ask These Questions In the Interview, So Asks Us Instead

Ed. note: Feeling torn between two job offers? Questioning your career choices? Maxed out your credit cards and can no longer afford Miss Cleo’s $2.99 a minute advice? Tap the career advice brain trust for insight and we won’t even charge you for it.

I have recently received full-time offers from two Big 4 firms.  One offer is for external audit, and the other is for internal audit.  Which career opportunity would be more advantageous for a young professional in terms of salary, hours worked/busy season, and opportunities both within and outside the firms?

Also, the internal audit position would be for federal clients only.  Would this impact the above criteria in any notable ways?

Jimmy Dean

Dear Jimmy Dean,

This is a like a buck-shot of questions that you should have asked during the interview process.  You never asked about what the hours are like?  What the salary growth is like?  What the long term career track would be in each practice line?  What the hell did you talk about in your interviews!?!  No really, I would like to know.  The questions you’re asking here make it seem like you did zero homework on this and instead pounded out a quick email to GC because it’s easier to ask for the RIGHT-UNDER-YOUR-NOSE answers than find them for yourself.  Sorry, but I’m not sorry.

My personal frustration aside, I’m sure members of the GC crew here will chime in and provide you some personal feedback.  I suggest you start with career websites for the Big 4 firms.  They offer a substantial amount of [HR polished] insight on career tracks.  A few years ago KPMG released an external version of their Employee Career Architecture tool.  It spells out the marketable skills earned throughout a career in different practices. Tip: if you’re using the tool to assess an internal audit career, KPMG lists it as IARCS under the Advisory practice line. The most useful information is under the “Explore” section of the ECA tool.  As for a career in external audit?  Oh I don’t know – try another Big4’s extensive website.  Thanks, Uncle Ernie.

As for the government-heavy client base – it’s not going to necessarily restrict your external career options should you choose to leave, however it can be a natural transition.  Again, you need to assess the skillsets each career track provides.