Seeking accounting education and career advice?

I'm 27 years old and had about 3 years of working experiences, two of my longest jobs are sales oriented (first one as an Insurance Agent, second one as an International sales rep). I had my undergraduate degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurship (I had a cumulative... show more I'm 27 years old and had about 3 years of working experiences, two of my longest jobs are sales oriented (first one as an Insurance Agent, second one as an International sales rep). I had my undergraduate degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurship (I had a cumulative 3.55 GPA)

Last winter, I quit my job to prepare for the GMAT exam because I felt I need a change in my career. I would like to do something more professional and specialized, that's the reason why I've decided that I want to pursuit a Master of Science in Accountancy degree and possibly become a CPA later on.

Now I'm faced with the decision to apply for schools (less prestigious) for Spring admission or to apply for schools (more prestigious) for Fall admission (most of the more prestigious schools only accept fall adimission). If I were to apply for Fall admission, that means there will be almost one year gap from now until my enrollment. I prefer to apply all schools for Fall admission and find a job in accounting-related field before enrollment to build up some experiences. But my dad, who will be paying my tuition, told me that I should apply for Spring admission because he thinks that for my age, time is really pressing and important. He doubt that I will get into those more prestigious schools and that I will find an accounting related job within the year. He also told me that he's concerned that the fact that I will be almost 30 by the time I complete the program and with little accounting job experiences, employers will less likely to hire me because of my age and lack of experiences. So he strongly suggests me to use my time more wisely and start my education asap and get back to the work force asap.

I'm also very concerned about my future, since I've quit my last job for almost a year just to prepare for the GMAT, I took the test four times and my best score was 620 (verbal: 32, math: 44). It was not the most desirable score I would like to get considering the time and effort I put myself into. But I still hope somehow to get into the schools with top accounting programs, such as UT-Austin, Texas A&M, USC..etc. Am I being unrealistic here? Should I listen to my dad and apply for Spring Admission and start my education asap? Is my dad right about that "age is an important factor when accounting firms look for their candidates"? Will accounting firms such as the big 4 hire a 30 year-old for a entry-level position in auditing with MSA degree but no real accounting job experiences? what kind of jobs in accounting I can possibly get with no experiences?

As the spring application deadlines are pressing, I'm forced to make a decision, but I'm so lost of what to do and even doubt that if my decision for a career change is right. Could someone with an accounting profession or even someone who does hiring in accounting firms give me some advice? I really appreciate your kindness in helping me out here.
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