Becoming a CPA doesn’t restrict you to just one state or jurisdiction. Although a CPA does need a state license (and can hold licenses in more than one state) to perform audits, there really isn’t any particular state that provides “better experience”. The fortunate thing about being a CPA, is that you can gain valuable insight and knowledge really by focusing on the kinds of businesses you are interested in. Once you focus on the type of experience you are most interested in, you can decide if a career in public accounting or a career in business and industry is the right path for you. Usually, a student coming out of school might not know what industry or type of business they are interested in and might choose to go into public accounting so they can gain a wide array of experience and exposure to see what “fits best” in their career choices down the road.
Also, the AICPA is currently working on an initiative we call our “Mobility” initiative that allows CPAs performing audits to have reciprocity from state to state. That means, when enacted, a license in one state can be used to perform audit work in another state.