Studying Financial Planning More Popular Among College Undergraduates

moneyA growing need for financial planners and advisers has prompted many American colleges and universities to create their own financial planning degree programs.

According to a May 20 CNBC article, there have been a number of studies showing that the financial planning sector could be soon suffering a shortage of qualified financial planners as the baby boomer generation retires from the industry.

Over the last four years, the number of universities offering undergraduate degrees in financial planning has grown from 90 to 124, according to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, which sets standards for American financial planners and certifies institutions of higher education that offer programs in the field. There are also 52 more programs still in development, 48 master’s degree programs and five doctoral programs, according to CNBC.

“The CFP program is great program for advisers to go through, in the old days training and education just came from the brokerage firms,” says Craig of Winship Wealth Partners. “Brokers were taught how to sell products – but not how to plan and advise clients prudently. With all these specialized programs, investors all over the world are benefiting.” 

A degree in financial planning is an attractive choice to undergrads as well, as the cost of higher education increasingly puts pressure on students to obtain degrees in career-oriented fields. The CNBC article says that while finance and marketing graduates sometimes struggle with finding post-grad employment, it’s extremely easy for a financial planning grad to get hired.

“Parents tell their kids to study business or marketing, but we have the job opportunities,” Lukas Dean, Ph.D., associate professor at William Paterson University who specializes in personal financial planning, told CNBC — estimating that the average graduate will have as many as four or five job offers to choose from. “Our students and graduates are having paid internships and job offers rained on them.”