hen thinking about the future
of the planning profession, it’s
useful to consider the past of
another one: dentistry. A century ago, people went to the barber to have their teeth pulled.
Thankfully, in the intervening years, an entire
profession supported by academic research has
emerged to keep people’s teeth healthy.
As it turns out, dental health is inti-
mately connected with overall health.
The same concept holds true with
personal finances. With only a couple
of hundred thousand planners to help
the many millions of Americans who
need them, there simply isn’t enough
expertise to go around — at least not for
You can catch a glimpse into the indus-
try’s evolution in the story of one recent
graduate: Amanda Lott, who received
her bachelor’s degree in planning from
Texas Tech in 2008. Four years earlier,
she followed a boyfriend to the univer-
sity, majoring at first in mathematics
before switching to psychology. How-
ever, neither concentration felt quite
right to her. She wondered how to
bridge her love of numbers and analy-
sis with her desire to help others.