process of earning her master’s in taxation from another school on this year’s
list, Fairleigh Dickinson University — is an
exemplary new member of the next generation of planners. And it’s worth noting
that if she’d gone to Harvard or Stanford
or to most other top institutions of higher
learning in the country, the profession
probably would not have her today.
FOR NE W GRADS, TOUGH PA TH
Lott’s story is striking in another way
in that she secured a position right
after graduating. Despite the strong
need for planners nationally, many
new graduates who emerge with planning degrees often leave the profession for higher salaried work in banking or selling insurance.
“There’s a lot of reasons for that,”
Goldfarb says. Whether seeking a firm
placement or trying to build a client
base from scratch, new planners must
take initiative to market themselves,
something many programs don’t
equip them to do. “There is a degree
of salesmanship, for want of a better
word, involved with it.”
As a result, more institutions need
to teach not only real-life planning
skills, Goldfarb and others say, but
offer real-world apprenticeships for
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
CFP Board-registered programs
(online and in person): Undergraduate certificate, master’s
Enrollment: 30,000+ (mostly online)
in all finance courses
Faculty (full-time and adjunct): 19
full-time, 10 adjunct
Student-to-faculty ratio: Not avail.
In part to address this issue, the
CFP Board earlier this year issued a list
of 220 learning objectives that it wants
every program to teach its students.
Northwestern University, for one,
decided to revamp all of its certificate
courses around the new objectives.
“It’s a massive curriculum overhaul,” says Peter Kaye, Northwestern’s
dean of undergraduate and professional programs. “We really do want
to have an educational program that
reflects the skills that people need to
do the job well professionally.”
And that points to a related, ongoing
debate: Should programs focus on
Programs have grown
in the last 2 years.
FPA student chapter: No
Profile: The American College boasts
that it’s the nation’s largest nonprofit
educational institution devoted
to financial services (although it
declined to provide exact enrollment
figures). The college also asserts
that the number of planners it edu-
cates annually is among the highest.
As a partner with banks, brokerage
firms and insurance companies, it
derives much of its student popula-
tion from these fields. The college
also produces educational materials
helping students pass the CFP Board’s
certifying exam, or provide them with
a more well-rounded education as
planners? The latter approach typi-
cally covers more marketing, commu-
nication and people skills.
used to teach planners everywhere.
As the owner of the ChFC designation, the American College used to
promote the designation as the only
valid mark for financial planners,
although it now promotes the CFP
mark as well, according to Alan Goldfarb, chairman of the CFP Board. Two
months ago, the college received a
$2.5 million grant to establish a new
center for ethics as a response to Bernie Madoff’s crimes and other financial scandals. Classes are offered in
person and online.