Recent graduates searching for finance careers may be attracted to a particular position that's gaining steam in the current job market: personal financial planning. A number of recent developments suggest that demand for individuals working in this position is currently skyrocketing. Personal finance planners – who help people to determine and achieve their financial goals, while also advising them about tax laws and other such provisions – are currently being offered a number of new academic and professional opportunities.
Clark Atlanta University launched a new finance/personal financial planning concentration within its bachelor's degree in business administration this fall, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The six-course program aims to provide students with the skills and information needed to pass the exams required to become a certified financial planner.
Charles T. Moses Jr., interim dean of Clark Atlanta University's School of Business, told the Journal-Constitution that as more individuals begin to take an active role in their own finances, the demand for workers in this position will increase.
"They are turning to financial experts to help them manage their investments and plan for retirement. The days of company pensions are more or less over," he told the news source.
An extremely positive job outlook
The demand for personal financial advisors is expected to rise at large rates over the coming years. Employment of personal financial advisors is projected to grow by more than 30 percent between 2010 and 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is a much more dramatic growth rate than that experienced by the average occupation.
In addition, a large amount of Americans have experience working with financial planners, illustrating a growing demand for trained professionals working this finance job. More than 40 percent of Americans report they have worked with a financial advisor, according to a report released last month by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
"As this survey shows, Americans want advisers who are competent in financial planning and have a designation to prove it," said Kevin R. Keller, the chief executive officer of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
This suggests that individuals looking to work this career in finance should consider taking academic programs or exams that will allow them to be certified in the field. Illinois State University also recently added an academic undergraduate minor in financial planning, according to the Daily Herald.
For thoughtful individuals searching for a potentially lucrative career in the finance industry, financial planning may be the answer. Moses noted that the career could be perfect for individuals who want to continue their education throughout their career.
"You have to be financially literate, analytical and good with numbers; that goes without saying," he said to the Journal-Constitution, while speaking about the profession. "But you also need to be curious and willing to learn because you'll have to stay current with economic conditions, regulations and tax laws."