Whether you are trying to figure out how to cover your expenses after retirement or need to allocate your company’s resources in the most profitable way possible, you will need the services of a financial planning professional. These professionals are in great demand nowadays in almost every industry. USA News and The Forbes Magazine have ranked financial planner careers among the best jobs of the future.
Financial planning deals with the management of wealth. Financial institutions, service firms, government agencies, and many other clients seek the services of financial planners and wealth managers. In today’s unpredictable financial markets, clients are searching for great investment opportunities. Financial planners are well-versed with laws, taxes, funds, and can help people manage their wealth profitably.
Masters in financial Planning
Students who are interested in working with numbers can enroll in a degree program in this field. A Master in Financial Planning is the main graduate-level program offered in this particular academic principle. This degree is designed to prepare students for a number of relevant careers. Students in this advanced training program acquire knowledge and skills regarding various disciplines related to money management and financial planning. The program will teach students how to assist clients in developing financial plans and achieve their financial objectives efficiently.
Students enrolled in this advanced degree program learn about the process of establishing a client's financial state keeping in mind various factors such as risk profiling, investing habits, and retirement expectations. The curriculum of the program will entail many different courses that students must cover. The curriculum will typically include general courses and electives that are geared towards building a strong foundation of knowledge and financial skills. Here are a few main areas covered in the program:
Accounting for Managers (2-3 credits)
In this course, students will gain an insight on managerial accounting. Students will learn how to analyze financial statements, managerial costs systems, and accounting principles. The course will introduce students to the non-accounting concepts relevant to the field.
Data Analysis (2-3 credits)
This course will examine various data analysis procedures and managerial decision making. Students will learn how to analyze financial data and use statistical techniques. Some of the topics covered in this course include model building, time series modeling, regression analysis, and inferential statistics.
Personal Financial Planning (2-3 credits)
In this course, students will learn how to manage wealth and help clients achieve their financial goals. The course will cover a range of topics such as investments, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance, and personal financial statements.
Risk Management and Insurance Planning (2-3 credits)
This course is designed to help students explore various risks in financial planning. Students will learn how to evaluate financial risks and insurance programming. A few topics covered in the course include tax planning, negligence issues, personal risk assessment, Social Security, and more.
Portfolio Management (2-3 credits)
In this course, students will learn how to apply various theoretical principles of portfolio management. Some of the topics that are covered include international diversification, asset allocation, management of equity, computer applications, and risk measurement.
Financial modeling (2-3 credits)
Students studying this course will learn about the theories of financial management. The course will highlight topics such as capital budgeting, capital structure choices, financial statement analysis, optimization methods, and neutral network models.
Behavioral Finance (2-3 credits)
This course will focus upon the cognitive biases, emotions of investors, and the theories developed in this field. Students are required to study various psychological factors that affect financial planning. Some of the topics covered in the program include research, modern financial markets, and non-rational investors.
The curriculum is likely to vary a little from college to college. Some institutes also include internship courses in their degree programs. Students can acquire practical knowledge and work experience through internship programs relevant to their field of study.
Objectives of the Program:
Develop a strong understanding of financial planning
Recognize and identify the various factors that affect the planning phase
Apply various qualitative and quantitative methods for research
Achieve client/organizational objectives
Analyze financial risks and other dilemmas, and respond appropriately
A Master in Financial Planning typically degree spans over a two year period. However, the duration may vary a little and will depend upon the school you enroll in. Students can also opt for accelerated degree tracks that take less than two years to complete. If you opt for online programs in this field of specialization, you can complete the degree at your own pace.
Degree Completion Requirements
All courses in the curriculum must be studied thoroughly to acquire the minimum number of credits. The minimum credit hour requirement will vary from school to school. Students can seek information about the degree completion requirements from the prospective schools.
To enroll in a Master of Financial Planning degree, students need to have a bachelor's degree. Having knowledge of mathematics and computers can be a plus as much of the degree coursework revolves around these areas. Other requirements for admission will vary from school to school.
Many institutes are offering masters in financial planning degrees online. This mode of learning is more flexible and is suitable for individuals who are working full-time. Students can study according to their own free time and pace. The costs of an online degree are much lower as compared to campus-based programs. All students require is a laptop/PC and an internet connection to study online.
Individuals who have completed a masters degree in financial planning can seek employment in a number of challenging fields. They can work as:
Personal finance managers
Personal finance managers
The income level will depend upon the job position, employer organizations, and skills. Many individuals choose to join the banking industry with this degree. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median wage of personal financial advisors was $67,520 in 2012. The growth has been estimated to be much faster than average, making it a suitable occupation.
After earning this degree, students can prepare for the CFP certification and boost career opportunities. This certification is offered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP).Other options may include enrolling in a doctoral level program in this discipline.