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Do Financial Planning Programs Prepare You for What You Encounter on the Job?

One of the benefits of serving the CFP marketplace as an educational provider is the privilege we have to connect with so many individuals of various backgrounds.  Whether they have been serving clients within the wealth management industry for many years, whether they are considering a change of career, or those only looking to better their knowledge of the financial planning topics for their own personal or family reasons, it’s a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences which bring us together.

While this accelerated online CFP Certification Education Program provides the flexibility to learn the material at your own pace, it is our goal to connect our community of learners together and use this blogging delivery medium to gain your insights and share industry perspective with others.

Recently, I had an impactful conversation with a prospective student looking to gain the CFP Certification to assist the underprivileged community in his region.  His analysis of various programs caused him to ask the question, “What is the difference between a financial planning “degree-based program” and a “CFP Certificate program,” and does it really matter?”  Interestingly enough, the next day, he forwarded an article recently highlighted in SmartMoney magazine analyzing how Financial Planning Degree programs compare to corporate training programs and whether or not academic-based programs truly prepare a person for what they need to know to actually do their job effectively in the “Real World.”  An excerpt from the article highlights the bottom-line question:

“Many advisers — particularly at the biggest brokerages, which tend to train their staff in-house, question just how well a classroom experience can prepare someone for real-life financial planning, especially in an age of fast-moving, global markets. Even advisers who spent time in the halls of academia have their doubts, such as Glenn Moore, an adviser with Gordon Asset Management in the Durham, N.C., area, who attended a financial-planning program at Virginia Tech. “No amount of schooling,” he says, “can fully prepare you for what you encounter on the job.””

Share your comments and give us your perspective.  Do you feel a working knowledge of how this information is put into practice face-to-face with clients and prospects is a vital part of the CFP educational process?  We look forward to your comments and dialog surrounding this issue.