As colleges and universities start the new school year, the student debt bomb could be leading to growing enrollments in college-level financial advisory courses and programs, the CFP Board’s director of academic programs, Charles Chaffin, told Financial Advisor.
“Institutions are being held accountable for the percentage of students being placed in careers related to the program they are in,” said Chaffin, adding that recent reports on crushing student loan debts being racked up in pursuit of a college degree has meant more scrutiny from federal and state governments and accreditation agencies regarding college costs and eventual post-graduate employment.
He added that colleges and universities recognize the growth potential of financial advisory jobs, and as a result they’re putting more promotional efforts on their offerings in this area.
Chaffin said enrollment is also being helped as both institutions and students become more comfortable with requirements for CFP certification that were added in 2012.
He did not have any figures for college-level CFP program enrollment at the start of the 2014 academic year versus 2013, though he said he’s heard from the field that numbers are up significantly.
Chaffin noted that college students typically start their CFP course work as juniors and seniors. As freshmen and sophomores, many of them acquire an interest in financial planning through financial literacy programs.
Those earlier courses help whet the appetite for finance among college students and show them how becoming a financial advisor can help people attain a better standard of living, he said.
Chaffin surmised some parents may want a child to become a financial advisor to help them with their own financial health, just as many parents promote medical careers for their offspring in part to help them with their physical health.