A recent article by Mike Thrasher in RIAIntel about the loss of talent in wealth management has generated a lot of discussion within the industry, and for good reason: the lack of young people choosing careers in financial planning is a major issue.

This is a subject I have first-hand experience with. I initially began my career in supply chain management. I became passionate about financial planning after noticing that several of my peers had questions about personal finance. This realization led to me leaving my supply chain career to pursue a CFP designation and a career in financial planning, so that I could be a knowledgeable resource for my community. My transition has been life-changing and I love my career. However, when speaking with others in my generational cohort about this field, multiple apprehensions continue to arise that I think keep millennials from entering this industry.

In Mike Thrasher’s article, he profiles a center at the University of Texas that is trying to reverse this trend. I agree that the lack of financial planning as a major or even a minor at universities is a big impediment. Many college students are not even aware that financial planning is a career path that you can enter into upon graduation, but I have also noticed some other reasons that discourage students from pursuing a career in financial planning.

One big issue is the difficulty of finding a stable and well-paying job in the financial planning industry. Entry level jobs can range from wirehouses where young financial planners may be hired, but not actually do much planning, to small RIAs where new employees may get to do a lot of planning, but without the same resources as a larger firm. Compensation in particular is a real issue when attempting to source young talent. Millennials generally do not want to work on a commission-only basis or for low starting salaries around $25K, especially if they are actually graduating with a degree in financial planning. There are lots of firms that are moving away from low entry-level salaries, but the perception that to be an advisor you would have to accept an “eat what you kill” model of compensation definitely pushes some people away from this career path.

But it is not just about paychecks; many millennials want to work in jobs where they can be passionate about the work they are doing. The perception of the financial planning industry is that it involves cold-calling and knocking on people’s doors to sell products. Top students at universities may not see the field as prestigious or academically rigorous. Part of this issue is the fact that anyone can call themselves a “financial advisor” no matter what their job actually entails or the level of education that they have completed in the subject area. This trend prevents students from becoming aware of all the amazing research and innovation happening in financial planning.

Finally, many millennials see financial planning as an aging and boring industry. In some ways, this stereotype is accurate. The CFP Board reports in their professional demographics that there are more CFP professionals over the age of 70 than under the age of 30 and roughly 77% of CFP professionals are men. Similarly, the typical clients for financial advisors remain older, wealthy white men. If perceived success as a financial planner means being able to bring in money from these types of clients, that may not seem like an achievable goal for the average millennial, especially for millennials of color.

Despite all these challenges, there are many wonderful solutions to these issues that many different groups are implementing. More universities are building out their financial planning programs and minors. Undergraduate education is being boosted by Ph.D. programs, which are producing professors who can teach courses in financial planning and build new programs. The CFP Board has created a career path guide that has a host of ideas for people entering the financial planning industry, including salary guides for each position in the field. There is also an emerging cohort of researchers putting out papers on financial planning related topics, which helps to move financial planning into the realm of a profession rather than a trade or just a job. This research is even leading to new offshoots of careers and research like financial therapy, which addresses the intersection between technical and interpersonal aspects of a person’s financial life.

So what else do we need? Mentorship and visibility. I am on the board for the Financial Planning Association of Houston and one of the commitments that all of our board members are making is to interact more with the local universities in our area. When we actually pulled the data we realized that there are more financial planning programs in our area than we thought, leaving us the opportunity to reach many more students. This gives us a chance to share our passion with them, exhibit the diversity of our community, explain the different types of clients we work with, and show examples of how a person can enter the financial planning industry. Finally, mentorship of planners looking to enter the industry can make a huge difference between a young planner staying in the industry or choosing to leave. I love working with young planners. I encourage them to explore whatever aspects of the industry that they are interested in and constantly seek to challenge them to keep building skills and take on new challenges both inside and outside of the office. This keeps the industry fresh and shows just how much more there is to explore.

Shelitha Smodic is a private wealth advisor at Westwood.