The Financial Planning Association is bringing back its virtual externships for the third year, the association announced today.

The externships, which are online and enable participants to gain experience from a number of firms, are open to college students, career changers and to advisors who want to hone their skills. The program is designed to provide participants with a range of experience, while it also creates a pipeline of new advisors, the FPA said.

The program is a partnership with eMoney Advisor; the College for Financial Planning, which is a Kaplan Company; Schwab Advisor Services; and Charles Schwab Foundation. The eight-week program runs from June 6 to  July 29. Registration is open until May 27.

“With nearly 500 participants completing last year’s program, the FPA Virtual Externship provided a diverse range of attendees with an intensive learning experience that explored all facets of financial planning,” the FPA said. More than 37% of participants in the 2021 externship program were female. Sixty-five percent were under the age of 39, with 30% between the ages of 19 and 24. Ten percent were already CFP professionals and 42% said they were considering earning CFP certification.

The program costs $199 for FPA members and successful completion earns the participant 180 hours towards the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards experience requirement.

The curriculum will be led by practitioner mentors, who will focus on the following:

• Investment Planning
• Insurance and Risk Management Planning
• Cash Flow Planning
• Student Loan Planning and College Planning
• Retirement Planning
• Tax Planning
• Estate Planning
• Navigating Your Career
• Real-world Applications for Planning Software

“There has been a lot of talk over the years about the need to build the pipeline of new talent coming into the financial planning profession. While the FPA virtual externship [program] was created to fill the internship void caused by the pandemic, I believe the externship has had a far greater impact on the profession's future,” FPA President Dennis J. Moore said in a statement. “The externship has not only introduced the next generation to financial planning as a potential career path, but it has positioned students and career changers to thrive once they take the next step in their career journeys.”

Externs will have access to a library of recorded lessons, plus get real-world assignments, tutorials, walkthroughs, and live office-hour opportunities with financial planners, the FPA said. Also, this year, externs will sit in on client meetings.