Although financial planning has always been important, it has gained greater significance in the wake of corporate scandals, the pension bubble burst, and Social Security hysteria. Baby boomers pose a substantial threat to current saving practices, and thus, individuals must pay greater attention to how they use their money both today and tomorrow. Understandably, there is significant demand for those with the proper financial career training.
Financial planners and financial analysts help guide businesses and individuals in making investment choices. Both carry out financial research and analysis which they use to provide investment recommendations to clients. But analysts and advisors differ in their clientele and in the information they provide. Financial analysts evaluate the economic outlook of various industries for businesses looking to make investment decisions. Personal financial planners advise individual clients and focus on a wide range of personal investment areas, such as helping to set goals for major life milestones, such as paying for a child's college tuition, or retirement.
The Job Outlook for Careers in Financial Planning Appears Strong
In 2006, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classified 176,000 employees as personal financial advisers. You can expect this figure to rise for two reasons: demand is expected to increase, and the ease with which one can secure the necessary education is also increasing.
Online finance program in financial planning can make mastering the essentials quite manageable. Accounting, statistics, investment, saving, and basic economics can all be learned from the comfort of home. With an online degree, you can become a certified financial planner (CFP) without wasting time and fuel commuting to campus. In the past few years, insurance companies, banks and brokerages have been able to broaden the services they provide to include investment advice. Many banks are becoming involved in brokerage and investment activities and need qualified financial planners to support new customers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the demand for personal financial advisors is likely to be above average as compared to all other occupations over the next decade. The increase in 401(K) investments and other individually managed retirement accounts will likely persist as the population ages and people begin to plan for retirement if they have not already done so.
Financial Planning Degree Programs Offer Flexibility
Approximately four out of 10 financial advisers are self-employed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Although financial planning certificate programs online cannot guarantee exact salary figures, the median income for personal financial advisors was almost $67,660 in 2007 and the upper income bracket earned more than $115,750 on average.