How do I get a Financial Planning Degree?

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  • Written By: H. Terry
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 24 February 2020
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A financial planning degree is the most internationally recognizable qualification in the field. In order to attain an accredited degree, a candidate must complete a formal program of studies at an institute of higher education. Holders of bachelor's degrees in related business disciplines such as finance, economics and accounting may also find work as financial planners. Many institutions at both undergraduate and postgraduate degree levels offer financial planning degree programs.

Although exact admissions requirements depend on the institution, a good undergraduate financial planning degree program will normally expect candidates to hold high secondary school grades in English and math. Students need to have completed a bachelor's program in a cognate discipline in order to gain entry to a master's in financial planning degree program and, in turn, the master's degree can form a basis for further studies at the doctoral level. Very few financial planners pursue a doctoral financial planning degree unless they plan to teach the subject or are interested in contributing research to the field.

Financial planning refers to a type of financial consultancy tailored to the needs of individual clients as opposed to companies or other organizations. Financial planners work closely with their clients to decide upon strategies for managing and generating wealth. They frequently forge long-term relationships and revise their plans to suit changes in the economy or in their clients' own financial circumstances and goals.


The career success of a financial planner depends on what company he or she works for and, when working independently, on the clients the financial planner can attract. The best companies and clients are often more interested in the financial planner's experience and record of accomplishment than in their levels of studies. Most financial planners hold only a bachelor's degree, opting to invest their time after this first degree in building their portfolios and accumulating experience.

The duration of a financial planning degree varies according to the level. A bachelor's degree generally takes between three to five years to complete; a master's degree, between one and three; and a PhD, between three and five. It is also common for professionals to seek certification and to join professional associations. One of the most widely known credentials in financial planning globally is the U.S.-based Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. In order to gain this certification, candidates must possess an appropriate bachelor's degree, three years of professional experience and pass the CFP certification exam and background check.


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Post 2

SurfNturf - I wanted to add that some schools offer a degree in financial planning but you would still have to obtain your securities and insurance license on your own.

Advisors that work in banks earn a steady salary and commission while those that work in brokerage firms are offered a lower salary but higher commissions because the position is sales oriented.

Many people working with a degree in financial planning don’t start earning a lot of money until their third or fourth year because it takes time to build a consistent clientele.

Joining a financial planning association is critical and will open doors for you because many investors want to invest with people that are serious about their industry.

Obtaining a financial planning certification is a great way to distinguish yourself from others with less experience.

Post 1

I think that a financial planning education is very valuable because not only can you help others but you can also learn about how to handle your own finances.

Financial planning courses can give you detailed understanding of how various investments work and who would be qualify for them.

I think that if you have a business or finance degree you can get a certificate in financial planning from many universities and if you are already working in a bank you might be moved to a financial advisor role once you have your series 7 and insurance license.

Without these you will not be able to counsel clients regarding their investments pertaining to securities and insurance. Usually the bank will act as a sponsor for you when you take these exams and there are plenty of prep courses available to help you prepare.

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