master in financial planning

Financial planning is often required when one needs to draft out a retirement plan, develop a college fund for their children, save up for a vacation, manage real estate or inheritance, or even when setting up a new business. Without appropriate planning and budget management, the risk of loss could be high. Many people are now seeking the services of financial planners who are able to effectively manage their financial portfolio and seek profitable investments for the future. These professionals are highly skilled in this field and have knowledge about taxes and interest rates, and understand how to secure and invest financial resources. Financial advisors are in high demand all across the nation. US News & World Report has ranked this occupation among the best jobs in the country. With a positive employment outlook, many individuals are prepping for this field with the help of financial planning degree programs.

Master in Financial Planning Degree
The master's degree in financial planning is the only graduate-level program being offered in this field. Individuals who have completed their bachelor education and wish to become a financial planner may choose to pursue this degree. It is designed to equip students with the technical skills, theoretical knowledge, and numeracy skills needed to succeed professionally. The program will help enable students to understand the various financial strategies being used by organizations, the factors that affect financial management, and how to deliver financial services according to client objectives.

The program is typically completed in a two-year period. However, the duration may vary, but this may depend on such factors as which school an individual is enrolled. The coursework in a financial planning master's degree program will entail subjects that focus on various facets of financial planning, and will make sure students acquire a broad theoretical understanding. Listed below are examples of main courses students may have to take:

  • Accounting for Managers
  • Economics for Managers
  • Cases in Financial Planning
  • Retirement and Employee Benefits Planning
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Portfolio Management
  • Financial Modeling
  • Real Estate Finance and Investment

Each course must be covered to earn credits for degree completion. The curriculum may also include practical courses, research projects, case studies, and internship programs. These aim at providing students with practical knowledge and experience that may be useful for careers ahead. It is recommended that students seek information about the course structure and requirements from the prospective schools. Financial planning degrees may also be pursued from accredited online schools.

Career Prospects
After earning a financial planning master's degree, individuals could seek work in a number of areas such as financial institutions, insurance companies, intermediation and brokerage firms, federal agencies, and more. The demand for personal finance advisors is high, and is expected to grow at a fast rate in the coming years. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals made a median annual income of $67,520 in 2012. The career of a personal finance advisor may be challenging as these professionals are required to help people with investments, provide reliable financial advice, and help clients make financial decisions.


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