One of the highest paid fields you can go into with a business degree is financial advising or planning. Becoming a financial advisor requires you to have skills with people, money, and planning. Financial advisors are responsible for giving their clients advice about investment strategies, mutual funds, stocks and bonds, and retirement, as well as in many other situations that may arise.
Financial advising is a unique occupation because people who work as advisors often started out working in another career. Many gain life experience and financial knowledge before shifting their business career goals and starting to advise others. Just because some financial planners break into the profession based on their life skills alone doesn’t mean that you can’t study at one of the best business schools in order to start a career as a financial planner earlier in life. There are several steps you must take to work towards your goal of becoming a financial planner.
As with many other careers in business, you must first complete a degree program in order to obtain a bachelor’s degree. The business major you choose can vary because the certification you need to become a financial advisor is available to a wide variety of students. A degree in mathematics, accounting, economics, or finance would be the most beneficial though and will also look the best on your resume.
The next step you must take is to get some work experience. You can do an internship during your time at one of the best business colleges to increase your exposure to the field, but working in financial advising to gain experience is important too. Some of your possible job opportunities include working at a bank to expose you to many different clients or at a small company where you can be mentored one-on-one by a member of the financial team. You could also look into the training programs offered by many large corporations. They help you gain work experience while also helping you prepare for the licensing exams you must take.
Once you been working for long enough or have completed a preparatory program, you can get licensed as a financial advisor. Which type of licensing you choose to apply for depends on what kind of work you want to do. The following are some of the types of licenses you can obtain:
Certified Financial Planner: You must have a four-year college degree and three years of work experience before taking preparation courses for this type of license. You then must successfully complete and pass a ten-hour long exam over a period of two days.
Chartered Financial Analyst: You must also have a bachelor’s degree for this exam, as well as four years of work experience. You have to take three six-hour-long tests to get the certification.
Registered Investment Advisor: This certification is intended for anyone who gets paid to advise clients. Depending on the amount of money you’ll deal with, you’ll either have to register with the securities agency in the state in you live or with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.