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Business Observer Friday, Apr. 14, 2017 4 years ago

College chases lucrative field for new major

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The University of South Florida is following industry trend lines with a personal financial planning major.

TAMPA — The University of South Florida's Muma College of Business is introducing a new major in personal financial planning.

The new major will be available to business students this fall, according to a statement. The program stems from following industry trend lines: The need for financial planners is projected to grow 30% over the next several years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, more than 50% of financial advisors in the country are more than 50 years old, while only 4% are less than 30 years old, USF officials say.

Laura Mattia, a certified financial planner who earned a doctoral degree at Texas Tech University, is the director of the newly formed financial planning program and will create the curriculum. She plans to prepare students for success by providing them with academic and professional insights on financial communication, ethics and technology, according to the statement.

"This is an opportunity for students studying investments, wealth management and finance to move toward a career that can be both fulfilling and lucrative," says Mattia in the release. “The numbers bear this out. In the coming years, as baby boomers enter retirement, the demand for certified financial planners acting as fiduciaries will rise precipitously."

Entry-level salaries for financial planners average nearly $58,000 a year, and the mid-career salary in Florida is nearly $120,000, states the USF release, citing a Bureau of Labor statistics report.

The program will require students to attend national association meetings, participate in the Financial Planners Association FPA Challenge, be members of an FPA student chapter, attend financial planning and wealth management boot camps and seminars and participate in internship programs.

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