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An online MBA in financial planning can help finance-related professionals stay competitive in a growing and increasingly demanding field. The program’s multidisciplinary curriculum blends formal education with research and analysis and experience and ethics. Students are trained to help individuals and business organizations achieve their financial goals through investments as well as retirement, estate, and tax planning. Students who complete a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) board-certified financial planning MBA program are eligible to take the CFP certification exam.

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What Does an MBA in Financial Planning Cover?

Financial planning programs begin with general MBA courses, including classes in managerial economics, managerial accounting, business ethnics, and marketing theory. Students then move on to courses in tax management, risk management and insurance, investment management, estate planning, and other subjects directly related to financial planning. All courses, including general MBA courses, are focused on financial services.

A CFP board-certified financial planning MBA program will prepare you to take the CFP examination. Financial planning professionals with CFP certification are regarded by both consumers and professionals as having met a rigorous set of standards including principles of integrity, objectivity, fairness, and client confidentiality. Graduates with both a financial planning MBA and CFP certification are in great demand by financial services and planning firms.

Getting Into a Financial Planning MBA Program

Financial planning MBA programs are ideal for mid-level financial professionals looking to remain competitive and advance in their field. Professional experience in financial services is helpful, but not absolutely essential in order to be accepted into an MBA program. Candidate requirements include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or the equivalent coursework.
  • Letter(s) of professional recommendation
  • Completion of the GMAT
  • Any additional materials indicated on a school’s online degree program application.

Candidates do not need to complete the GMAT if they have met criteria determined by the school they are applying to. That criteria may include having an upper-division GPA of 3.0 or higher, a significant amount of professional experience in the financial services, or a previously earned master’s degree.

Why Should I Get an Accredited Financial Planning MBA?

Institutions and degree programs receive accreditation status to acknowledge quality and rigor. Making sure the school and degree program you’ve chosen has been accredited by a recognized accrediting agency will help assure the quality of your education and potential opportunities for employment. MBAs from non-accredited institutions are usually not recognized by employers and course credit may not transfer to other schools. The online financial planning MBA at the California Lutheran University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Who Should Pursue a Financial Planning MBA?

If you are a mid-level professional in a finance-related field a financial planning MBA will give you a competitive edge in the job market and help advance your career. Candidates generally have exceptional interpersonal skills, a gift for self-marketing, and the ability to explain and educate their clients regarding important, sometimes complex financial planning decisions. Financial planners often travel, and additionally must utilize strong networking and public speaking skills. Although many financial planners work in offices, such as financial managers of organizations, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2010 nearly one-fourth of financial analysts were self-employed.

What Jobs Can an MBA Financial Planning Online Get Me?

  • Financial Manager: A financial manager is responsible for the financial health of an organization. Financial managers are employed in variety of industries, including finance, government, science, insurance, and manufacturing. A financial manager directs investment activities and develops long-term strategies and plans to achieve an organization’s financial goals. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a slow growing and competitive job market for financial managers now through 2020. Candidates with an MBA may have a competitive edge in such a market.
  • Financial Analyst: Financial analysts advise and guide individuals and organizations in investment decisions. In order to provide such guidance, a financial analyst must have a strong grasp of past and current financial data and economic and business trends and be able to assess an individual or organizations financial health and prospects. Financial analysts meet one-on-one with investors when explaining and making recommendations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment of financial analysts to grow as much as 23 percent from now through 2020, in part because of the growing number of financial products and need for knowledge of specific geographic regions.
  • Personal Financial Advisor: Personal financial advisors work specifically with individuals to guide them with investment, insurance, and tax decisions. A personal financial advisor helps clients research investments, plan ahead for life events including college education expenses and retirement, and monitor and track account performance. Ultimately, a personal financial advisor’s job is the help a client make informed decisions regarding their finances and future. The demand for and employment of personal financial advisors will continue to grow as more and more baby boomers retire and the aging population increases.

Top Earning Industries for Jobs

Financial Manager:

  • Government Contractor: $42,655-$118,441
  • Health Care: $41,426-$87,979
  • Financial Services: $30,410-$90,913

Financial Analyst:

  • Government Contractor: $40,908-$75,461
  • Financial Services: $38,894-$76,116
  • Health Care: $40,348-$69,843

Personal Financial Advisor:

  • Financial Services: $27,208-$92,738
  • Financial Planning: $30,913-$105,780
  • Banking: $23,938-$116,000

How Do I Find Online Financial Planning MBA Programs?

The website of any accredited learning institution will provide the accreditation information for individual schools and programs. You can usually use a school website’s search engine to find specialty MBA programs, including financial planning MBAs.

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