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New Major in Personal Financial Planning to be Offered in the Fall

Laura Mattia

Laura Mattia

TAMPA (March 31, 2017) -- With the number of qualified financial advisors dwindling – and with the government poised to impose tighter regulations on the profession – the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business is moving forward with a plan to offer a new major in personal financial planning.

Beginning this fall, the new major will be available to business students interested in filling the anticipated marketplace void caused by many of the current financial advisors and planners marching themselves into retirement.

USF Muma's decision to implement its new personal financial planning major is supported by several key factors and statistics concerning the field's current state.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for financial planners is projected to grow by 30 percent over the next several years. Additionally, more than 50 percent of financial advisors in the country are over 50 years old, while only four percent are under 30 years old.

The curriculum is being built from the ground up by Laura Mattia, the director of the newly formed financial program. Mattia's vision for the program is to combat the lack of investment in the future of the financial planning industry by supplying the field with highly qualified advisors and planners. She plans to prepare students for success by providing them with academic and professional insights on financial communication, ethics and technology.

"This is an opportunity for students studying investments, wealth management and finance to move toward a career that can be both fulfilling and lucrative," said Mattia, a Certified Financial Planner who earned a doctoral degree at Texas Tech University. "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."

Students will likely find the fiscal prospects of a career in financial planning to be appealing. Entry level salaries for financial planners average nearly $58,000 a year, and the mid-career salary in Florida is nearly $120,000 says a report from the Bureau of Labor statistics. If that was not enough incentive, a survey by U.S. News and World Report ranked the occupation of financial advisor as No. 4 in job satisfaction.

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. As a result, graduates will be well versed in financial planning and will be able to seamlessly enter the workforce as certified fiduciaries.­­­­­

A kick-off event for the new program is set for April 20 and is set to feature key players in the personal investment industry as well as administrators and faculty from USF. The event, which will feature a networking portion and a discussion panel, will be held between 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the USF Muma College of Business, located at 4202 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33620.