For financial planners, postgraduate study is now a big issue: FASEA's new education requirements mean a majority of advisers will have to undertake some further study to continue in their careers.
In order to stay in their chosen profession, existing planners will need to do either a number of bridging units, or a Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning, depending on previous study.
The units or courses required are offered by a range of approved providers (registered training organisations, universities) and, naturally, come at a range of price points.
So, while a Graduate Diploma or a Master of Financial Planning from a university might feel like a huge commitment and a premium option for achieving FASEA compliance, it comes with distinct advantages.
A Masters course demonstrates to the marketplace and your clients your credibility and professionalism and that you have achieved the highest level of qualifications in your discipline.
Universities such as Deakin are highly regarded. Lecturers and tutors at Deakin Business School are closely connected to industry and the associations with most being either current or previous advisers themselves.
This connection has a positive impact on students’ educational experience with a clear bridge between research and practice that adds significant value and durability to the content. It helps ensure that our courses remain current, relevant and satisfy all accreditation requirements.
Deakin is regarded by many in the industry – both in Australia and abroad – as providing top-tier, industry-connected financial planning courses.
Indeed, Deakin Business School (DBS) is accredited by AACSB International, the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools in the world.
Deakin is also the first university in the world to offer a graduate diploma accredited by the leading international body for inheritance and succession planning, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
Graduates of Deakin’s Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning and Master of Financial Planning courses are eligible for entry into the Certification Programs of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) - CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP) as well as the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) - Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner (FChFP).
Graduates may also be entitled to a number of credits into these certification programs.
Even financial planning students combining study with a well-advanced career find that university study is professionally enriching.
“On-the-job professional development can be more narrowly focused on your current position rather than future opportunities, so you can be limiting in picking up those new skills. Studying for a degree will give you more,’ says Professor Liz Johnson, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education).
Another benefit of university study is gaining access to a wealth of robust, comprehensive supports services and resources.
Current Deakin Financial Planning student Andrew Lane says he is delighted with the amount of support and resources at his fingertips.
“You get free access to a whole lot of things – plenty of software I’ve found invaluable, and access to newspapers and libraries.”
A further advantage of undertaking a Master or Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning is that it looks great on your CV.
“It signals professional commitment: rather than just ticking off a compliance box it shows you’re going above and beyond – working to become a leader in your field,” says Mr Olynyk.