The growth in financial-planning programs at universities has been impressive, but only a little more than two institutions per state, on average, now offer the degree.
With the biggest programs graduating maybe 30 students per year, and the rest far fewer, the total number of financial-planning graduates in the country is probably less than 1,000 annually. For an industry anticipating a potential shortfall of more than 200,000 advisors in the next decade, the number barely puts a dent in the problem.
The 186 mostly online financial-planning certificate programs offered to working students and/or career-changers still produce more certified financial planners than the degree programs.
About 58 percent of CFP Board Registered Programs last year were certificate programs, versus 42 percent degree programs, according to Chaffin.
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Despite the clear demand for graduates with a financial-planning education, launching a new program and hiring faculty is still a hard sell to budget-constrained university administrators. "They have to take food off someone else's plate," said Dean, who earned his doctorate in the Texas Tech program. "There's always a fight when the budget is tight."
Texas Tech is ground zero in the effort to build a broader academic infrastructure for financial planning. It is one of only five institutions offering a doctorate in financial planning.