What is the value of an MBA to a financial advisor? That’s the question assistant professor of practice at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business Derek Klock attempted to answer recently.
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Klock says the MBA is a misused and overused degree. He says the intent of the MBA was to add business knowledge to a technical degree. Lately, it has also been used to revitalize careers.
Jon Yankee of Fox Joss and Yankee LLC, a fee-only financial planning firm focus on helping young financial planners who have already met the educational requirements to sit for the CFP® exam determine their next steps, says that many young financial planners do not have undergraduate degrees in business.
They have degrees in liberal arts, financial planning, or some other technical topics and their pursuit of an MBA would be exactly in line with the original intent for the degree.
A great deal of the benefit of getting an MBA is gained while working with the life, business, and work experiences of colleagues and fellow students. That’s why the best MBA programs require four to five years of work experience before applying.
When is it wise for a financial planner to pursue a graduate degree? If the person someday wishes to pursue a management spot in a firm or to become the owner of a small business or if the person wanted to practice law or become an accountant.
As well, if he or she wishes to be competent in clinical counseling or therapy, graduate degrees in marriage or family therapy or psychology would be beneficial. In each of these cases, however, the more generalist MBA degree may not be significantly beneficial.
The more specialist areas such as insurance or investment focused credentials would likely make more sense to pursue.
Regardless, young planners should pursue continuing education with specific purposes in mind instead of getting a popular degree that may not directly facilitate achievement
of his or her goals.