Friday, March 25, 2011

Steer People On the Right Track in Financial Services

The management, investment, transfer and lending of money all falls under the umbrella of financial services — an industry that provides customers with fiscal expertise. You’ll find financial services professionals in a variety of settings including stock brokerages, credit unions, government sponsored enterprises, investment fund companies, insurance and consumer finance companies, credit card companies and, of course, banks. One particular higher-skilled area of significant growth in the financial services sector is mutual funds. As the baby boom generation readies itself for retirement, investments in mutual funds have grown. Professionals who consult upon and sell mutual funds are in demand. However, if you want to sell funds you must be fully licensed.

Thanks to Centennial College’s Financial Services Co-op program, you can be licensed in a little as three years. Also, Centennial College prepares students to write the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) exam and obtain the CFP designation after passing the exam and completing the required work exam. You can then write the Life License Qualification program (LLQP) exam, which, upon passing, will qualify you to write the Ontario Life Insurer exam. All of these credentials are needed required, not optional. But how exactly does the program prepare students? Courses cover topics such as general business knowledge, selling skills, technical skills, high-level communications and analytical skills. More specifically courses within the Financial Services Co-op program include: Principles of Macro Economics, Mathematics of Finance, Canadian Financial Services, Taxation, Retirement Planning and much more. All courses in Financial Services Co-op are delivered by professionals from the industry who work with students one-on-one to ensure that they are retaining all the vital information they need.

An additional benefit to this undertaking is the co-op feature, which allows academically-qualified students to add value to their education by working three terms as paid employees in the field. Not only does this allow them to experience the real life scenarios they may encounter in the field, but co-op also ensures that students apply their knowledge and network. Please note that in order to partake in the co-op experience, students must complete employment pre-placement. The requirements are completion of eight out of 10 courses in semesters 1 and 2, a minimum C grade in COMM-170/ 171 and a GPA of 2.5 or greater.

By the end of their studies, graduates will possess math skills, knowledge of commonly used software programs such as QuickBooks and Excel, marketing techniques, effective communication (so that they can explain complicated financial terms) and the ability to work in a variety of financial services areas.

Centennial College expects students applying for admission to this program to present at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. In addition, they must have completed the compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent and Math 11C, M or U, or 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent.

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