The demand for financial planning is increasing and with many planners heading toward retirement, the industry needs to find new ways attract and retain new talent.

For its part, the CFP Board has launched an online career center intended to serve as a hub for those interested in careers as financial advisors. The center will contain information on joining the industry, the CFP certification and various job and internship opportunities. The online career center is intended to serve as a "one-stop shop" to connect those looking for jobs in the space and the businesses looking to hire.

The CFP Board says it will be promoting the portal in conjunction with its certified programs at colleges and universities across the country. It hopes to reel in not just recent graduates entering the space, but experienced advisors and career changers as well.

"There are plenty of job boards out there, but we believe there was a gap that the CFP board was uniquely qualified to fill," said Kevin Keller, CEO of the CFP Board during an online webinar announcing the portal's launch.

For employers, a 30-day posting costs $350 per job. The Board also offers discounts for listing multiple positions.

On the jobseeker's end, the site will feature listings for jobs ranging from entry to advanced levels. The site also will feature content aimed at helping applicants with the process of landing a job-- including resume-honing tutorials, CFP examination preparation and information, and lists of skills required for certain positions and interviewing tips.

THE PROFESSORS' TAKE

Overall, professors at CFP certified programs seem excited about the portal.

"I think it's going to be helpful. There are a number of career centers that are available, but it's nice to see one that's devoted to students who aspire to get CFP certificates," says Ron Rhoades, assistant professor and program coordinator of the Alfred State College financial planning program. "The career center may demonstrate the large number of unfulfilled positions in financial services which reinforces to prospective students that the future of this career path remains strong."

The Career Center also will allow a place for students seeking positions in different places across the country to see the bigger picture, according to Dr. Nathan Harness, assistant professor of financial planning at Texas A&M. 

"Small universities don't have big footprints," says Harness, who was recently named director of financial planning after the school's program received a multi-year sponsorship from TD Ameritrade.  "When you're a small regional school with few alumni in the area, how do you help your students find a job? I like that the CFP board has taken an initiative to help the small regional institutions and the names that aren't as large and don't have the opportunities for their students because people don't know about them."

There were also some concerns. Another webinar attendee questioned how different this portal would be from others posted by other accreditation boards.

When asked during the webinar, the CFP Board said it would not discourage businesses from posting unpaid internships, as to avoid "getting in the middle of arrangements" between jobseekers and employers.

Not everyone agrees with that sentiment, however. "Speaking for our program, if an employer comes and offers an unpaid internship we say we won't even post it," says Luke Dean, associate professor of personal financial planning at Utah Valley University. "We refuse to post it because we believe they should get paid. There are enough offers out there so why should a student do an unpaid one? I was kind of hoping the CFP Board would come out just as strong. "

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