Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs in financial services cover business, computer technology, finance and management. After completing core and general education coursework, students are often expected to complete an internship that gives them hands-on experience in financial services. The program will begin the preparation process for a graduate to take the Certified Financial Planning Examination.
Most programs take two to three years of full-time study to complete. In order to apply, students must have a high school diploma or a GED.
Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Financial Services
Students must complete 60 to 90 credits in order to graduate. Along with business principles, management and the organization of financial firms, technology is emphasized in these programs. Students also learn about investment and security management. AAS programs begin with an introduction to financial services. Then, students go on to learn how to assess a client's financial needs and how to determine the best approach to developing the best financial plan for a particular client. Common course topics include:
- Business management and organization
- Database management systems
- Marketing principles
- Business law
- Business ethics
- Money and banking
Popular Career Options
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) reports that a bachelor's degree is needed for most positions in finance, economics and business. An MBA may help with advancement in the field. With an associate's degree, graduates can find employment working for businesses, companies and non-profits. They can also work independently as consultants. Typical jobs include loan officer, payroll clerk, credit counselor, tax preparer, brokerage clerk and bookkeeper.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
Information provided by the BLS shows that employment growth for financial analysts is projected to be 6%, and financial clerks, which includes brokerage clerks, 5% during the 2018-2028 decade. During that same timeframe bookkeeping and accounts clerks are expected to see a decline of 4% in employment opportunities, according to the BLS.
The BLS further reports that financial analysts earned a $100,990 average annual salary as of May 2018, with bookkeeping and accounting clerks earning an average annual salary of $42,110 and brokerage clerks earning an average annual salary of $53,940.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of this program may wish to seek additional coursework that prepares them for the Certified Financial Planning Examination, which can be taken online through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (www.cfp.net). Upon passing the examination, a person must take 30 continuing education hours each year to maintain certification. A bachelor's degree program may provide the necessary coursework to qualify for the exam.
Graduates of a bachelor's degree program may wish to continue further education by enrolling in a master's degree program to improve marketability and learn advanced skills. A variety of graduate certificate programs may provide specialized training that meets educational goals.
While AAS programs in financial services provide basic training in the field, most financial careers require at least a bachelor's degree, so graduates may choose to enroll in a bachelor's degree program after completing an associate's degree program.