In this financial planning associate's program, students learn basic techniques to analyze stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Financial planning associate's degree programs typically take about 64 semester hours of coursework, which can usually be completed in two years. These programs are available in online and on-campus formats. However, they tend to be a specialization found within a common academic category, such as business or accounting. The only prerequisite for this program is a high school diploma or GED.
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Associate's Degree in Financial Planning
An associate's degree in financial planning prepares students to learn the fundamentals of analyzing mutual funds, bonds, and stocks. Strong scores in math courses can prepare students for entry-level coursework. In order to earn an associate's degree, students must take a certain number of general education courses along with elective and financial planning classes. Some of the coursework common to these programs can include:
- Principles of finance
- Money, banking, and financial markets
- Investments fundamentals
- Credit management
- Financial planning for retirement
- Estate planning and elder law
Graduates may be able to work as bookkeepers and track the financial operations within a business or organization. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks as of May 2015 was $37,250 per year. From 2014-2024, employment opportunities are expected to decline by 8%.
Continuing Education Information
An associate's degree program is often used as a stepping-stone to a bachelor's degree program in the same or similar field. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that not only do the majority of financial analyst jobs require a bachelor's or master's degree, but they often also require candidates to hold professional licenses and certifications (www.bls.gov).
An associate's degree in financial planning prepares graduates to pursue entry-level positions such as bookkeeping, or to go on to further study in a bachelor's or master's program.