Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education

Learn More to Earn More Video

Learn more about how you can advance your career with Joyce Schnur, Kaplan Vice President of Financial Services Education, and Toby Schifsky, Kaplan National Director of Real Estate Education. Joyce and Toby discuss the various education and training options available in Financial Services and Real Estate to help you earn more money and establish a career path. 



Video Transcription

Joyce: Hello. Welcome to the presentation. My name is Joyce Schnur.

Toby: And I'm Toby Schifsky.

Joyce: Today, Toby and I are going be talking to you about industries that we're very passionate about. For me, it's financial services.

Toby: And for me, it's real estate.

Joyce: The agenda today will cover some information about these industries, what opportunities may exist, what are some of the requirements to get into the industry, but most importantly, you should be listening for the education opportunities that exist for you to cover your skills gap so that you are more employable when you're out there in the workforce.

Toby: Our goal, out of this whole presentation, is for you to have questions...questions about how you're advancing your career. Now, the fact that you're watching this video means you've probably taken education with us before. And what we want you to do is to be thinking about, "How are you advancing in your career? What education? What certificates? What designations? What levels of licensure? Or even, what degree programs are there for you to advance your career?"

Joyce: Thank you. And with that, I think, we'll get right into the presentation. I've been involved in the financial services industry for a number of years starting out as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®. And there's some recent statistics that, personally, I'm very excited about. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that over the next ten years, there's going to be a need for a 32% increase in the number of financial advisors. Right now, we have about 350,000 financial advisors, depending on which research study that you look at, and the age of those financial advisors continues to creep up. A few years ago, the average age was 48, and now it's 53. The interesting thing is, we need a larger workforce. The baby boomers, people who are more responsible for their financial health, they need that group of advisors. Right now, less than 5% of financial advisors are under the age of 30. That's why there's so much opportunity to enter into this industry. As we see baby boomers, as we see individual employees, think about your own situation where you are employed. You now have to make decisions on your 401(k) plan and a number of other things, where your parents might have worked for a company for 20 or 25 years and retired with a pension. The need for those advisors is rapidly growing. I think it's very similar to what's happening in your industry as well.

Toby: I think you're right Joyce. I think what we've seen in real estate, at least since 2007, let's go back even a little bit further…I think we all understand what happened with real estate since the year 2000, with a large rise in the number of home sales, and the number of transactions, and the number of real estate salespeople that came into the industry. And what we saw then in 2007, at the peak, as the market started to really go down and become quite depressed, we saw a large number of licensees vacate the industry. What we've seen as a drop is about 40% of that workforce is gone since the peak in 2007. And what we're seeing now, starting in 2012, is the market has really leveled off...if not started to rebound in most markets across the country. Now, we know that real estate at best is a regional business, and most times, it is very localized. In some areas, we've seen an even larger amount of the workforce go out, even greater than 40%. But what we are seeing just about everywhere is that the number of people coming into the industry right now is rising for the first time in about five or six years.

So what does it take to get into this industry? Well, what it takes to get into real estate is actually very simple compared to a lot of different careers that you can get into. In fact, generally, the rule is you have to be 18 years of age. You don't need a college degree. You may have to show some proof of the right to work within the United States. There probably is a background check you're going to need to pass for your state's requirements. Each state has different requirements, but one thing is, here at Kaplan University, School of Professional and Continuing Education, we offer that licensing education. In fact, we not only offer licensing education, we know really what it takes to get licensed. Because the final step in most states, in order to get your real estate license, is that you have to pass an exam administered by the state.

So once you are licensed, another thing that we do provide, and that the state requires, is continuing education. For most of these licensed fields, what you’re going to find is...a state requires you to continuously stay up on your education, continuously be looking to protect the consumer and your clients. And continuing education is a vital part of protecting the population as a whole, and that's why it's generally required as a part of licensure.

Joyce: Very similar requirements exist in the financial services industry. We find that there are some basics. To enter the industry, you generally need some licenses. To start out, you need some licenses in the securities area in many cases. There are states and there are federal regulations, and so, therefore, you need to understand what those are specific to the state that you reside in. In many cases, you will need to be sponsored by someone in order to take those licensing exams. Now, on the insurance side of financial services, you probably don't need to be sponsored. This is something that could be a differentiator for you if you're entering this field. You can go out, get some licensing based on state requirements, and be ready to work. I think employers would find that very helpful and put you up on the other candidates that might be applying for those types of positions. Very similarly, though, just like Toby said, protecting the consumer...you want to make sure that the ongoing requirements are met. So both in the securities and in the insurance area, you have ongoing requirements, you have continuing education, you have firm-specific training, where you might be working to make sure that you meet all of those requirements. Very important components of what you do. But that's really just the basics.

I think the most important thing for you to think about is, and know in the financial services industry, you're educating your customers about all aspects of their financial plan. You need to make sure that you can teach them the rules and the investment theories and so forth. So you might need to look at advanced designations. I think that the next step in your education and training is very, very important. One of the best things that you can do for yourself is realize that if I'm in an industry, where do my skill gaps exist? What do I need to do to be a better financial advisor? You may want to take on an advanced designation. So I mentioned earlier in the presentation that I'm a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®. There are other designations that are available to you...a Chartered Financial Analyst®. If you're interested in alternative investments, there's an alternative investment designation...CAIA®. There's the Financial Risk Manager. There's a number of different designations that can help you differentiate yourself and be a better advisor for your customers at that point in time.

Toby: The key, I think, to what you're saying is that there is education available to advance your career.

Joyce: Absolutely.

Toby: The only thing stopping you is yourself. In today's day and age, access to great education is everywhere. At Kaplan, we understand this, and we try to support those industries that we are in—the financial services industry, the real estate industry, all of them. So the key is designations. Which ones have value? Which ones are going to increase your business? And the great news is, we have that education. And on the real estate side, I can tell you this about real estate. On the real estate side, getting licensed is one thing, but there's higher levels of licensure.

There's generally always two levels of licensure in real estate. You're going to have the entry level, and then you're going to have a managing level of real estate. That's the one that allows you to run your own business and have other people work for you. We generally offer all of that education. And on top of that, there are even higher designations in real estate, because there are many designations out there offered by many different providers, that allow you to specialize in all different fields within real estate. Because when you get a real estate license, it's not just buying and selling homes or assisting people doing that. Property management falls into that. Leasing falls into that. Even business brokerage, in some states, falls into that. So there's a vast array of different disciplines that you can do within the field, and education is available for every one of those. There are virtually no roadblocks left for you to get in, and even to the point where the ultimate designation for some people may be a degree program….a bachelor degree program.

Joyce: Absolutely. But you know, we find a lot of students that come to us. They might already have a bachelor's degree, but maybe it wasn't in the financial services industry. They have a communications degree or something along those lines. That's where advanced designations are really important, because you're getting that designation, that additional training, that education that you need to be a better financial advisor. But if you don't have an undergraduate degree, we have opportunities for you in the business school at Kaplan to focus in what we call career focus areas. Those are wealth management, risk management, investments, I think real estate...

Toby: Real estate, finance...

Joyce: Absolutely. And so even if you don't have that undergraduate degree, there's opportunities for you to take what you're doing on the advanced designation side, and work on that bachelor's degree as well. Obviously, a number of people may have that bachelor's degree who are getting their financial services designations. They may be looking at a graduate program. We have a Master's in Science and Finance program that has a focus on the heavy finance side...something like a Chartered Financial Analyst, and the personal planning side. So whatever side of the business you want to get into, whether it's focusing on investments or focusing on the people and the planning that they need, we have those opportunities for you. And it gives you a nice way to segment and continue that lifelong learning, which is really critically important.

Toby: I agree. It comes down to what we offer...we are the front door to most of these industries. You know, the financial services industry, the real estate industry, and we have it pretty much every step of the way. So that's what gets me excited about Kaplan University. We can take you from the beginning all the way through to whatever level you want to go to.

Joyce: Absolutely. And you know, part of what I see in the financial services industry...I have the ability to go out and speak with a number of employers. They are looking for that next generation of the workforce. They want people coming out of undergraduate programs that are ready to hit the ground running. They've already assessed they want to be in this industry, maybe by taking a career focus area. They've already thought about their skills gaps, and they've done things in their undergraduate program. So a lot of what we do is making sure that people are really prepared to be employable in the industry from day one, when they get out of our programs.

Toby: Well, absolutely. I think we set out here today with a goal. And the goal was for you to have questions. You might have questions about what education can do to fill your skills gaps, what education can do for a new career, or what education can do to bring you to the next level of licensure or an area of focus for a designation. Or even, how a degree or a master's degree can further your career. So if you have questions, ask us. We are here to help.

Joyce: Both Toby and I want to thank you for your time today. And remember...the next steps are yours.

Interested in getting started in the financial services or real estate industries? Check out Kaplan Financial Education's insurance licensing exam prep programs or Kaplan Real Estate's real estate education programs. We offer licensing exam prep courses to suit all learning styles. Learn more now!