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PIMS 2009: Cann takes aim at “rubbish” degrees

The Institute of Financial Planning has hit out at the structure of current financial services degrees suggesting many do not offer students what they need to fulfil future financial planning roles.

Speaking during a heated debate onboard PIMS this afternoon, chief executive Nick Cann also called for greater definition of the role of financial planner to create a consistant industry standard.

Cann said: “How many people are looking at a career in financial planning and thinking I know what that is and I want to get onto it? None. On the issue of universities and financial services degrees, they are rubbish. In the main they do not correlate with what you want people to do in your businesses there is no career structure and there is a huge amount of malaise still.”

Cann said individuals attaining relevant degrees should not be forced to then take other industry qualifications, a claim rejected by Personal Finance Society chief executive Fay Goddard.

Cann rejected calls for the FSA to do more in this area. “This is nothing to do with the FSA because it is about establishing a career structure, it is about defining a role, a job,” he said. “What we need to do is talk to universities. We are talking about financial services degrees which are rubbish, they have nothing of any influence or connect with our world at all and therefore it is a dialogue about how do you make this happen.

“What does the job look like? Define it; what do you want people to do, how do you get consistency across different businesses that you can go out and market. If we get anywhere near that it will be a huge step forward.”



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There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. This is true of many degree courses
    This is true of many degree courses, not just financial services. For degrees to be value for money, they need to relate more to the professions the students hope to end up in. Otherwise students are left with a large amount of debt for a degree that hasn’t benefitted their career.

  2. Degrees are not qualifications
    Regardless of the content and quality of a bachelor degree, it is not and should not be regarded as a professional qualification. If you have an accounting or law degree, you are still required, quite rightly, to undertake further professional exams and a period of practical training before becoming qualified as a professional.

  3. Rubbish degrees
    Many years ago there was a concept of sponsorship and apprenticeships. It worked very well and students came out with degrees that were worthwhile. Degrees were tailored to the profession that the student wished to enter. This has changed and so in a sense Nick Cann is correct. But in truth many students are not sure what they want to do at 18 and to take FPC1-3 at University is commiting them to a path they do not wish to persue. Fay is totally correct when she says that you need to take other further professional qualifications – accountants, lawyers, doctors, economists do. Actuaries for example can expect to spend 7+ years doing further exams in addition to their 3 year degree!

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