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Online programs provide opportunities for students working full time


Brookings S.D. (KELO AM) - South Dakota State University alumna Robyn Jensen didn’t let life get in the way of pursuing her master’s degree. Despite working full-time, raising a child, moving three times and supporting her family financially while her husband was a full-time chiropractic student, Jensen managed to complete her degree in family financial planning at SDSU.

”Four years went by after graduating with my bachelor’s and I always knew I wanted my master’s degree,” Jensen said, “but as I advanced within the company to more demanding positions, I never felt like I would be able to find the time to further my education.”

Like many working adults, Jensen felt the strains of life get in the way of furthering her education. However, she soon found SDSU’s online CFP Board-Registered Program.

“There was no time like the present and I saw my small window of opportunity open to accomplish my goal of obtaining my master's degree,” Jensen said. “No matter the sacrifices and very busy schedules, it is all possible through distance programs to continue your education and pursue your dreams.”


What is financial planning?

A relatively young profession, financial planning emerged as a unique discipline about 30 years ago. Financial planning is the process of determining how an individual can meet life goals through the proper management of his or her financial resources. A financial planner takes a big picture view of a client’s financial situation and makes recommendations based on the client’s needs in areas such as budgeting and saving, taxes, investments, insurance and retirement planning. Learn more.

Particularly within the last decade, demand for financial planners has risen as individuals have had to assume more responsibility for retirement and other financial decisions. Not surprisingly, consumer demand for competent financial planners has led to significant growth in the numbers who hold the CFP® certification marks. Worldwide, there was a 128 percent increase in the number of CFP® professionals from 2000 to 2010.

Working as a financial planner

Recognizing financial planning’s occupational benefits, the 2001 Jobs Rated Almanac ranked financial planning as the top career choice in the country. The survey considered a number of factors while ranking hundreds of jobs and concluded that financial planners enjoy relatively low stress, have a high earning potential and enjoy a high degree of workplace autonomy. The personal satisfaction element cannot be underestimated. In 2011, CNN/Money Magazine reported that demand for personal financial advisers is expected to grow 30 percent between 2011 and 2021.

CFP® Certification: How to Get it and Why

Much more than an educational designation, the CFP® certification is a professional certification that helps to set apart those serious about a career in financial planning. Certification requirements include initial and ongoing education, examination, experience and ethics.

The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification was created to meet the professional development needs of those seeking to become financial planners. As the financial planning profession has grown, so too has the CFP® certification matured and strengthened to become the gold standard for those seeking to demonstrate their competency as financial planners.

SDSU is one of the more than 200 colleges and universities that offer education programs registered with CFP Board. SDSU offers both master’s and graduate certificate options online through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA) consortia.


About the Great Plains IDEAThe Great Plains IDEA is a partnership of 20 public university members providing access to the best educational opportunities by collaboratively developing and delivering high-quality, online academic programs in high demand professional fields. Learn more.

About the Office of Continuing & Distance EducationThe Office of Continuing & Distance Education is the hub for online degree and certificate programs, University Centers collaboration, noncredit offerings and professional development seminars. All services and activities are intended to expand the reach of the university to a diverse community of distance learners so as to build human capital and foster knowledge-based economic development. Learn more.

SDSU does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® and CFP® marks. CFP® certification in the U.S. is granted solely by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., to individuals who, in addition to completing an educational curriculum such as this CFP Board-Registered Program, have met ethics, experience and examination requirements.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® and CFP® in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.