Personal Finance program offers a new major

Personal Finance Planning, while a fresh and little known major, appeals to many Finance and Economics students because of the flexible, wide range of career opportunities it promises.

Beginning as a new major in fall, 2011, the Personal Financial Planning program was eclipsed by thousands of Business Management students at UVU. The program currently consists of around 50 students.

Still a small, new program, the Personal Financial Planning major has already been acclaimed one of the top ten best programs of its kind in the nation, according to online magazine Lowell Glenn, chairman of the Finance and Economics department, said the thinks this new major is “going to be a star program.”

Business Management tends to be popular because it covers a general host of career options. Personal Finance Planning is an option many students are considering because it allows one to gain a specialized, yet flexible education that can also lead to a variety of occupations, such as retirement planning, wealth and investment management, insurance, mortgages and lending, small business consulting, financial counseling and law.

The new major is growing quicker than most other programs might because of the great appeal, according to Jacob Sybrowsky, an assistant professor in the Finance and Economics department.

“We know there’s a lot of interest in the major because it’s a great career for those with families,” Sybrowsky said. Because of the plethora of secure job possibilities and the opportunities to work from home as a finance counselor, Sybrowsky said that many women who want to be working mothers as well as family providers see this as a good option. “You could work just 20 hours a week or make a living,” Sybrowsky said.

The program begins with course in six different subjects, including a general preparatory course, investment management, retirement planning, insurance, taxes and estate planning. Once these subjects have been completed, seniors participate in a capstone course, which combines all they have learned into a real-world project.

In the program’s capstone course, students find an individual or family in the community who needs help planning their finances and apply their knowledge to help that family reach their financial goals.

“Financial planning is kind of like a big puzzle,” Sybrowsky said. “You gather all the pieces and find a way to make them work.”

At a conference last year, four students from the program attended a conference in California where they had the opportunity to make connections and learn more about where to find work in the field. While there, UVU students made an impression with, which went on to rank the program as one of the Top Ten Best Personal Finance Planning programs in the nation.

Other schools listed within the Top Ten are Boston University and San Diego State University.

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