NEW YORK, Jan. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Following the lead of financial services firm Edward Jones, a total of five financial services firms have partnered with Securities Training Corporation (STC) to sponsor Series 7 courses at various universities across the country. These partnerships are part of an industry-wide initiative to help students prepare for careers in financial services, and are intended to address a continued concern regarding a talent shortage of financial advisors across the industry.
STC is the nation's leading financial services training company and has provided study materials to help candidates pass FINRA regulatory exams since 1969. Beginning in early 2015, Edward Jones committed to paying the cost of establishing an academic credit course to prepare students to take the Series 7 exam at a limited number of universities. The Series 7 exam is required to become a registered representative.
Since that time, Allstate, Scottrade, Wells Fargo and Charles Schwab have sponsored the Series 7 course, bringing the total number of universities to 23 nationwide. All materials and training for faculty are provided by STC, with the cost of the materials covered by participating firms.
"There is a strong need among the financial industry for incoming qualified financial advisors, and the STC's partnership with universities across the country is part of a dedicated effort to address this industry-wide shortage," said Paul Weisman, CEO of STC. "The goal of this partnership is to help students pass the Series 7 exam and increase their exposure to a career as a financial advisor."
Statistics show a talent crisis across the financial advisory business, as more advisors retire from the field than those who enter it. According to a report from Cerulli Associates, over the next decade, more than one-third of U.S. financial advisors plan to retire. This means the industry will need to hire more than 200,000 new professionals in order to keep up with demand.
Adding to this issue is the lack of awareness among students of the wealth management industry and the role of a financial advisor. In fact, a 2014 study by Fidelity found that only 15 percent of college students are familiar with the profession, and 45 percent are not aware of companies that employ financial advisors.
Edward Jones was the first firm to lead the initiative, sponsoring Series 7 courses at eight universities during the Spring 2015 semester, including:
- Kansas State University
- Maryville University
- Purdue University
- Drury University
- Hanover University
- Central Michigan University
- University of Delaware
- Salisbury University
Since the program's inception in 2015, Edward Jones has added 10 more universities to its roster, sponsoring a total of 18 courses. Additional universities include:
- Marshall University
- Westminster University
- McKendree University
- University of Missouri-St. Louis
- University of Houston (Bauer)
- Oklahoma State University
- Utah Valley University
- Western Michigan University
- Louisiana State University
- Cameron University
Additionally, the following universities will begin offering the Series 7 course as part of their Spring 2016 semester curriculum due to sponsorships from other participating financial services firms:
- Bennett College (Sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors)
- Webster University (Sponsored by Scottrade)
- Adelphi University (Sponsored by Allstate)
- University of Missouri, St. Louis (Sponsored by Scottrade)
- DePaul University (Sponsored by Charles Schwab)
Additional schools have decided to introduce the Series 7 prep-course program as part of their curriculum without a sponsorship. The first university to do so was Bryant University, followed by the University of Montevallo, the University of Evansville and Merrimack College.
"We are excited that STC is a part of this growing initiative designed to meet a growing need in financial services, and we thank the firms and universities that have stepped forward and began educating undergraduates about career opportunities in this industry," added Weisman.
About Edward Jones
Edward Jones, a FORTUNE 500 firm, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm's 13,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients. Edward Jones, which ranked No. 4 on FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For 2014," is headquartered in St. Louis. The Edward Jones Web site is located at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting Web site is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.
About Securities Training Corporation
Founded on Wall Street in 1969, Securities Training Corporation has successfully helped over 1,000,000 candidates pass FINRA regulatory exams and launch their careers. STC has grown to become the leading provider of financial examination training, offering FINRA, firm element, regulatory element, and their most recent Life, Health and Accident Pre-licensing courses. STC is focused on the commitment to providing a wide range of superior products and updated training material to their clients to help candidates reach their goals.
STC's corporate headquarters is located in the financial district of New York City, and maintains branch offices in Chicago, San Francisco and Boston.
 The Cerulli Edge - Advisor Edition, 1Q 2014 Issue.
 The Fidelity® Recruiting Redefined Study, June 2014.
SOURCE Edward Jones