WMU offers program to prepare finance students for Series 7 exam

Western Michigan University’s finance program is now offering advanced preparation for students to become licensed in securities trading, thanks to a sponsorship by Edward Jones.

The new offering provides finance students with the training required to take the licensing exam to become securities traders. Known as the Series 7 course, the class is typically taken by new employees in the first year after being hired by a trading firm. Under the partnership with Edward Jones, WMU students will be prepared to take the licensing exam upon being hired.

"This is another example of how well our program prepares our students for the job market. Students who take this class will have the necessary knowledge to take the Series 7 exam,” says Dr. Devrim Yaman, associate dean of undergraduate programs and professor of finance and commercial law at the Haworth College of Business. “The industry-relevance of this course will set our students apart when competing for jobs."

Studies point to a lack of qualified professionals in the finance advisory industry in coming years, as more advisors are retiring from the field than those who are entering it. A recent report from Cerulli Associates, a research firm specializing in asset management and distribution analytics, indicates that during the next decade, more than one third of financial advisors plan to retire. To keep up with demand, the industry will need to hire more than 200,000 new professionals.

"There is a strong need among the financial industry for incoming qualified financial advisors, and the Securities Training Corporation’s partnership with universities across the country is part of a dedicated effort to address this industry-wide shortage," said Paul Weisman, CEO of the Securities Training Corporation in a recent press release. "The goal of this partnership is to help students pass the Series 7 exam and increase their exposure to careers as financial advisors."

Dr. David Burnie, professor of finance at Western Michigan University, says the partnership provides Haworth College of Business students with several advantages. “The students are studying the material that professionals in the field do; they will have the advantage of having studied the Series 7 material, which will put them in a strong position before their first brokerage position.”  

About the finance program

WMU’s Department of Finance and Commercial Law offers major coursework in finance and personal financial planning. The program offers the Series 7 coursework for finance students as well as the coursework required by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards to undergraduates in the personal financial planning degree program.

The finance degree program is the first in Michigan to be recognized by the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute University Recognition Program. The WMU Student Managed Investment Fund provides students an opportunity to manage a portfolio of $1.5 million of WMU Foundation money. The Greenleaf Trust Trading Room allows students to experience stock prices scrolling across an electronic ticker, providing real-time data on market movements and world news updates. Additionally, WMU is a Bloomberg Experiential Learning Partner, joining a select group of universities worldwide that have the designation.The atmosphere of the trading room enables Haworth College of Business students to experience the fast pace of Wall Street while in Kalamazoo.