Education—Financial Literacy Consultant’s Role Defined
The recent economic downturn and slow path to recovery have created a major shortage of financial education consultants. And for those considering a career in education, financial literacy is an important subject area where qualified educators are sorely needed. Anyone with a passion for giving people life-changing skills can find a bright future in the financial literacy space.
The National Financial Educators Council recently defined the role of a good personal financial literacy consultant. The task of these consultants is to help organizations implement financial education programs in such a way that participants learn the material effectively and can apply the skills to their real lives. The first step should be to evaluate current programs that are available in terms of their ability to meet organizational objectives, and then make recommendations for choosing and running a smooth program.
According to Vince Shorb, CEO of the NFEC, there are many financial literacy jobs available now across the U.S. For this reason, the NFEC has undertaken to train people to become consultants. The Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) program prepares graduates to deliver effective instruction and speak to a variety of groups. Upon completing the CFEI coursework, 2-4 months more study is required to become a Certified Financial Education Professional, and another 1-2 years of work before they can receive Consultant designation.
Beyond learning the basics of teaching financial literacy 101, consultants must develop expertise to help organizations effectively implement those programs. A consultant who clearly understands his or her role will save the organization time, money, and personnel to provide practical financial education.
Consultants also must conduct accurate assessments to measure program impact. The NFEC has a financial literacy survey that serves as an important measurement instrument. When organizations can demonstrate that the program makes a difference, they build support in the community and attract key sponsors.