NSCC amplifies financial futures & delivers talent for growing demand
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
In September 2014, working with industry, Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) implemented a financial services concentration to expand curriculum and skills development and better prepare students for the current workforce. The program is a one-year concentration of the two-year Business Administration diploma, offering students an industry-led education in fund administration, securities trading, and compliance training. They may graduate with their Certified Financial Planning (CFP) and Chartered Investment Manager designations (CIM) after successfully completing exams for the Canadian jurisdiction.
“The program serves the investment management world in a specialized way with respect to fund administration,” says Barb Powers, NSCC’s Waterfront Campus financial services faculty. She says that the program’s students are highly qualified, but they’re also very motivated, focused, and passionate about the sector that they’re in.
A career in financial services in Nova Scotia is not only a possibility – but, a reality for the NSCC Financial Services program graduates, specialized in Financial Planning and Investment Management. The recent graduates can now talk to portfolio managers from New York, deal with hedge fund managers from San Francisco, and they can do it from Nova Scotia.
Recent graduate, Mark Burnand, who immigrated to Canada about seven years ago from England, says the program offered him real-world learning,
The things I was learning, I was putting straight into practice the next day – it was great.
Originally from Headcorn, England, Burnand has been living in Nova Scotia for about three and a half years. Now an Investor Services Specialist in Halifax, with MUFG Investor Services, he gets to see a lot of information and communication between large organizations. He never thought he could make a living in this field in Nova Scotia. Now, he’s focusing in on the due diligence and analytical skills that he learned at NSCC – the part, he says, that interested him the most.
Another benefit for the students is having industry experts who work in financial services, bringing their real-world learnings to the students. “In just eight short years, MUFG Investor Services’ Halifax office has grown to approximately 115 employees, many of whom were hired from our local universities and colleges, like the Nova Scotia Community College,” said Kevin Murphy, Head of Operations for MUFG.
Since April 2014, Nova Scotia has welcomed four new companies to its growing Financial Services sector, creating a potential total of over 1150 news jobs.
Besides industry growth, the province’s demographics are also creating job opportunities, says Powers. “Approximately 25 per cent of the sales force across the branch networks of the banks and brokerage firms are expected to retire in the next five years. NSCC’s investment management program has an 88 per cent placement rate, and we expect the new program to be equally successful.”
Nova Scotia’s approach and willingness to work together for positive outcomes with a focus on the sector’s needs is a key attribute for international firms that choose to locate in Nova Scotia.