Conestoga news

November 25, 2021 7:49 AM

School of Business launches new degree program

Conestoga’s School of Business has launched a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Financial Services degree program that will welcome its first cohort in September 2022. Delivered through the Kitchener - Doon campus, this four-year program provides the opportunity to develop the necessary planning competencies, professional skills and required technical knowledge needed for a career in financial services.

Students learn through a combination of active learning approaches which include group work, major individual case analyses, multiple projects requiring industry engagement and meetings with industry professionals outside the college.

“What you get in this degree is real integration in the financial services industry - and that’s from a designating body standpoint, a practical work standpoint and from a professorial standpoint,” explained School of Business chair James Boesch. “Students will learn from professors who are active professionals in the financial services industry and you don’t get that to the same extent from a lot of other institutions.”

The program is an amalgamation of insurance and financial planning curriculum, and by third year students begin their preferred major in one of the two. Both majors contain industry best practices in wealth management and insurance analysis, along with implementing a hands-on approach towards the development of soft skills.

“In the financial services world, working with clients is a critical skillset and you need the technical background and theoretical underpinnings to provide value, but also the soft skills of being able to communicate effectively, listen and understand subtle differences in the needs of each client which can’t be picked up through one- or two-year certificates,” added Boesch. “You need to work on it over an extended period of time and students are better equipped to learn those skills over a period of four years of study.”

Boesch also noted the program has a significant applied learning component associated with it and includes an eight-month, paid, full-time co-op work-term situated between third and fourth year to give students the opportunity to apply theory to real-life applications with employers in the region.

Curriculum is also aligned with the course requirements (in whole or in part) for a number of professional licences. Successful graduates will meet the pre-requisite conditions to challenge professional examinations and/or receive advanced standing into a number of licences/designations, positioning them well for future employment. They include:

  • Personal Financial Planner (PFP) granted by the Canadian Securities Institute (CSI)
  • Qualified Associate Financial Planner (QAFP) granted by Financial Planning Canada (FP Canada)
  • FP Canada’s Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP)
  • Additional industry related requirements, including the Canadian Securities Course

For more information, visit the Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Financial Services degree program page. Future students are also invited to attend Conestoga’s virtual Degree Information Night on December 1 to ask questions and connect with faculty.

Conestoga’s School of Business provides numerous options, opportunities and pathways. Programs reflect today’s business needs across a wide range of credentials, from apprenticeships, one-year certificates, two-year and three-year advanced diplomas, to graduate certificates and degree opportunities that include multiple specializations. Career-ready graduates have the skills and knowledge to address real-world needs and make a difference in today’s rapidly changing business world.