College students hoping to break into the financial advice industry should be focusing on their interpersonal skills as well as their credentials, according to a new report.

For example, 71% of financial professionals believe that students should pass their Certified Financial Planner exam before graduating, client relationship management system provider Redtail Technology says. The findings are based on a survey of 4,257 respondents, 93% of whom were in financial services and 7% were college students looking to get into the field.

Students, meanwhile, only ranked the CFP exam fourth in importance — only 17% plan to take it before graduation, compared to 32% who plan to take the Series 7, 28% who plan to sit for the Series 65 and 23% who plan to take the Series 66, according to the survey.

Financial professionals also put an emphasis on interpersonal skills as a particularly desirable trait in new hires, with 91% voting for it as one of the top desired skills, Redtail says. That was followed by technical knowledge of financial planning, prospecting and marketing skills and fintech knowledge, according to the survey.

Accreditation and social skills or the lack thereof, however, aren’t the main barriers to entering the industry, Redtail says. Around 46.5% of the survey respondents said the top hurdle was monetary. That was followed by 38.1% who pointed to licensing, 20.6% who said it was certification and just 10.4% who said it was finding a broker-dealer sponsor, according to the survey.

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