1. I always had a passion for finance and thought getting a degree in it would be helpful and, it was, to some extent. The reality is, the curriculum did not prepare me for the work I am doing as a CFP today. That came later, once I had an opportunity to work hands-on and break into the business with Morgan Stanley in 2006. …

The good news is, [my] bachelor’s and MBA positioned me to be a business owner. … The academic lessons helped me manage the business whereas the hands-on experience has helped me become a solid advisor. — Jamie M. Lima, CFP, Woodson Wealth Management, San Diego, California

Ask advisors what their major was in college, or how they became an advisor, and you’ll get a wide variety of answers. Some may have followed their mathematical strengths while others took a different path. Even those with family in the business might have taken a roundabout route to eventually become an advisor.

We asked readers how their college degree helped them in their quest to becoming an advisor. Many had careers before entering the field, but once they found the advisory field, they stayed.

We split the multitude of responses received through Financial Planning Association and the XY Planning Network into two areas. Here we spotlight advisors who earned college degrees in a finance-related field (next will be those who took a non-financial path). Despite those financial degrees, many didn’t join the advisory business until long after college.

We received dozens of responses but can only share some them here. Thanks to all those who participated. See the gallery above for our spotlighted advisors. Some answers have been edited for length.