How to Become a Financial Analyst

Projected Job Growth: 23%
Projected Employment Change: 54,200

The role of a financial analyst is to offer businesses guidance on financial decisions regarding investments. To do this, they must assess stock performance, examine business trends, and keep track of the economy. They often have meetings with an organization’s management teams to learn about the company as a whole and how it operates. Analysts alsoÿstudy financial statements to determine the value of a business and project future earnings. In general, they evaluate investment opportunities as they work in businesses such as banks, mutual funds, securities firms, insurance companies, and pension funds. Employment in this field is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations, as indicated by the above figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Why Financial Analysis?

Working as a financial analyst may be a positive career choice due to its competitive salary and strong employment growth. In May 2010, financial analysts made a yearly median salary of $74,350, according to the BLS. In addition, the BLS states that employment of financial analysts is expected to increase 23% through 2020. This growth is expected to occur as the range of financial products grow, investment portfolios become more complex, and the need for in-depth knowledge of geographic regionsÿincreases. Obtaining an advanced level or education through on campus or online graduate degree programs may help one pursue advancement opportunities in this field.

Getting Into Financial Analysis

At least a bachelor’s degree in a related field like business administration, accounting, finance, statistics, or economics is required to obtain a job as a financial analyst. One may be able to advance their career by earning a master’s degree in business or finance either from a brick-and-mortar institution or schools with online degree programs. There are also professional designations that can add to one’s credentials, like that of a Chartered Financial Analyst. Specializing in a specific investment field can help one carve out a career niche and gain valuable experience.