Financial Analyst Training: Overview and Requirements

Recent growth in financial and business markets has increased the demand for qualified financial analysts. The title of financial analyst encompasses various specialties, including equity analysts, fund managers, securities analysts, financial planners and business development analysts.

Unlike other high-paying professions, the education requirements for financial analysts are not very well defined or rigidly structured. You do not need a license before receiving a job offer.

Still, you need to reach a certain level of education to get a job. Employers expect senior financial analysts to have three levels of degrees and certifications in their chosen field, namely a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and certification for their position.

If you are an analytical thinker and a math buff who wants to become a financial advisor but you don’t know what education is needed to become a financial analyst, this article will answer all your questions.

Steps to Become a Financial Analyst

Select a finance-related program and earn a bachelor’s degree.

The path to becoming a financial analyst begins with a bachelor’s degree. Although it is not required, it is difficult to get a job as a financial analyst without it. It usually takes about four years to earn a bachelor’s degree. The degree you select will depend on your preferred area of ​​concentration.

Obtain certifications and licenses

Most financial analysts working in specialized fields require licenses and certifications. For example, analysts who trade financial products must be licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FIRA). Most employers consider certification and licensing as important financial analyst education requirements for promotion. The type of exams you take depends on your experience. You will need to invest up to 300 hours of study to prepare for the exams.

To do an internship

An internship is your first opportunity to do real work and is arguably the most important step on the journey to becoming a financial analyst. You have the chance to discover your skills, talents and interests. You also decide if you want to stay in the field.

It’s also a chance to connect and network with future employers and references. Internships at larger companies are highly competitive, so getting the required education as a financial analyst increases your chances of getting into them.

Building field experience

Entry-level jobs are a stepping stone to the dream of being a top financial analyst. It’s a chance to learn financial processes, systems and tools.

Financial analysts can work in different areas of specialization. Major employers include banks, corporations, brokerage houses, investment banks, insurance companies, small private businesses, rating agencies and pension management companies.

Pursue a master’s degree (optional)

A master’s degree is a way to improve your knowledge and strengthen your CV by increasing the interest of potential employers. Although not required, an MBA can set you apart in the job market and help you avoid most junior positions.

Things to consider before pursuing a financial analyst degree course

Time

Consider how long you want to take before completing your degree. Most bachelor’s degrees last four years, while master’s degrees last two years. However, there are many ways to speed up or extend the time, such as taking additional courses each semester.

Online courses or traditional courses

Most establishments offer both options. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and employers place equal value on each form of learning. Select the one that suits your schedule and preferences.

Consider the prestige of the school

Be sure to check professional networking websites for reviews and general information about the institution. Most top analysts share details about school and quality of training. Also check the statistics of different schools to make sure you are studying at a top institution.

Where you live

You must decide if you want to stay on campus or study while living at home. You should also consider where you want to live after you finish your studies. Most schools have employment connections in their areas, hence the need to choose carefully where you study.

Cost

Consider the cost and available funding sources. There is an option to take student loans. You can also see if you qualify for a scholarship.

Writing help

Homework is an integral part of the learning process. Yet many students find the process of writing assignments daunting. It’s always good to have a professional writing service designated to help you reinforce your financial concepts, write difficult financial assignments and meet deadlines. Companies have experts in finance, accounting, and data analysis to meet your academic writing needs. CustomWritings is a custom financial essay writing service that you can contact for professional help with your financial paperwork.

A detailed overview of financial analyst education requirements: degrees, certifications and skills

Degrees and courses

Acceptable degrees are a Bachelor of Science (BS) and a Bachelor of Arts (BA), in which you can major in finance, business, accounting or economics. Courses you can expect to cover include finance, financial law, analytics, currencies, global trade, and economics.

If you want to focus on specific areas, it will be useful for you to have another degree. Popular majors include math, engineering, information technology, statistics, psychology, computer science, and communications.

Industry certifications and designations

States have different certification and licensing standards for financial analysts. Although not required before receiving a job offer, a lack of certification can hamper your ability to advance in your field.

The main licensing body is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). You can also obtain a designation from the CFA institute.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is one of the most important certifications that employers look for when hiring financial analysts. You don’t need work experience to start earning your CFA. However, registered members of the CFA institute and students in their final year of an undergraduate program are qualified to take the course exams.

Candidates pass three levels of exams to be certified, a process that takes 2 to 5 years. You also need at least four years of work experience before earning the CFA designation.

Other common licenses held by financial analysts in the United States include:

  • SIE Exam (Securities Industry Essentials)
  • Series 6 Exam: Investment Company Representative (IR)
  • Series 7 Exam: General Securities Representative (GS)
  • Series 63 Exam: Uniform State Law Exam for Securities Agents
  • Series 52 Exam: Municipal Securities Representative
  • Series 86 and 87: Research Analyst (RS)

Skills needed to excel as a student financial analyst

  1. Critical Thinking – You must be logical to make reasoned judgments.
  2. Analytical and Mathematical Skills – To complete financial analyst training, you need to know how to examine systems and structures, forecast business performance, and prepare reports.
  3. Time management — You must be able to use your time efficiently and productively.
  4. Interpersonal Communication Skills – You must be able to communicate effectively and relate well to others as you will interact with investors, clients and business executives.
  5. Technical and Design Abilities – These skills include financial modeling, visual design and analysis, and presentation.
  6. Research skills — As a financial advisor, you will need research skills to investigate data, establish facts and draw conclusions.