How to Become a Financial Analyst: The Ultimate Guide

The ever-changing business world has resulted in a high demand for qualified individuals who can analyze financial markets and trends and take calculated action to steer a business towards financial growth. Accordingly, the services of financial analysts are of utmost importance in all businesses.

Therefore, becoming a financial analyst is a great way to help improve financial earnings and the upward movement of a company in its industry. In this article, you will learn the key steps you can take to become a financial analyst.

What is a financial analyst?

A financial analyst collects data about a company’s finances, reviews it, and interprets it to provide an accurate report on a company’s financial condition and perspective on opportunities for financial growth.

Additionally, financial analysts examine and research market trends. Therefore, they are better equipped with the knowledge to offer financial information to a business. These professionals also analyze a company’s marketing strategy and its financial implications and determine if it is worth its financial investment.

Having seen the importance of a financial analyst in the growth and success of businesses and businesses today, becoming a financial analyst is a smart career move. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the demand for financial analysts will increase by 9% between 2021 and 2031. And as of 2022, the salary of a financial analyst was $71,000 per year, according to Indeed, with the potential to earn more, especially with the big firms on Wall Street.

However, becoming a financial analyst involves several things, and we’ve broken them down into steps that can work for most individuals inside and outside the financial services industry. Here’s how you can start your financial analyst career journey.

1. Enroll in online financial analysis programs and courses

Online courses and programs are a quick way to acquire the relevant knowledge to kick-start your career as a financial analyst. These courses are extremely useful for people who want to launch their career as quickly as possible while learning to use industry-recognized tools and skills.

You can take online courses from the comfort of your home and gain the knowledge and skills you need to qualify as a financial analyst. Below are several of the best online courses you can take to learn the ins and outs of financial analysis.

2. Get a college degree in economics, accounting or finance

Although online courses and programs can help you get started as a professional financial analyst, you may want to pursue a college degree in finance-related subjects, such as economics, business management, or corporate finance. A degree in finance-related disciplines will provide you with invaluable knowledge of the finance industry and its guiding principles.

Additionally, a degree increases your marketability and chances of landing leadership positions. As with any other profession, earning a degree sets you up for a strong professional career with reputable financial institutions and other organizations.

3. Obtain professional certifications from industry vendors

Professional certifications help you stand out from the fierce competition in the finance job market. They can also boost your career by teaching you industry best practices and keeping you up to date with the latest information, trends, skills and tools to be successful and relevant in your field.

You can earn certifications by paying for professional courses, attending training and workshops, and passing professional exams. On top of that, they’re especially important if you want to land a high-level remote job or get the upper hand when applying for freelance opportunities.

4. Apply for internships and jobs

After gaining the necessary training and certifications, you are now ready to take on financial analyst roles. Apply for internships to gain experience working with financial analysis tools and industry best practices. The experience you gain in junior roles will stand you in good stead and you will easily be able to apply for and take on more senior roles as a financial analyst.

Additionally, when applying for opportunities in the financial market, you need to know how to write a winning CV to improve your chances of being selected. Regularly update your resume with recent certifications, degrees, technical skills, and experience. However, there are things you don’t need to include on your resume. Avoid them and put only what is necessary.

5. Extended Network

An easy way to learn about the financial industry is to network with industry professionals. Find finance-related communities and register as a member. Network, learn and contribute your ideas to the community.

Also, you can use LinkedIn and other LinkedIn alternatives for professional networking. Along with the opportunity to learn from experts in the field, networking can help you easily get job opportunities and land one. Therefore, you must learn to network effectively, which is essential for success in your profession as a financial analyst.

Become a financial analyst today

If you’re ready to help shape the business landscape as a financial analyst, follow the steps outlined in this article and you’ll be well on your way to building a successful and fulfilling financial analyst career. Conversely, data analytics is a broader area that allows you to contribute to industries outside of finance, and you might want to explore that as well.