Noticed those smartly dressed men and women on CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business? They are financial analysts, and among the best paid professionals in the industry. So you want to become a financial analyst too? Great! Here’s what you can expect.
What Does a Financial Analyst Do?
As a financial analyst, you will have access to plenty of job opportunities in banks, investment banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, securities firms, pension funds, media, and so on.
It’s your job to help your clients make the right investment decisions, ascertain the financial standing of a business or corporation during a merger or acquisition or for the purpose of issuing new shares.
Valuation of stocks, bonds and securities, account management, secretarial work, preparing financial statements, auditing, cost accountancy, assessing taxes, advising the management on financial issues – these are just some of the many things that a financial analyst does.
Financial Analyst Salary
How much you’re paid as a financial analyst depends on where you’re from. If you’re in the U.S., you can expect to make anything from $84,000 a year to $170,000 as a financial analyst. This is much higher than the national average.
The top 10 percent of financial analysts, especially those working at leading hedge funds or investment banks make way more than that: $180,000 to $405,000 a year according to The Wall Street Oasis' Compensation Report.
As you can see, this is a highly paid position in the U.S. It’s the same in India, Australia, the UK, Germany and other countries. In India, a junior or entry-level financial analyst can expect to get a starting salary of INR 327,070.
Financial Analyst Job Prospects
With the stock markets booming in almost every country, especially in the U.S., we expect the demand for financial analysts to remain high.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, currently there are 296,100 financial analyst jobs in the country. The job outlook for financial analysts remains positive and is projected to grow by 11% over the next 10 years.
Remember, this is despite the fact that the U.S. is already a mature economy. The demand for financial analysts in emerging economies in India is expected to shoot up over the next few years.
How to Become a Financial Analyst?
To become a financial analyst, you should have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, statistics, commerce or economics.
But don’t stop at that: MBAs and those with a Masters degree in Finance do have an advantage in the job market. If you can, get a CFA certification as well – that could really help you.
It’s not enough just to have the right degree to get a financial analyst job. Employers expect you to have the right skills as well. Skills are just as important as your degree or certification.
The most in-demand financial analyst skills include…
- Financial modeling
- Financial analysis
- Data analysis
- Business valuation
- Business presentations
- Math skills
- Attention to detail
- Communication skills
You should consider joining the Financial Analyst Skills Training (FAST) course at SkillfinLearning.com. This course is designed for busy working professionals or college students and we teach you everything from the scratch.
You will get an in-depth, industry specific training in accounting, financial analysis, forecasting and business valuation. Also, you will be able to master Excel at the end of this course, which is so important for this job.
This online course will be conducted by Ashish, who has previously worked with BlackRock and McKinsey and has over 10 years of experience in business strategy and finance.
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