A career as a financial analyst is perfect for people who can handle stress and tight deadlines. Not only can a job in this field be very rewarding, but they also tend to pay well and offer relatively high job security. So for those who want to help businesses make important financial decisions, getting into this field might be a great option.
What is it Like to Be a Financial Analyst?
The typical work day of somebody working as a financial analyst can vary from day to day, depending on what the company they are working for needs. After all, most financial analysts are hired by a business or corporation that needs their help when it comes to making important decisions involving large sums of money. Therefore, they rely on their analysts to help them make the right choice in order to increase profits or, at the very least, minimize losses.
Therefore, on any given day, a financial analyst may spend hours crunching numbers and determining the probabilities of a variety of different potential outcomes. They will often be expected to break down each possibility in the form of a presentation, which is typically given in front of the decision-makers of the company. For this reason, financial analysts must be great verbal communicators, as they are often expected to explain their work to people outside of their field. And since their work often helps to determine the moves a company makes, being able to meet tight deadlines and work extra hours when needed is a must.
Educational Requirements to Become a Financial Analyst
The education required to land a job as a financial analyst can vary, but most people working in this field have at least a Master’s Degree. It is possible to get a job as a financial analyst with a Bachelor’s Degree and some relevant experience, but the more education in the field, the more marketable a job candidate is. And since this is already a very competitive field as it is, having at least a Master’s Degree in accounting, mathematics, or economics is wise.
For the most part, having experience in accounting is vital, as this is the type of work that is most common for a financial analyst to do. However, a good understanding of economics is also helpful and may be required by many employers, as this helps an analyst to understand the decisions they will be recommending beyond the simple numbers and mathematics.
For those pursuing a Master’s Degree to become a financial analyst, it is no a bad idea to look into landing an internship while in graduate school.
How to Obtain a Financial Analyst Job
As mentioned above, jobs as a financial analyst are extremely competitive based on the nature of the field. Companies will be trusting their analysts to make recommendations for very important decisions that can, in some cases, make or break the company. For this reason, they want to hire the best candidates for the job that they can find. This is why it is important to have an impressive cover letter and resume, as well as experience in the field, if at all possible.