How to Become a Financial Analyst

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you to become a financial analyst depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions will likely need at least a bachelors degree in finance or economics. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then a master’s degree in finance or an MBA along with internship experience and/or a graduate certificate in financial analysis can help you stand out in the hiring process.

Launch your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started as a financial analyst.

How Much Does a Financial Analyst Make?
$76,950 (national median salary, to see salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:
+39,300 additional people employed

Specialization Options:
Small business finances, banking, corporate finances, and trade markets

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Financial Analyst page) 

Discover the Best Places to Become a Financial Analyst

As expected, the state of New York leads the nation in employment for financial analysts, where 34,850 are currently serving in positions statewide, and earning an annual mean wage of $120,060. California is second in employment, with 31,940 financial analysts working across the state, and earning an average yearly salary of $102,630.

What States are Hiring Financial Analysts

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Financial Analysis. The associated information has been gathered from the Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.

Employment and Information Data for Financial Analyst

Why Become a Financial Analyst?

Prospects are looking up for those with a financial analyst background. The U.S. Department of Labor is predicting jobs in this space to grow 23% from now until to 2020.

In recent years, financial products and tools have become increasingly more complex as emerging markets and industries throughout the world continue to expand. This has opened up space for qualified and savvy financial analysts that not only understand traditional investment opportunities but are keen on leveraging new ones.

For the most part, the financial analysts work for banks, pensions, securities firms, insurance companies and many other businesses to help evaluate a wide array of investment opportunities. These analysts are also sometimes called securities analysts or investment analysts.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become a Financial Analyst

  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Fundamentals of Corporate Finance
  • Introduction to Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Financial Modeling
  • U.S. Taxation Introduction
  • Securities Analysis
  • Mergers and Acquisitions

Degree Options for Financial Analyst Careers

While many employers seek candidates with a master’s in business administration (MBA) or a master’s degree in finance, starting with some core courses – accounting, business administration, economics, finance, and statistics are great ways to learn the fundamentals in this industry.

Certificate in Financial Analysts
Most programs focus on building a foundation that provides students core competencies in financial accounting and analysis. These programs can be anywhere from six months to a year.

Bachelor’s Degree
The road to a career as a financial analyst usually involves a Bachelor’s degree in accounting, economics, statistics, business administration and finance – any one of these curricula are jumping off point for a career as a financial analyst.

Graduate Certificate
A solid financial background is required for this advanced level of coursework. In this curriculum you’ll develop and advance skills such as regulatory and financial data management, budget preparation, financial reporting, among other core principles.

While often a core subject in a larger graduate curriculum, there are schools that offer an MBA in Financial Analysis. These programs focus on preparing the professional to operate at the highest levels in assessing assessment of the financial health of a business or project.