Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. This may be because investments and financial assets are becoming increasingly complex, and so companies need more financial analysts to advise on investment strategies. If you’re planning to become a financial analyst, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, accounting or another related field; however, some employers require applicants to hold graduate degrees. You may also have to know advanced topics in financial analysis, options pricing and risk management. A healthcare organization in Illinois was seeking a financial analyst who could determine pricing for medical services.
Additionally, you may have to receive licensure from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), depending on where you work. An engineering, construction and technical services company in Virginia seeks a financial analyst with a bachelor’s degree in business or finance and at least three years of financial-management-related experience. The employer preferred an applicant with a master’s degree and 6-10 years of experience in financial services.
A finance company in Michigan requests the help of a senior financial analyst with three years of experience who could also work with budgets. An IT/consulting company located in Virginia needed a financial analyst who had a high school diploma or the equivalent, but they preferred an applicant with a bachelor’s degree. An automotive company advertised for a financial analyst to work with IT managers in developing capital and expense budgets. The CFA Institute offers the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation to qualified candidates.
While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum qualification, many employers favor financial analysts who hold master’s degrees in a field related to finance or a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in financial analysis. The BLS states that these workers made a median salary of about $91,000 as of May 2011. Jobs for actuaries were expected to grow by 27% from 2010-2020, a faster-than-average rate, though the BLS says that competition for jobs will be intense. Accountants and auditors maintain public financial records and taxes for companies and organizations.
The BLS reports that accountants and auditors earned a median salary of about $63,000 as of May 2011, and employment in of these professionals was expected to grow 16% from 2010-2020. He has also done significant research on portfolio management for taxable investors, and is co-author of Integrating Investments and the Tax Code He has won the Academy’s top research award as well as the Financial Analysts Journal readers’ choice award for most popular article.