Finanacial Analyst Careers

Financial Analysts – A Quick Career Overview

The Financial analyst serves an essential and exciting role in today’s business world and comprise a fast-growing sector of the economy. The United States Department of Labor Statistics projects that the number of financial analysts will grow between 20% and 28% between 2010 and 2020 with more than 100,000 new financial analysts working between now and the end of the decade.

One of the many career paths that bookkeeper training and bookkeeper certification can lead to is that of a Financial Analyst.  Accounting students who start off by clerking while they are pursuing their advanced degree programs may want to take a look at this interesting and often lucrative profession.

What Financial Analysts Do

The financial analyst in most instances will serve as an advisor to businesses or individuals making decisions involving the investment of capital.  This work will often require the analyst to make detailed assessments pertaining to investments in stocks, bonds, real estate and a variety of other investments.

In addition to making recommendations to their clients, any accomplished analyst will have the ability to assess current economic trends while applying current and historical data to what they are seeing in ever changing markets.

Some analysts also find their way into roles working in the media, both as writers and on air personalities.  The world of business makes up a large portion of today’s news media and the need to assess events and how they affect the world’s business markets is constant.

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What Kind of Companies do Financial Analysts Work For?

Financial analysts fill a variety of rolls in businesses of all shapes and sizes.  While some will often be self-employed and work in consulting capacities, the majority will work for large banking and financial organizations.

Banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and securities firms are just a few of the types of companies that will employ these accounting professionals.  While many of the work functions and processes will remain the same, analysts can take on a variety of roles within companies.  Among the titles an analyst might assume are: portfolio managers, fund managers, ratings analysts and risk analysts.

Education and Training

Financial ChartsSo how does one become a financial analyst?  It’s not a job that someone will just walk off the street into.  Like many jobs in the financial world, several years of higher education and years of on the job training serve as prerequisites.  At minimum, a bachelor’s degree in a business related field will be required and many large institutions will require a Master’s in Business Administration before considering an applicant.

There’s also a series of certifications and licensing that analysts are typically required to complete before working in the field.  FINRA, or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority requires licensing be acquired for many of today’s analyst-related roles.  Many employers will also demand that analysts be certified by one of the many certification bodies.  One example is the certification overseen the CFA Institute.  The Chartered Financial Analyst certification that the CFA institute offers requires that those seeking certification have completed the prerequisites of having attained a bachelor’s degree and have four years of experience in the field before they can take the series of three exams for certification.

How Much do Financial Analysts Make?

Financial Analysts are some of the best compensated professionals working in the accounting field.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics the median salary for the profession in 2010 was $74,350 annually.  The top 10 percent in the field made more than $140,000 making the role of financial analyst a highly regarding and well compensated profession.

How Do I Get Started?

If you like what you’ve read and are thinking that world of a financial analyst is one you’d fit into nicely, then it might be time to look for an advanced degree program and get started.  If you’d like more information on accounting career and degree programs near you, use the search feature at the top of this page.

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