Financial analysis is among the top jobs in India, with the maximum number of openings. A recent survey by the Bureau of Labour Statistics, USA, estimates an 11% growth in employment opportunities in this field by 2026. So, if you aspire to become a financial analyst, now is the best time to pursue your dream job. This Seekho blog will help you discover the learning path and skills needed to become a financial analyst.
Becoming a financial analyst is one of the most rewarding careers of the present time. If we look at the figures, a financial analyst at an entry level can earn around Rs 3.5 lakh per annum. A senior financial analyst with a few years of experience can bag around Rs 8 to 9 lakh per annum. Sounds lucrative, right?
So, whether you’re preparing for your first job, job switch, or up-skilling as a financial analyst, Seekho will help you land it. Through this blog, we will help you identify the correct learning path and skills required to become a financial analyst.
Learning path to becoming a Financial Analyst
Financial analysts forecast the company’s revenue by tracking its financial plan, performance, projections, and budget for upcoming projects. They evaluate and analyze the market to advise the company on its present and future investments and short and long-term financial growth. Becoming a financial analyst comes organically for someone who loves mathematics and enjoys analytical thinking. However, some may need to follow a proper learning path to master the work that a financial analyst position entails.
A financial analyst candidate, therefore, must focus on the following educational degrees and certifications:
A bachelor’s degree is the primary and minimum qualification required to become a financial analyst. While general courses relevant for this field include economics, statistics, or mathematics, a more targeted degree like a BSc in Finance will further your prospects in financial analysis.
Many job aspirants and professionals pursue a master’s degree to fortify their resumes and increase their potential. Mostly they opt for an MBA degree, but a financial corporation might also need a candidate with a master’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related field. When you take specific courses to become a financial analyst, you cover programs like advanced auditing, advanced financial reporting and accounting, strategic analysis, and managerial methods, among other relevant topics. All of these courses help candidates stand apart in the finance sector and help them in moving ahead in their careers.
When companies hire for senior profiles, they look forward to financial analysts with expertise and specific professional certifications. One of the most coveted certifications for a prominent role is Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Granted by the CFA Institute, this certification requires four years of on-job experience. Another certification that is becoming increasingly popular is CFI’s Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA) certification.
Skills Required as a Financial Analyst
You must balance your technical and non-technical skills to achieve your financial analyst goal. Let’s explore some of the critical skills a financial analyst should possess:
The finance arena requires exceptional knowledge of accounting standards, principles, and techniques. Additionally, you must be well-versed in budgeting and forecasting, cost analysis, reconciling bank statements, managing cash flow, etc. A tight grip on mathematical formulas used in these calculations can help you ace your game!
Working with different financial models is an imperative aspect of a financial analyst job. Financial modelling, like three-statement modelling, mergers and acquisition modelling, and IPO modelling, assists the financial analyst in making effective business decisions for any organization.
Financial Literacy Skills
Among the essential soft skills, the ability to decipher financial circumstances remains the most vital element for any financial analyst. Financial literacy sums up the knowledge about the current investment market, monetary events, interest rates among lenders, private equity, equity research, and so on.
Accounting software proficiency
To perform effectively, a financial analyst may require working with programs like MS Excel, SAP, SQL, Hyperion, QuickBook, etc. They should be up-to-date with sophisticated bookkeeping and accounting software. These new tools can be learned easily and quickly through well-defined online courses.
Communication and Interpersonal Skills
Good communication has a direct impact on your interpersonal skills, and both these skills are crucial to becoming a financial analyst. Effective communication and interpersonal skills can make your task easier by helping you send accurate text messages and e-mails, talking to investors, and navigating professional relationships.
Critical Thinking and Problem-solving Skills
Financial analysts are the problem-solvers in any complicated financial scenario within the firm. From solving a company’s debt problems and getting investors to making crucial business decisions like buying and selling assets, a lot depends on the critical-thinking abilities of a financial analyst.
Leadership and Management Skills
Senior financial analysts can land managerial roles where they are required to handle finance teams or the entire financial department. With strong leadership skills, the workflow becomes more accessible and practical. You can collaborate with and mentor the team toward new changes and challenges.
As an expanding and lucrative field, financial analysis has fantastic job offers. Aspiring candidates can choose from working in non-profit organizations to investment banks. While the learning path includes a bachelor’s or master’s degree, further certifications or on-the-job experiences can amp up your profile and ensure a promising career.
Furthermore, by acquiring a few critical skills needed to become a financial analyst, you can jumpstart your work towards your dream career today!
To ascertain the best preparation, trust Seekho. With exclusive and free financial analyst courses online, you can polish your skills and work towards your new career path.