Everybody has a calling in life. Some people find it all too easy to pinpoint potential opportunities and problem areas in the day-to-day grind. There is a huge demand for those who can analyze, predict, or otherwise determine the likelihood of specific economic conditions and financial situations occurring.
Many of these individuals find their calling in the world of financial analysis. Businesses, NGOs, and the public sector all have a need for financial analysts. How does one go about pursuing a career in this field? Let’s look at the basics of becoming a financial analyst and how you can take the fast track in getting there.
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What Financial Analysts Do
In short, financial analysts work on behalf of businesses or organizations in determining what economic conditions exist and how they can impact future organizational decisions. Everybody from investors to venture capitalists has a need for advice from financial analysts, many of whom are responsible for major economic decisions in our daily lives. These analysts combine a variety of skill-sets and areas of study to determine exactly how to read markets and models, making it possible to engage in more productive economic transactions.
What Educational Backgrounds are Ideal?
Financial analysts use a combination of skill-sets. The most common degree for those at the top of the food chain is a master of financial economics. Many financial analysts also study and/or major in economics, business, accounting, and math to truly round out their field of study.
For those who are truly motivated and want to take the fast track, many online master of financial economics degree programs are available that allow people to earn their degrees more rapidly than through brick-and-mortar institutions. It can also be used to obtain a new degree in math, finance, or accounting to improve your career value.
Gaining Real World Experience
Once you’ve pursued the appropriate higher education, your pathway toward becoming a financial analyst is easier – but not complete. Demonstrating your basic proficiency in the field is usually required to find employment.
One great way to do this is by taking either the Series 7 or Series 63 exams. Some also apply for admission to take the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) exam, but you may require a referral to take this exam.
Another option is to pursue an internship with a company seeking financial analyst experience. Unlike some other fields, explicit intern experience in the field of financial analysis will be necessary for convincing potential employers to hire you.
Prepare for Your Field
Financial analysis covers a wide variety of topics and economic conditions. Depending on exactly where you envision yourself contributing, you’ll want to develop experience relevant to that particular field.
Those who want to seek careers in the realm of public service will want to focus on understanding the complexities of public policy and the effects of macroeconomics. Somebody seeking to work in financial services or venture capital will need to likewise hone their economic understanding to fit the industry in which they’ll be employed.
Now that you’re familiar with the steps of becoming a financial analyst, you’ll be better prepared to pursue this career as rapidly as possible. While it may take years to get from start to finish, you can speed up the process by making your educational experience as efficient as possible and by settling on which specific industries are best suited for your talents.