Can I Be Successful As a Financial Analyst with a Bachelor’s Degree?

Financial analysts with bachelors degrees are commonly found in the financial analysis field. Can you be a successful financial analyst with a bachelor’s degree? Well, there are short and long answers to that question. The short answer is yes, you can. The longer answer is a bit more complicated, and it can be found below.

What Is a Financial Analyst?

A financial analyst gathers and analyzes financial data, and then summarizes it. The United States Department of Labor offers a complete overview of the profession. Needless to say, if you are at all shy about the idea of spending your days working with large sets of raw data, life as a financial analyst probably is not for you.

What Do I Need to Study in College to Become a Financial Analyst?

You can become a financial analyst regardless of your undergraduate major. Some popular majors for prospective financial analysts include finance, economics, accounting and business administration. However, employers recruit from engineering departments, the hard sciences, and even the social sciences or humanities. Whatever of your major, you will to take classes in corporate finance, microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, business statistics and probability, federal income taxation, public policy, investment banking, calculus, business taxation, portfolio management, organizational theory and management, corporate governance and international financial management, among others.

Where Can I Work As a Financial Analyst?

Almost anywhere. Yes, you can work almost anywhere. Where there is money, there is a need for financial analysis. Virtually every type of organization or entity you can imagine employs at least one financial analyst, either as an in-house consultant or through an outside firm it pays to handle its financial matters. So, whether you want to work for a financial services firm, as an in-house analyst at a company, in the nonprofit sector or even if you want to become an independent consultant and be your own boss, you should have no difficulty finding work as a financial analyst with a bachelor’s degree.

How Do I Get a Job As a Financial Analyst?

Starting early is the key. As soon as you have any inclination that you may want to become a financial analyst, you should be taking steps toward beginning your career in the financial world. What does this mean? Take as many of the courses listed above as you can. Stay focused on your schoolwork, since grades will be one of the primary criteria potential employers will use to determine whether they want to interview you. Identify professionals who do what you would someday like to do, contact them and see if they will talk to you about their careers. They will probably say yes, and they will be impressed that you took the initiative to reach out to them. They may even serve as references or recommend you to prospective employers. Once you reach the interview stage, demonstrating that you are proficient in quantitative analysis and comfortable with quantitative methods will likely play a large part in determining whether you get hired.

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The financial services industry is always growing, and the need for bright college graduates to fill its vacancies is always growing as well. If you are intellectually curious and enjoy working with numbers, you can be successful as a financial analyst with a bachelor’s degree.