How Long Do You Have to Study to Become a Financial Analyst?
If you have an accountant degree and you’re looking to break into the financial services industry, you may wonder “Can you become a financial analyst?” The answer is yes. And yes, it’s easier than you might think. Let’s look at the four rules of being financially literate (or financially finance-wise).
A financial analyst is responsible for providing information and consulting strategies to a company or financial institution in order to assist them in analyzing their current financial situation and/or future financial situation(s). Their job description usually includes providing cost models, market, economic, and other economic data that is relevant to the company. This is not an easy task as there are many complicated factors involved in determining a company’s financial health. Analysts must also be familiar with accounting principles and understand how various financial reports can be interpreted.
In order to do this, financial analysts must be excellent problem solvers. It can be very difficult for them to obtain an objective report unless they have extensive training and experience. To overcome this problem, financial analysts must understand the concepts of statistics, mathematics, actuarial tables, economic terminology, and business decision making. Sometimes, they must rely on outside sources such as internal company documents. Unfortunately, many financial analysts get their information from Excel spreadsheets, rather than the real thing. As a result, they often make errors in their costing which results in inaccurate financial statements and therefore, costly errors in their reports.
Can you become a Financial Analyst without having industry knowledge?
Of course, but only in a sense that your specialization is in the realm of finance. For example, many mortgage brokers and loan officers possess industry knowledge; however, they are required to undergo additional training. Mortgage brokers and loan officers may not have the level of training or industry experience to become competent at analyzing mortgage related data. However, they certainly have the foresight to anticipate problems before they arise.
Can you become a financial analyst without having extensive formal training? The answer is “yes.” While a financial analyst must have strong mathematical skills, he or she must also have strong interpersonal skills and be able to analyze and interpret financial data in order to produce cost effective, accurate financial statements. Many financial analysts start out as mortgage brokers or loan officers. However, the most successful financial analysts become independent consultant, sometimes working for the same company for years.
Can you become a financial analyst without having a college degree? The answer is “no.” The majority of accredited colleges and universities offer financial courses; however, in order to gain a four year degree in finance or any other area of business management, a student must complete a minimum of five years at a university. During his or her college career, students may choose to focus on one particular aspect of the field. In most cases, these students elect to specialize in a specific area of the field. For instance, an accounting or financial analyst might focus his or her efforts on insurance or mortgage financing.
How much training does it take to get a financial analyst certification?
Typically, this depends on the type of financial analytical position that the student intends to fill. Those positions that require intensive courses usually call for more training and experience. These financial analysts can earn both national and state certifications. There are also online programs that will allow an individual to earn a financial analyst certification. This type of certification will allow the individual to enter the professional world as a Certified Management Accountant or a Certified Financial Analyst.
So, how long do you need to study in order to be a certified financial analyst? Depending upon the specialization that the student pursues, the time spent will vary. The same holds true for the length of time needed to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance. Those who are interested in becoming financial analysts should spend the time it takes to gain the education and training that is necessary to succeed in the field. A financial analyst must not only have the drive and motivation to succeed, but must also be able to approach the discipline with the professionalism and dedication that is expected of an accountant or a financial analyst.