Pursue an Online Finance Degree

BASICS OF BECOMING A FINANCIAL ANALYST

What should companies and individuals do with the money they save? All of that money can't simply be left in a savings account to accrue a little amount of interest over dozens of years. There are far better investment options out there, but figuring out which route is both safe and profitable can be very complex.

That's what financial analysts are tasked with. They make recommendations to everyone from the biggest business institutions down to individuals about what the wisest options are for investing in stocks, bonds and other opportunities. They do this by studying current economic trends along with industry history and past financial statements.

In short, there are two types of analysts. They are either buy-side or sell-side. Buy-side analysts make recommendations to large businesses about how they should use their money. Sell-side analysts advise professionals who sell stocks, bonds and other investment opportunities.

Here is what you may consider when choosing an online financial analyst program:

  • Employers require various amounts of skill and educational designations for employment. Many candidates must have at least a bachelor's degree. However, master's degrees are becoming increasingly necessary, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics[i].
  • Certifications are one way prospective financial analysts gain an advantage while searching for job opportunities. One such designation is the Chartered Financial Analyst certification offered by the CFA Institute. This certification requires a bachelor's degree as well as employment experience to apply for. Applicants must pass a series of exams as well.
  • Financial analysts usually begin their careers by focusing on trends in a specific area of interest, which can be a certain geographic location, industry or product.
  • Before signing up for online courses, consider what area of interest you may consider pursuing. Also, carefully evaluate the subject matter of particular courses and inquire whether they will help you gain certifications later in your professional career.

Is an Online Finance Degree PROGRAM FOR YOU?

Becoming a financial analyst is no easy task, as it requires an education that spans over various topics, including math, statistics, economics, finance, accounting and more. Some employers may also require post-graduate experience in a related field, such as business administration. For this reason, some individuals may use online courses as a way to pursue financial analyst employment opportunities. These courses may offer in-depth experience about the many subjects that are linked to professional financial analysis. Moreover, classes can often be completed at the leisure of the student and in a flexible time frame.

FINANCIAL ANALYST CAREER PATHS AND POTENTIAL SALARIES

There are many occupations closely related to financial analysis. The skills you learn from an online program may prepare you for work in fields with similar economic, mathematical, statistical and financial subject matter. Research which options may be available using statistics compiled by the BLS.

Financial Analysts (i)

Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.

  • Median Salary: $84,300 per year
  • Job growth through 2026: 11% (Faster than average)
  • Typical Entry-level education: Bachelor's Degree

Budget Analysts (ii)

Budget analysts help public and private institutions organize their finances. They prepare budget reports and monitor institutional spending.

  • Median Salary: $75,240 per year
  • Job growth through 2026: 7% (As fast as average)
  • Typical Entry-level education: Bachelor's Degree

Financial Managers (iii)

Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization.

  • Median Salary: $125,080 per year
  • Job growth through 2026: 19% (Much faster than average)
  • Typical Entry-level education: Bachelor's Degree
  • Work Experience in related occupation: 5 Years

(i) bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm | (ii) bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm | (iii) bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm