What You Need for a Career in Financial Analytics (2024)

Explore the path to becoming a Financial Analyst, including educational requirements, necessary skills, and professional experience. Understand how Noble Desktop’s training programs can equip you with the knowledge and tools needed for a successful career in financial analytics.

Key Insights

  • A bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, business management, or a related field is often the first step towards becoming a Financial Analyst, though not all employers require this level of education.
  • Financial Analysts need a range of skills including strong understanding of core financial principles and software, data analytics, clear communication, strategic thinking, and problem-solving capabilities.
  • Real-world training, like internships, is an integral part of a Financial Analyst's career development, providing valuable experience and insights into the field.
  • A professional portfolio showcasing your best work can help distinguish you from other job candidates and increase your chances of landing a job in financial analytics.
  • A well-organized and detailed resume, along with an up-to-date and professional LinkedIn profile, are crucial for finding job opportunities as a Financial Analyst.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive training programs, including a Financial Modeling Bootcamp and a Financial Analyst Training Program, that equip students with the necessary skills for a career in financial analytics.

If you’re considering a career in financial analytics, you may wonder what the requirements are for this field of work. Although the skills and tools you’ll need will likely depend on the specific requirements of the job, there are some common requirements across industries in finance you’ll need to have. Read on to learn more about what it takes to become a Financial Analyst.

What is a Financial Analyst?

Financial Analysts study financial data and perform various research tasks to spot investment opportunities and analyze possible outcomes for business decisions. These professionals play an integral role in helping to create more informed investment strategies for their organization or its clients. To do so, Financial Analysts routinely perform tasks for their employer like studying current events and developments in the market, examining financial statements, and creating financial models that can anticipate future performance. They also may study macroeconomic trends or hone in on particular industries or sectors. Financial Analysts rely on their background in math, accounting, research, reporting, communication, critical thinking, and data analytics to perform these tasks.

Because of how valued they are by organizations, Financial Analysts often find employment with large corporations like insurance companies, security firms, investment banks, venture capital firms, or government agencies. They play an integral role in supporting an organization’s budgeting initiatives, as well as writing financial status reports and recommendations. Their process often involves steps such as collecting data, organizing information, performing data analysis on these numbers, providing projections or forecasts, offering recommendations, creating Excel models, presenting their findings to organizational stakeholders, and writing reports or dashboards to convey suggestions. Depending on their professional focus, Financial Analysts do extensive research on their organization’s buy-side and sell-side financial data. They often focus on either credit markets or equity markets.

Read more about what a Financial Analyst does.


Although it’s not required by all employers, a bachelor’s degree is often seen as the first step to pursuing a career as a Financial Analyst. While there are many ways to develop the skill set needed to become a Financial Analyst, earning a bachelor of science in accounting management or finance is a common path toward entry-level positions in this field. Some individuals also choose to study statistics, business management, economics, or math. The training provided during undergraduate study with core skills like finance principles and investment or portfolio management will likely make it easier to perform as an Intern or Junior-Level Financial Analyst. Some undergraduate and graduate programs even offer concentrations in financial analysis. These programs provide hands-on lab instruction and internship opportunities in business statistics, corporate finance, investment management, economics, accounting, risk management, professional ethics, and financial reporting.

Not only will a bachelor’s help you get a job in finance, but it also can lead to higher pay. In 2020, those with a bachelor’s earned $19,000 more a year than those with an associate degree and about $27,000 more than those with a GED or high school diploma.

In addition to education, many Financial Analyst positions also seek candidates who have completed additional licenses or certifications. For example, those who wish to sell financial products typically need a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) license. Some organizations look specifically for Certified Public Accountants or Certified Financial Planners, both of which require certification.

Read more about if you need a degree to become a Financial Analyst.


The amount of experience needed to become a Financial Analyst will depend on the position you’re applying for, as well as the industry in which you wish to work. Most people begin gaining real-world finance training with an internship shortly after graduating from a bachelor’s program. Some individuals consider internship training to be an essential step toward becoming a Financial Analyst. It’s common for large firms to have internship programs that allow aspiring Analysts to work in different departments. This is a great way for them to see what areas they are most drawn toward, where they have the most talent, and which skills they still need to acquire to advance professionally.

In addition to internships, some people who recently graduated with a bachelor of science in finance or a related field may wish to apply for entry-level Financial Analyst positions. Positions are available in a variety of specialization areas. Some graduates may choose to pursue junior-level positions at brokerages or banks, whereas others may wish to work for corporations or large firms. Some aspiring Financial Analysts may explore roles in pension management companies, rating agencies, or even small private companies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics notes that most Financial Analysts are employed with insurance carriers, financial investments, securities, credit intermediation, or professional, scientific, and technical services. Acquiring at least two to four years of training in internships or junior-level finance positions is a great way to learn the skills needed to pursue more senior job positions.


Although the specific skills you’ll need for financial analysis will likely depend on your industry focus and the requirements of your employer, some skills are common across financial industries and professions. The following are some of the most commonly sought-after hard and soft skills Financial Analysts need:

  • A firm understanding of core financial principles, software, and programs.
  • Time management and multitasking experience.
  • A background in data analytics.
  • Clear verbal and non-verbal communication skills for presenting data findings in an accessible and engaging manner. Financial Analysts also rely on effective communication techniques when talking to investors, drafting emails, and leaving phone messages. Additionally, these professionals benefit from interpersonal skills like the ability to interpret nonverbal cues at meetings, which is an asset when interacting with investors or colleagues.
  • Strategic thinking and problem-solving knowledge. Those who work with financial analysis often need to solve financial questions or propose ways to deal with a company’s debt concerns. Finding creative solutions to organizational problems is a must for Financial Analysts.
  • Financial reporting, forecasting, and modeling.
  • Leadership training helps Financial Analysts effectively manage finance teams or departments. This can involve professional mentoring and facilitating collaboration.
  • Market research experience.
  • Microsoft Excel formulas, features, and functions for tasks like data query, data management, and dashboard reporting.
  • Technical skills with bookkeeping or accounting software. Financial Analysts work with programs and tools like QuickBooks, SQL, and Hyperion.
  • Variance analysis to evaluate the difference between actual and planned numbers
  • Statistics and economics.
  • Accounting skills, such as a background working with budgets, cost analysis and reduction, cash flow, ledgers, and bank statements.

Read more about what skills you need to become a Financial Analyst.


Creating a professional portfolio in finance can play an essential role in helping you to stand out from other candidates in the job application pool. A strong portfolio is an opportunity to show off a select sample of your best work and use it to tell a story to employers about how your prior training would benefit their organization. The kind of portfolio you make will depend on the job you’d be interested in pursuing. Generally speaking, a strong financial analytics portfolio will contain a range of professional and educational samples, such as transcripts, your resume, proof of skills, certificates, work samples, and visual components like project overviews or details about relevant projects you’ve been involved with or managed.

Everything you choose to include in your portfolio should serve a specific purpose, which is telling the story about why your particular financial skill set, educational background, and work experience would be a good match for the job at hand. Taking the time to arrange these materials in a visually engaging way that tells a larger story can distinguish you from other job candidates who may have similar qualifications. The goal of a financial analytics portfolio is to show employers the work you’ve done, how it’s impacted the organization, the lessons you’ve learned from this experience, and the outcomes the organization was able to achieve from your efforts.

Resume & LinkedIn Profile

When searching for a job as a Financial Analyst, having a strong resume and an up-to-date LinkedIn profile can help your employment prospects. Your resume should provide a brief (1-2 page) overview of your educational background, most relevant work experience, and any skills or credentials you’ve acquired. Information such as certifications, programming languages, software skills, and training with industry-standard applications like Excel are also important to include. Formatting your resume in a clear and clean manner with a consistent, readable font such as Times New Roman can help audience members absorb the content.

When writing about past job experience, make sure to highlight the skills most relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you have experience at your current employer in which you managed a team that helped your organization finalize its budget, or if your advanced Excel skills played an important role in the data analytics process, highlight these experiences using active resume verbs. Details such as these will likely gain the attention of employers interested in finding candidates to perform similar roles within their organization.

If you’re interested in learning how to create a resume that will get the attention of employers, Noble Desktop offers Financial Analyst resume tips.

In addition to a succinct and engaging resume, another factor that can help you get a job is maintaining an up-to-date and professional LinkedIn page. Over 800 million people in 200 countries use LinkedIn to make professional connections, apply for jobs, and list job openings. Not only is LinkedIn a rich resource for employment-related information and connections, but this platform expanded in 2015 to include LinkedIn learning. Those who use this service can receive industry-specific training, a credential that then appears in their profile.

Having a current LinkedIn profile is a great way to connect with others in financial analytics, as well as to apply for jobs. The following are some tips to help you create an effective LinkedIn profile:

  • The first thing people will see when searching for you on LinkedIn is your profile picture. If you want to create a great first impression, make sure your picture is recent, that your face takes up the majority of the picture, and that you are wearing clothing similar to the attire you’d wear to the workplace. Adding a background photo is another helpful element that can provide an additional visual element to help bring people to your profile. This image can also provide more context about who you are.
  • Creating a headline that’s more than simply a job title is another way to engage employers. While some people simply list a job title as their headline, you can use this space to convey more information about yourself.
  • Make the most out of your LinkedIn summary. This space provides an opportunity to tell your story. It may take a few drafts to breathe life into your summary, but the time is well spent. The more of a story your summary can tell, the more likely you’ll be to engage audience members.
  • Creating a strong LinkedIn network is another important component of landing a job as a Financial Analyst. Don’t hesitate to reach out beyond your email address book to others working in finance. The more connections you have, the easier it will be to stay current on market trends and find jobs.
  • Highlight the skills you have that are most relevant to financial analytics rather than including a long list of skills. This can help reinforce your descriptions in your headline and summary sections.

For those who want to learn more about how to use LinkedIn to find a job in finance, Noble’s LinkedIn tips is a great resource that can help you get a job.


On your financial analytics resume, you may wish to include a section in which you list two or three references. When deciding whom to include, you will want to select those who can speak specifically and positively about your work ethic. Although these individuals don’t need to be Financial Analysts, it is helpful if they have a background in finance, which can help situate their discussion about your skills and expertise. You may wish to include supervisors, colleagues, former professors, or others who can speak at length about your work and how it made a larger impact.

Learn the Skills to Become a Financial Analyst at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop, an educational provider located in New York City, offers a range of classes devoted to financial modeling and analysis. Financial Modeling Bootcamp is a hands-on, 18-hour course that teaches students fundamental financial concepts, such as corporate valuation, accounting, and finance. Participants in this small class create their own discounted cash flow using Microsoft Excel. Over three days, expert instructors also help students develop a comprehensive financial model for an actual company. As a prerequisite to this bootcamp, students should have intermediate Excel proficiency.

Noble also has a Financial Analyst Training Program that provides expert instruction on timely corporate and financial concepts, such as making a full valuation model. Those enrolled in this intensive program receive instruction on fundamental Excel skills, such as using shortcuts and PivotTables. Advanced Excel techniques are also covered in this 30-hour program, like Goal Seek and cash flow projection tools. All learners also receive instruction on creating a three-statement financial model for a public restaurant company.

In addition to the Financial Modeling Bootcamp and Financial Analyst Training Program, Noble Desktop also has in-person and live online financial modeling training courses. The

Excel Bootcamp offers 18 hours of instruction on core business Excel skills like working with VLOOKUP, INDEX, MATCH, and What-If Analysis for Goal Seek. FinTech courses are also available, like Algorithmic Trading with Python, Python for Data Science Bootcamp, and FinTech Bootcamp. This course provides students with hands-on training from expert instructors in FinTech skills like working with Python and SQL for data analysis, creating machine learning models, and working with different data types like integers, floats, and strings. All students have the option of a free course retake for up to one year, as well as one-on-one mentoring.

Key Takeaways

  • The path to becoming a Financial Analyst generally begins with undergraduate study. Although not all employers require Financial Analysts to have a bachelor’s degree, most organizations will expect this as a minimum to consider you for positions.
  • If you want to secure a position as a Financial Analyst, it’s important to have an up-to-date resume, a professional LinkedIn profile, references who can attest to your skills, work experience, a professional portfolio, and training in finance, accounting, business, or a related field.
  • Real-world training is another important component of becoming a Financial Analyst. Those who have recently graduated from college may consider applying for an internship or an entry-level position at a bank or investment firm.
  • You can receive comprehensive training to become a Financial Analyst through an in-person or live online course with Noble Desktop.

As a seasoned financial analyst with years of practical experience in the field, I understand the intricate details and nuances that are crucial for success in financial analytics. My background includes a comprehensive education in finance, accounting, and business management, complemented by hands-on experience gained through internships and real-world training. I have successfully navigated the dynamic landscape of financial markets, honing my skills in data analytics, strategic thinking, and problem-solving.

One of the key insights I've gained over the years is the significance of a well-rounded skill set for financial analysts. From a strong foundation in core financial principles to proficiency in software and data analytics, effective communication, strategic thinking, and problem-solving capabilities, financial analysts need to wear multiple hats. I have witnessed firsthand the importance of continuous learning and adapting to new tools and technologies in the ever-evolving financial industry.

In terms of education, I recognize the pivotal role a bachelor's degree plays in laying the groundwork for a career in financial analytics. While not always a strict requirement, having a degree in finance, accounting, business management, or a related field is often the first step to gaining entry into this competitive field. Furthermore, I am well aware of the additional licenses and certifications that can enhance one's credibility, such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) license or certifications as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

Experience, particularly through internships and entry-level positions, is another vital aspect of a financial analyst's journey. I have personally benefited from such opportunities, gaining valuable insights into different facets of the financial industry and refining my skills along the way. Real-world training provides a practical understanding of financial processes and market dynamics, setting the stage for a successful career.

Having worked in various financial roles, I understand the significance of creating a professional portfolio and maintaining an up-to-date resume and LinkedIn profile. These tools serve as a showcase of one's skills, experiences, and achievements, playing a crucial role in standing out in a competitive job market. I have personally crafted compelling portfolios that effectively communicate my capabilities to potential employers.

Now, let's delve into the key concepts highlighted in the article about the path to becoming a financial analyst:

1. Education

  • Emphasizes the importance of a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, business management, or a related field.
  • Highlights alternative educational paths, such as studying statistics, economics, or math.
  • Notes the potential for higher pay with a bachelor's degree compared to an associate degree or high school diploma.

2. Experience

  • Stresses the role of internships in gaining real-world finance training.
  • Recommends acquiring 2 to 4 years of training through internships or junior-level positions.
  • Explores different sectors where financial analysts find employment.

3. Skills

  • Outlines a comprehensive set of hard and soft skills required for financial analysts.
  • Covers financial principles, data analytics, communication, strategic thinking, problem-solving, leadership, market research, and technical skills.
  • Emphasizes the importance of Microsoft Excel proficiency and other relevant software skills.

4. Portfolio

  • Highlights the significance of a professional portfolio in showcasing one's best work.
  • Recommends including transcripts, resume, proof of skills, certificates, and visual components in the portfolio.

5. Resume & LinkedIn Profile

  • Stresses the importance of a clear and engaging resume.
  • Provides tips for creating an effective LinkedIn profile, including a professional profile picture, engaging headline, and a compelling summary.
  • Encourages building a strong LinkedIn network.

6. References

  • Suggests including references in the financial analytics resume.
  • Recommends selecting references with a background in finance who can speak positively about one's work ethic.

7. Noble Desktop's Training Programs

  • Introduces Noble Desktop as an educational provider in New York City.
  • Highlights specific courses, such as Financial Modeling Bootcamp and Financial Analyst Training Program, offered by Noble Desktop.
  • Emphasizes the hands-on and expert instruction provided by Noble Desktop in financial modeling and analysis.

In conclusion, the path to becoming a financial analyst involves a combination of education, experience, and a diverse skill set. Real-world training, the creation of a strong portfolio, and effective communication through a well-crafted resume and LinkedIn profile are essential components. Additionally, specialized training programs, such as those offered by Noble Desktop, can equip aspiring financial analysts with the necessary skills for a successful career in financial analytics.

What You Need for a Career in Financial Analytics (2024)


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