Financial Analysis and Management

Financial analysts and managers help individuals or businesses with their investment decisions. Read on to learn about earnings, job growth and educational requirements for financial analysts and managers.

Is Financial Analysis and Management for Me?

Career Overview

Financial analysts evaluate investments made by companies and individuals. Their responsibilities include following market trends for their industry or product. Some analysts, such as fund managers and portfolio managers, may oversee all of their clients' investments. Financial managers may hold positions as credit or branch managers or treasurers. As a financial manager, you might prepare financial reports, determine credit limits and calculate operation risks. Financial analysts and managers may work in excess of 40 hours per week, usually in an office setting; frequent travel may also be required.

Employment and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment for financial analysts was projected to increase by 16% nationwide between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the average in comparison to all other occupations. An average growth of 9% in employment was projected for financial managers through 2022. As of May 2013, financial analysts and financial managers earned median annual salaries of $78,380 and $112,700 respectively (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Financial Analysis and Management?

Educational and Licensing Requirements

Most employers will only consider prospective financial analysts and managers who have a bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study, and some companies may only hire applicants who have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or an MBA in Finance. Depending on your position, you may also need a license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Undergraduate Programs

A Bachelor of Science in Financial Economics can be a solid choice for aspiring financial analysts and managers. Introductory coursework usually includes topics in economics and math, after which you'll study public finance, policy analysis and derivative securities. Some schools may allow for concentrations in international, private or public finance.

Graduate Programs

Some MBA programs give you the option to specialize in finance, as well as help you prepare for doctoral studies. Additional program features may include the chance to participate in an internship with a local financial firm. Once enrolled in a master's degree program, you might study financial innovations, investment theory and capital resource allocation.

Certifications

Although not always required, a professional certification may increase your opportunities for advancement or employment. If you work in an accounting department, you may need a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation can be beneficial for investment professionals, while the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) designation can demonstrate your understanding of risk management and corporate liquidity. Most certifications require a combination of work experience, postsecondary education and completion of an exam.

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