Students hoping to secure a credit analyst job should earn a bachelor's degree in business administration, finance or a related subject that includes classes in accounting, business administration and finance. A bachelor's degree program in business administration includes fundamental business courses and prepares students for entry-level careers. Bachelor's degree programs in finance prepare students for jobs such as financial advisor, loan officer and marketing director. Programs may include internships in financial institutions.
Applicants will need a high school diploma or the equivalent to apply to these programs, some of which are available online. Some associations grant professional certifications to candidates who meet their criteria and pass their skills tests.
Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration
Undergraduate students pursuing bachelor's degrees in business administration will have to study a variety of subjects, including marketing, management, accounting and organizational behavior. A bachelor's degree in business administration can usually be completed in four years, though additional time may be required for working professionals or other non-traditional students.
To gain acceptance into an accredited undergraduate program, applicants will have to complete an admissions process that includes an application and processing fee. Students seeking admission will usually have to submit an essay detailing academic and life goals.
Along with business courses, students in a bachelor's degree in business administration program will study related subjects, such as economics and statistics. Typical courses in a business administration bachelor's degree program include:
- Financial analysis
- Risk assessment
- Financial markets
- Investment management
- Financial decision-making
Bachelor's Degree in Finance
A Bachelor of Science in Finance degree program covers a range of financial concepts and institutions, such as financial regulation agencies and banking. Students hoping to earn an undergraduate finance degree will have to also take mathematics-based courses, such as calculus.
Admission into an undergraduate finance degree program requires that students submit scores from the ACT or the SAT Reasoning Test. Certain schools might require applicants to meet with an admissions counselor or an alumnus for an interview.
Classes that lead to an undergraduate degree in finance involve numerous subjects, including economics and political science. Here is a list of common courses:
- Operations management
- Statistics in business
- Marketing principles
- Comparative economics
- Introduction to accounting
Credit Analyst Training Program
Undergraduate students looking to enter a career as a credit analyst can earn a graduate certificate in areas relevant to their professional goals, such as credit risk assessment and commercial lending. Programs offering certificates in credit analysis can be completed in roughly two years, but students may be able to finish in less time.
Requirements vary between certificate programs, but enrollment is generally restricted to individuals with bachelor's degrees in subjects associated with business.
Students in this program take classes that teach techniques for conducting a credit analysis and negotiating the terms of loans. Classes may include:
- Project finance and syndicated transactions
- Commercial loan portfolio management
- Bankruptcy and reorganization
- Financial analysis
- Strategies in hedge fund management
Popular Career Options
A certificate in credit analysis can lead to a job with a loan consolidation company or a brokerage firm. Other potential career choices are:
- Bankruptcy counselor
- Insurance adjustor
- Bank teller
- Consumer lending consultant
- Investment adviser
Aside from pursuing a career as a credit analyst, individuals with bachelor's degrees in finance might seek employment with regulatory agencies or investment firms. Other career options include:
- Marketing director
- Personal financial advisor
- Tax preparer
- Loan officer
- Mortgage broker
Employment Outlook and Career Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates the number of jobs for credit authorizers, checkers and clerks to decline by 6% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). In May 2015, credit analysts earned a mean annual salary of $79,720, BLS data showed. Employers of credit analysts include automobile dealerships and banking institutions.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Certification from a professional association can create advancement opportunities for credit analysts. Students thinking about further education might want to explore degree programs relating to finance and business, such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Depending on a student's interests, finance and business administration degrees are available at the undergraduate level. Both of these degrees, as well as the professional certification program, may lead to a career as a credit analyst.