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Financial Analysis Degree and Certificate Program Information

Oct 20, 2019

Students pursuing a financial analysis career can choose a bachelor's or master's degree program or a graduate certificate. At all levels, programs focus on how to analyze financial data with further coursework in business, investments, and ethics.

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Essential Information

Graduate certificates in financial analysis are four to eight course programs that keep professionals and students abreast of new business practices and theories in an ever-changing finance market, as well as equipping them to compete in the international finance market. Depending on the program, professional experience may be mandatory. A bachelor's and master's degree is required for enrollment.

A bachelor's degree program educates students about basic finance theory, law, and strategy. This program gives students the working knowledge needed for entry-level finance jobs. Some schools ask that applicants provide references and have prior work experience in business. A master's degree program in financial analysis instructs students about advanced research methods and techniques used to analyze every aspect of potential risks and investments.


Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance

In a finance bachelor's degree program, students are taught basic business and math skills that can be applied to the financial market. Here are some of the main courses offered:

  • Introduction to finance theory
  • Derivatives of finance
  • Personal and portfolio management
  • Investment strategies
  • Business statistics

Graduate Certificate in Financial Analysis

The courses in the certificate program teach students about financial risk and analysis. Students learn different ratios, formulas, and valuation techniques to make expert financial decisions in the business world. Some certificate programs have specialization options that allow students to direct their studies to fit their career. Some of the common courses include:

  • Analyzing and evaluating financial statements
  • Analyzing investments and risks
  • Financial law and ethics

Master of Science Degree in Financial Analysis

These programs teach students the executive level skills needed to qualify for top jobs in business. Some schools offer a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program that specializes in finance as an alternative to this program.

The financial analysis master's program educates students about advanced business techniques and strategies in finance, accounting and management. These courses provide students with the skills they'll need to correctly project and assess upcoming business risks and investments. The programs usually start out with broad business courses; then they focus on the advanced finance and accounting classes. Here are some of the courses students will take.

  • Analyzing financial statements and risks
  • Advanced econometrics and strategies for finance
  • Business tax benefits
  • Ethics and law of business

Popular Career Options

Graduates of all the programs can find jobs as financial analysts or advisers or work as salesmen or underwriters for insurance companies. Analysts are employed at large companies where they predict the rise and fall of investments, while large companies or private clients hire advisers. Budget analysts manage budgets instead of investments.

  • Financial analyst
  • Financial adviser
  • Budget Analyst

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Jobs for financial analyst are expected to grow slightly faster than average from 2018 to 2028. During that time period, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts job opportunities to increase by 6%. In addition, the BLS reports 306,200 financial analysts were employed in May 2018, and they earned an annual median wage of $85,660 in 2018.

Continuing Education

Professionals looking to move to the next level can test to become a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). In order to become a CFA, students must take and pass levels I, II and III of the CFA program which is comparable to a graduate program. According to the CFA website, (www.cfainstitute.org) more than 90,000 professionals are members from all over the world.

Due to constantly changing tax and financial legislation, continuing education may be required in some fields. Professionals usually take graduate certificate programs in finance to brush up on new laws and regulations in the industry. These programs give assist students with advancement in the finance field.

Financial analysts and advisers can find education and training through bachelor's and master's degree programs, as well as graduate certificate programs. Continuing education may be necessary for some students in order to keep up with new information in their fields, with some choosing to become CFAs, as well.

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