Budget analyst degree programs are practically non-existent. However, the field of budget analysis is closely related to accounting, business administration and finance. Four-year bachelor's programs in each of these fields can train students for work as budget analysts. Program specializations include marketing and financial advising. Internships may be expected for degree completion. Applicants to these programs need to hold a high school diploma, and a strong background in math and the sciences is typically recommended. These programs are commonly available online.
Bachelor's Degree in Accounting
A bachelor's degree program in accounting teaches money management practices for any entity that has costs and revenue, whether an individual, business, government agency or non-profit organization. Students learn to interpret balance sheets and income statements, utilize spreadsheet software and communicate financial information.
A bachelor's degree program in accounting covers introductory, advanced and specialized topics in the field. Courses may feature:
- Accounting I, II and III
- Accounting business practices
- Accounting law and ethics
- Cost management methods
- Financial analysis
- Tax policy
Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration
A bachelor's degree program in business administration uses a combination of classroom work, case studies and simulations to teach students how to market products or services, monitor finances, negotiate contracts, set up an efficient organizational structure and manage employees and business operations. Students gain skills in analysis, communication, leadership and negotiation. Some programs will direct students into a specialization area, such as marketing or finance. Others provide internship opportunities for hands-on experience.
Coursework in a bachelor's degree program in business administration provides students with a thorough introduction to communication, professionalism and workplace protocol in preparation for graduate-level studies. Topics covered may include:
- Management concepts
- Labor relations
- Human resource management
- Business finance
Bachelor's Degree in Finance
A bachelor's degree program in finance covers the flow of money through local, national and international economies and the ways business, government, organizations and individuals raise and use money. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of money management at the smallest and largest scales, in addition to skills in quantitative analysis, risk assessment and planning. Some programs direct students into specialties, such as commercial banking or financial advising.
Core courses in a bachelor's degree programs in finance may be completed in two years, but the degree is typically completed in four. Curriculum provides an overview of:
- Accounting methods
- Banking and financial markets
- Financial planning
- Global finance
- Government regulation
Popular Career Options
Accountants may find work with large or small businesses or the government. Many choose to be self-employed and provide private services to clients. Other positions include:
- Budget analyst
- Financial consultant
Baccalaureates with a background in business administration may seek employment with any private or public corporations in a variety of clerical, administrative and managerial positions. Some common job titles include:
- Small business owner
- Retail manager
Those who train to become budget analysts may discover a wide range of possibilities in fields related to numbers and finances, including banking, economics and statistics. Possible career titles include:
- Loan officer
- Claims examiner
- Credit analyst
Continuing Education Information
Accounting degrees are also available at the master's and doctoral level. Students need to pass the uniform CPA exam to become certified public accountants. This designation may prove beneficial to those seeking to become budget analysts.
Business administration degrees are available at the master's and doctoral level as well. For many businesses, a Master's in Business Administration has become a baseline in their hiring decisions, and would be beneficial for anyone in the budgeting field.
Individuals aiming for higher-level budget analyst positions or those who are interested in research may pursue a master's degree or doctoral degree in finance, economics, accounting or a related field. Those who enter the workforce should strongly consider getting licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which is required by many companies and looked upon well by others.
Those wanting to complete a degree program to help in a career as a budget analyst may choose to do so through an accounting, finance, or business administration bachelor's degree program. Through these programs, students will learn the mathematics, analysis, planning, leadership, and communication skills needed to proceed with a career as a budget analyst.