Major in Finance
If you have a passion for all things money, working as a financial analyst could be the perfect career choice. Not only will you get to study the stock market and enjoy an exciting career, but the salary can be quite rewarding. This is a competitive field that presents people with lots of opportunities to make quite a great deal of money. Here’s what you need to do to become a financial analyst.
During your undergraduate education, it’s not necessarily imperative that you major in finance, but it will really help you as you move forward in your education and your career. If your school doesn’t have a finance program, majoring in a similar program like economics or business is a good alternative.
Finance careers are extremely competitive, so be sure to apply yourself and work hard while you’re an undergrad. It’s never too early for internships, either. Interning at a bank or investment firm is a great way to get some real world experience and give your resume a nice boost before you’ve even graduated.
While it’s possible to work in finance without a graduate degree, the majority of financial analysts have some sort of master’s degree. Typically, they’ll either possess an MBA or a master’s of science in financial analysis. While an MBA is more flexible and a generally easier program, a master’s of science will make you a more competitive candidate when you enter the job market.
This is an extremely challenging program. Hence, it’s important that you apply yourself. While you might be able to have an internship or participate in work study programs during the summer, it’s important to put all of your focus on your studies during the school year.
Pass The CFA Exam
The Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) exam is the final step towards becoming a licensed financial analyst. While graduate school will largely prepare you to sit for the CFA exam, three months of additional studying is recommended if you want to receive a competitive score. While the exam is certainly challenging, if you focused on finance during your undergraduate and graduate education, you should be able to pass it the first time you sit for it.
If you follow this advice, you can become a financial analyst. You’ll enjoy a rewarding salary and an exciting career that’s never boring or dull.
David Milberg is a financial analyst in NYC with nearly 3 decades of experience in the finance industry. He is a long-time owner of Milberg Factors, a factoring and finance company with locations in New York, California, and North Carolina.