Career Woman

Your quick guide on how to become a financial analyst: key steps


This guide outlines how to become a financial analyst, taking you through the key steps to get on this career path.

Those in the finance industry are presented with a variety of opportunities for advancement, and many are enticed by the earnings and perks inherent to a career in this sector. Those with an interest in finance and analysis are often drawn to the role of financial analyst, and for good reason. With plenty of room for advancement and high starting salaries, this role is best suited to individuals that are skilled at strategy and coolheaded in high-pressure situations. Financial analysts are tasked with gathering financial data for organizations or individuals, then using that data to assess the risk of a given financial decision.

How to become a financial analyst: key steps

If you’re interested in a career in financial analysis, consider the path required for how to become a financial analyst with these steps.

Getting your degree

A bachelor’s degree is a requirement in how to become a financial analyst. While most pursue a finance degree, many finance professionals also have degrees in accounting, statistics, mathematics, and even engineering. After receiving their bachelor’s degrees, many in the competitive finance field go onto to pursue their master’s degree. Some attend traditional institutions, while others pursue an online master’s degree in finance.

As the market continues to saturate with professionals looking for employment, it’s important to do anything you can to maintain a competitive edge in how to become a financial analyst. Further education can mean better earnings, and the prestige related to master’s degrees can make you a standout to searching employers.

Consider your preferred market

One of the most advantageous facets of a career in financial analysis comes in the flexibility of industry. Have you always been interested in the technology related to the aerospace industry? They’ll need financial experts. Perhaps you’re interested in the ways that computer software is created and marketed; software companies are in constant pursuit of skilled financial strategists. Nearly every industry benefits from the help of financial analysis, and you can find job opportunities in a variety of markets.


For success in how to become a financial analyst, you’ll need to obtain licensure from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA. You may also choose to acquire your certification as a CFA from the CFA Institute. In order to become a Certified Financial Analyst, you’ll need to complete their strenuous program, which includes a three-part exam that can take the average candidate years to pass.

The three parts, Levels I, II, and III, must be sat individually. The first level is offered in June and December, while Levels II and III are only offered in June. It’s important to consider the timeline, as the CFA Institute recommends that candidates dedicate at least six months of study time to each portion of the exam. Most candidates must invest in review courses; the best CFA prep courses include mock exams, and taking these regularly can greatly improve your chances of passing.

Many begin their careers without this certification and use it as a working goal in how to become a financial analyst, and for good reason. Those with the CFA designation often command higher salaries and are in demand for a variety of employers and corporations in a wide array of markets and industries.

Finding employment

Looking for a job as a financial analyst isn’t always an easy task. Because the market is so competitive, landing an entry-level position can be a foreboding challenge. For some, the move into financial analysis comes laterally; they work as accountants, then make their foray into the field. For most, internships are a must, especially if you’re still in pursuit of your degree. Firsthand experience is essential, and the more connections you make during a finance internship, the better your employment opportunities will be.

What do you need to become a financial analyst?

Generally the professional track for how to become a financial analyst goes through experience in positions such as financial assistant, administrative assistant, and even receptionist. This means that before a professional takes the position of financial analyst, it is necessary to go through experiences in functions that have given him/her familiarity with the financial or administrative routines of a company. But this is just one of the requirements of the profession.

Before answering the question about what you need to be this professional, it is necessary to warn that the requirements for how to become a financial analyst positions vary from company to company. This means that there are opportunities that require some more specific knowledge, such as knowledge related to the company’s area of ​​activity. But generally, for how to become a financial analyst, you need to:

  • Have the profile of the profession;
  • Higher Education in any of the related areas;
  • Experience in the financial area;
  • Skills with Excel;
  • Have a good financial analyst resume;
  • Submit your resume for financial analyst positions.

What is the profile of a financial analyst?

First, to be a financial analyst you need to do a self-assessment and verify that you have the required profile for this profession. The daily lives of this professional include tasks such as:

Liking to deal with numbers;
Ease of dealing with deadlines;
Know how to work with spreadsheets;
Be an organized person;
Be analytical (a);
Like to work in a team;
Ease and knowledge with mathematical calculations;
Enjoying office work.

What kind of professional experience do I need to have?

The type of professional experience required for how to become a financial analyst varies according to the position. Some openings specify the experience required, such as experience with accounts payable and receivable or with certain software, while other positions will accept any type of experience that is in the financial area. Generally, recruiters can ask for experiences with:

  • Accounts Payable and Receivable
  • Controllership
  • Accounting
  • Revenues
  • Customer service
  • Negotiation with suppliers
  • Payments and issuance of invoices

How to make a financial analyst CV

After verifying your education and experience, the next step is to put together your resume and submit it to the vacancies. Remember: it ‘s no use being a highly qualified professional and having a poorly structured resume that doesn’t expose your skills with quality!
Because of this, we have separated some tips that you should take into account when putting together your financial analyst resume:

  • Group the information and organize them into personal data, professional purpose, academic background, professional experiences, courses and languages. This is the basic organizational structure of a CV!
  • Put the position “financial analyst” in the professional objective.
  • Describe in the “academic education” group the information related to your secondary education and higher education, and order this data in descending order, starting with your most recent education up to high school.
  • In the “Professional Experiences” group, emphasize the experiences you already have in the financial area. Write a description of the activities that exposes all the knowledge and experience you have with financial routines.
  • In your Professional Summary, write about your skills and experience with Excel.
  • And don’t forget: sincerity is paramount!


Understanding how to become a financial analyst means you will pursuing a career filled with wonderful opportunities for advancement and plenty of earnings potential. Consider if this profession is right for you and get started on your path today.

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