Looking to break into a career as a Financial Analyst? Learn how you can acquire the necessary skills and knowledge in as little as three months without a traditional four-year degree, by engaging in alternative learning formats such as online bootcamps and certificate programs.

Key Insights

  • Financial Analysts play a crucial role in organizations, performing tasks like studying market trends, examining financial statements, and creating financial models to predict future performance.
  • They often find employment in large corporations like insurance companies, investment banks, or government agencies, contributing significantly to their organization's budgeting initiatives and financial status reports.
  • While a bachelor's degree in economics or a related field is often required, it is possible to demonstrate necessary skills to employers through short bootcamps or certificate programs.
  • Continuous learning and experience are vital in the field, with most Financial Analysts continually updating their skills and conducting research throughout their careers.
  • Building a professional portfolio and making industry connections are crucial steps to securing a job as a Financial Analyst, along with completing projects and gaining industry experience.
  • Noble Desktop offers a Financial Analyst Training Program and Financial Modeling Bootcamp among other courses, providing hands-on learning experiences and expert instruction in finance and corporate concepts.

If you’re interested in becoming a Financial Analyst, you may have heard that it takes four or more years of education to land an entry-level position. While many employers seek candidates with a bachelor’s degree in economics or a related field as a prerequisite, there isn’t a standard requirement for all finance positions. While it can take many years to learn all the skills you’ll need to work in advanced financial analytics roles, you can become an amateur Financial Analyst in as little as three months with the proper training. Demonstrating to employers that you’ve acquired the necessary skills and knowledge can be achieved in a number of ways, such as enrolling in short bootcamps or certificate programs. Read on to learn more about how to get started as a Financial Analyst in just three months.

What is a Financial Analyst?

Financial Analysts study financial data and perform various research tasks to spot investment opportunities and analyze possible outcomes for business decisions. These professionals play an integral role in helping to create more informed investment strategies for their organization or its clients. To do so, Financial Analysts routinely perform tasks for their employer like studying current events and developments in the market, examining financial statements, and creating financial models that can anticipate future performance. They also may study macroeconomic trends or hone in on particular industries or sectors. Financial Analysts rely on their background in math, accounting, research, reporting, communication, critical thinking, and data analytics to perform these tasks.

Because of how valued they are by organizations, Financial Analysts often find employment with large corporations like insurance companies, security firms, investment banks, venture capital firms, or government agencies. They play an integral role in supporting an organization’s budgeting initiatives, as well as writing financial status reports and recommendations. Their process often involves steps such as collecting data, organizing information, performing data analysis on these numbers, providing projections or forecasts, offering recommendations, creating Excel models, presenting their findings to organizational stakeholders, and writing reports or dashboards to convey suggestions. Depending on their professional focus, Financial Analysts do extensive research on their organization’s buy-side and sell-side financial data. They often focus on either credit markets or equity markets.

Read more about what a Financial Analyst does.

Can You Really Become a Financial Analyst in Three Months?

No two careers are the same, and no two career paths are the same. While many employers require aspiring Financial Analysts to have a bachelor’s degree in economics or a related field, there are no hard-set rules or educational requirements across jobs. Instead, what’s important to securing an internship or entry-level Financial Analyst role is demonstrating to employers that you possess the necessary skills to contribute to their organization.

Because so many educational resources are currently available in the field of finance, you may be able to acquire these skills in other formats besides formal university training. Some learners may wish to work with online resources like live bootcamps, certificate programs, or self-paced videos. Others may attend in-person weekend courses in Excel, PowerPoint, or SQL to learn how to work with these core apps and languages. What’s more important than the duration of your studies is the skills you take from the learning process.

While it may be possible to work in a junior financial role within an organization with just a few months of training, it will take much longer to build on your skill set. Most Financial Analysts continually learn new skills, perform research and continue their craft over a lifetime of work. Like any other job, the more experience you gain, the more you will learn and be able to contribute.

Do I Need a Degree to Become a Financial Analyst?

Although it’s not required by all employers, a bachelor’s degree is often seen as the first step to pursuing a career as a Financial Analyst. While there are many ways to develop the skill set needed to become a Financial Analyst, earning a bachelor of science in accounting management or finance is a common path toward entry-level positions in this field. Some individuals also choose to study statistics, business management, economics, or math. The training provided during an undergraduate study with core skills like finance principles and investment or portfolio management will likely make it easier to perform as an Intern or Junior-Level Financial Analyst. Some undergraduate and graduate programs even offer concentrations in financial analysis. These programs provide hands-on lab instruction and internship opportunities in business statistics, corporate finance, investment management, economics, accounting, risk management, professional ethics, and financial reporting.

Not only will a bachelor’s help you get a job in finance, but it also can lead to higher pay. In 2020, those with a bachelor’s earned $19,000 more a year than those with an associate degree and about $27,000 more than those with a GED or high school diploma.

In addition to education, many Financial Analyst positions also seek candidates who have completed additional licenses or certifications. For example, those who wish to sell financial products typically need a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) license. Some organizations look specifically for Certified Public Accountants or Certified Financial Planners, both of which require certification.

Read more about if you need a degree to become a Financial Analyst.

Steps to Become a Financial Analyst in Three Months

If you are interested in working as a Financial Analyst, many career paths can take you to this goal. While it can take some people years to pursue a career in finance, others can achieve their professional goals much faster. There are both hard and soft skills you’ll need to acquire as you go, and certain training options and educational resources available to help you succeed in this field. The following paragraphs will provide information on how to acquire these skills to become a Financial Analyst in just three months.

Determine Your Path

Finance is a broad field that extends beyond financial analytics. If you’re considering it as a possible career option, you may want to select a path early on in your studies that will help you reach this goal. Financial Analysts may work for regional or local banks, real estate investment brokerages, data-driven organizations, or insurance companies. Options are available in all industries where decisions are made about how best to spend money. In addition, other career options in finance can also make excellent careers. Maybe you want to explore options like becoming a Securities Trader, Actuary, Financial Planner, Portfolio Manager, or Quantitative Analyst. The more specific you can be about the field of finance you wish to explore, the easier it will be to design a plan to help you reach your goals.

If you’re still unsure which finance-related career path is right, Noble Desktop has free videos and articles on finance that can help you learn more. For those who want to study the basics of investing in the stock market, Noble’s Intro to Stock Market Investing has an hour of video content on core investing topics like pricing stocks and bonds, the capital gains tax, and the risk-reward principle, among others. Noble also offers several short YouTube videos to help beginners learn financial modeling. Each recording is just a few minutes long and provides insights into topics like Interest Rates and the Fed, Foreign Exchange, and Understanding Terminal Value

Learn About Finance and Financial Analytics

Most employers require Financial Analysts to have a bachelor’s degree in finance or a closely related skill. Some aspiring Financial Analysts elect to earn a bachelor of science in finance or accounting management, and others may opt to study economics, business management, statistics, or math. If you want to become a Financial Analyst in just three months, you’ll need to demonstrate to employers that you’ve learned core finance skills like financial literacy, working with databases, portfolio management, and creating Excel spreadsheets to organize data findings. 

Some individuals elect to study financial analytics in other learning formats besides undergraduate or graduate coursework. In-person and live online certificates and bootcamps are available from many top educational providers, such as Noble Desktop, Coursera, and Udemy. These courses provide expert instruction from those with real-world training in finance. Learning options such as these provide the added benefit of being much shorter in duration than traditional college study. Most span several weeks or months and teach relevant financial analytics skills and tools. Courses such as these make it possible to learn a range of financial analytics topics in just a few months.

In addition, for aspiring learners, over 100 free financial modeling tutorials are also available on Noble Desktop’s Training Resources & Articles page. Those who want to study finance or financial modeling can research topics like the stock exchange, a liquid market, and stock movements, among others. 

Next Steps

Once you’ve learned the basic hard and soft skills required to become a Financial Analyst, completed projects demonstrating your knowledge, and researched this profession, it’s time to take additional steps. Compiling a professional portfolio and networking with others are also important aspects that can help you get a job as a Financial Analyst:

Build a Professional Portfolio

A strong professional portfolio is essential to your job application materials in financial analytics. The materials you include in a portfolio, as well as how they’re presented, tell the story of your professional experience and educational background. The more effective the story, the more likely you’ll be to gain the attention of an employer. Although the type of portfolio you make will depend on the job you’re applying for, most financial analytics portfolios include elements like a resume, transcripts, certificates or licenses, proof of skills, letters of recommendation, and visual elements that illustrate ay training you’ve received, such as overviews or reports from projects you’ve managed.

Professional portfolios are a great way to highlight examples of your best work in a way that communicates to employers how you can contribute to their organization. They provide a creative, engaging way to display your financial skills, training, and achievements, in addition to your ability to present them in a professional manner. This is why those with a solid financial analytics portfolio stand apart from other applicants with similar credentials. A portfolio is a great way to demonstrate the impact of the work you’ve completed, the lessons you’ve learned from these projects, and any relevant outcomes achieved due to your efforts.

Make Industry Connections

As you complete your education and gain industry experience in financial analytics, you are likely to encounter others on similar career paths. The more connections you can make with those working in finance, the easier it will be for you to learn about new job postings, find solutions to complicated financial problems, and stay current on financial news. Networking can take a variety of forms. It sometimes entails connecting with students in workshops or bootcamps. It may involve reaching out to coworkers, former professors, or team leaders. It also might involve attending social events like happy hours where Financial Analysts are in attendance.

Networking doesn’t only happen at in-person events. Another way to make industry connections in financial analytics is to explore online resources. Blogs like Financial Mentor and The Reformed Broker provide Financial Analysts with resources on finance and related topics, such as politics, market trends, and economics. These resources also provide a way to learn about job opportunities, connect with other financial professionals, and stay current on industry trends. Financial Analyst Insider is another useful resource for aspiring professionals in accounting or finance. This site was designed to help with career advancement and cost savings. Content is available on budgeting, cryptocurrency, investing, and loans.

Complete Projects

An essential step in your journey to becoming a Financial Analyst is to complete projects. Working on a team with other professionals is a great way to demonstrate soft skills like collaboration, clear communication, time management, and prioritizing. Project work serves several goals; it helps your organization achieve its financial and budgeting goals while also providing you with samples to include in your professional portfolio.

Begin Searching for Jobs

After you’ve studied financial analytics, made industry connections, assembled a professional portfolio, and chosen which career path is most suited to your professional goals in finance, it’s time to begin the job search. 

Resources like Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Ziprecruiter have helped many people in the U.S. and around the world find competitive Financial Analyst jobs. You may also want to consult sites likeGoogle Jobs, Financial Jobs Web, eFinancial Careers, Association for Financial Professionals, or CPA Career Center for more job postings specifically intended for those with a background in finance. It’s important to remember that the job application process requires time and persistence. That’s why it’s essential to be patient when applying for jobs.

Learn the Skills to Become a Financial Analyst at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop, an educational provider located in New York City, offers a range of classes devoted to financial modeling and analysis. Financial Modeling Bootcamp is a hands-on, 18-hour course that teaches students fundamental financial concepts, such as corporate valuation, accounting, and finance. Participants in this small class create their own discounted cash flow using Microsoft Excel. Over three days, expert instructors also help students develop a comprehensive financial model for an actual company. As a prerequisite to this bootcamp, students should have intermediate Excel proficiency.

Noble also has a Financial Analyst Training Program that provides expert instruction on timely corporate and financial concepts, such as making a full valuation model. Those enrolled in this intensive program receive instruction on fundamental Excel skills, such as using shortcuts and PivotTables. Advanced Excel techniques are also covered in this 30-hour program, like Goal Seek and cash flow projection tools. All learners also receive instruction on creating a three-statement financial model for a public restaurant company.

In addition to the Financial Modeling Bootcamp and Financial Analyst Training Program, Noble Desktop also has in-person and live online financial modeling training courses. The

Excel Bootcamp offers 18 hours of instruction on core business Excel skills like working with VLOOKUP, INDEX, MATCH, and What-If Analysis for Goal Seek. FinTech courses are also available, like Algorithmic Trading with Python, Python for Data Science Bootcamp, and FinTech Bootcamp. This course provides students with hands-on training from expert instructors in FinTech skills like working with Python and SQL for data analysis, creating machine learning models, and working with different data types like integers, floats, and strings. All students have the option of a free course retake for up to one year, as well as one-on-one mentoring.