Starting a career as a Financial Analyst can be a rewarding journey with the right qualifications and opportunities. There are various career paths, such as junior, mid-level, and senior roles, or even freelancing, with each having their own specific requirements and responsibilities.

Key Insights

  • While not always required, a bachelor's degree is often seen as the first step towards a career as a Financial Analyst. Graduates usually earn significantly more than those with an associate degree or a high school diploma.
  • Real-world training and job experience are crucial for success in this field. Internships in financial analytics provide a good starting point for understanding the field and learning core skills.
  • Entry-level Financial Analyst positions usually require a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, or a field related to math. Applicants generally need to have strong analytical skills and knowledge of current business and financial environments.
  • Mid-level Financial Analyst positions often require at least three years of experience or a master's degree and one year of work experience. These roles come with more responsibility and an average salary of $81,000 per year.
  • Freelancing as a Financial Analyst offers flexibility and control over work hours, projects, and pay rates. It requires self-motivation and detailed record-keeping.
  • Noble Desktop, an educational provider located in New York City, offers classes devoted to financial modeling and analysis, providing hands-on training and expert instruction.

If you’re considering pursuing a career as a Financial Analyst, you may wonder about the steps you’ll need to take to achieve this goal. If you already work in finance, you may also be curious about what you can do to grow in your current role. Pursuing a career in financial analytics can be an extremely rewarding experience in terms of the contribution you can make to an organization, as well as the salary you can earn with the right qualifications. Financial Analysts are employed by organizations of all sizes and types and work in a range of industries. This article will take a closer look at the path you may take to become a Financial Analyst and what you can do to grow your career along the way.

Getting Started

For those new to financial analytics, you may be curious about how to get started. A great way to learn more about the field of finance is to do some preliminary research. You can read about financial analytics and financial modeling. You may also explore video resources like YouTube channels, which provide information on the field of financial analytics, as well as the specific skills you’ll need to work as a Financial Analyst. Before committing to bootcamps or certificates in this field, which can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, you might choose to attend free information sessions or classes at local colleges and libraries. If you know someone who works as a Financial Analyst, interviewing them can also provide you with valuable information about what their job entails, their overall satisfaction, and the specific training their position requires. It’s a good idea to consult with a range of professionals to understand how financial analytics positions differ from Junior Analyst roles to more advanced positions like CFO.

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 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.


Gaining job experience and real-world training is essential to becoming a successful Financial Analyst. A great starting point in your professional journey is to consider applying for internships. Those who intern in this field can learn about the various financial services a firm or bank offers. These temporary positions allow those just starting out in financial analytics to learn core skills that have applications for financial analytics, such as collecting data, creating financial models, researching trends, evaluating performance impact, writing reports, documenting and implementing strategic plans, and forecasting results.

Some internships are available as paid positions, whereas others are volunteer roles. For those currently enrolled in college or university study, or graduates who have recently graduated with their bachelor’s degree, internships are an important first step toward becoming a Financial Analyst. Often, internships provide a chance for those new to finance to explore different departments, teams, or projects within their organization. Interns may work with a sales team in marketing, help with customer service tasks, evaluate competitors, or study operating expenses. They might also learn about cost procurement and planning, internal audits, and financing product development.

If you want to explore internships in financial analytics, over three-quarters of applicants have a bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite, and 16% already hold master’s degrees. Because of how competitive these positions are, it can be very difficult to secure an internship without a college degree.

Entry-Level Financial Analyst Jobs

In addition to internships in financial analytics, you may want to explore entry-level positions in this field. Entry-level Financial Analysts perform a range of tasks for their organization, such as compiling income statement forecasts and budgets into reports and analyzing business data to offer insights into strengthening overall financial health. Junior Financial Analysts also aid with tasks like studying stocks and investments to see how the organization could better optimize its assets or investigate ways to reduce operating costs.

Most Entry-Level Financial Analyst positions ask that applicants have certain skills and experience. A bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or a field related to math is a common requirement for these positions. In addition, applicants typically need to know how to work with spreadsheets, databases, statistical analysis, and statistical packages. Strong analytical skills, as well as knowledge of current business and financial environments, are also important for Junior-Level Financial Analysts.

Mid-Level Financial Analyst Jobs

After you’ve worked as a Junior-Level Financial Analyst, you may want to explore mid-level positions within your organization or for another company. Many of the tasks you’ll be expected to do in mid-level financial analytics positions are similar to entry-level roles but with more responsibility. These professionals may work with manufacturing, financial forecasting, performance reporting, or research tasks. They may also communicate directly with Senior Financial Analysts and others within their organization to work on budgeting and investing-related tasks.

Mid-level Financial Analysts make an average salary of $81,000 a year. If you’re interested in applying for a mid-level position in financial analytics, you’ll likely be expected to have the same minimum requirements as Junior Financial Analysts. In addition, you may be expected to have three or more years of real-world experience or a master’s degree and one year of work experience.

Senior Financial Analyst Jobs

Once you’ve worked as a Junior Financial Analyst or Mid-Level Financial Analyst, you may want to climb the corporate ladder and explore Senior Financial Analyst positions. Senior Financial Analysts help design and test complex automated and manual processes and accounting systems. They also test and implement these systems and processes. Although the tasks these professionals perform vary depending on their organization’s needs and industry of focus, they generally create financial models using process analysis and benchmarking, make cost projections, evaluate and report on the organization’s current financial standing, and forecast profits quarterly and annually. In addition, they perform research on historical financial information, consider various investment options, and examine risks and opportunities.

Another Path: Freelancing

Freelancing as a Financial Analyst is another job option some people wish to pursue. Unlike Junior, Mid-Level, and Senior Financial Analyst roles, which require you to work in person in a bank, firm, or other organization, freelance jobs can often be completed remotely. Third-party Analysts have the flexibility of providing their organization with financial guidance from any location. This career path is ideal for self-motivated individuals who enjoy being in control of the number of hours they work a week, the projects they’re involved with, and their pay rate. Freelance jobs aren’t for everyone; they require self-motivation, detailed record-keeping, and reaching out to employers to find new projects. If you are a person who thrives working in a freelance capacity, many freelance jobs are available in finance. You may consider applying as a Freelance Financial Planner, Accountant, Financial Writer, or Analyst.

How Do I Find A Financial Analyst Job?

If you’re interested in a job as a Financial Analyst, you may be wondering how to break into this field. Although there is no one “right” job path toward a career in finance, most individuals begin their journey by earning a bachelor’s degree. This typically involves completing courses in statistics, economics, and other fields relevant to financial analysis. Some individuals select more targeted degrees, such as a bachelor of science in finance. 

After completing undergraduate study, some individuals apply for entry-level positions at banking firms or work with accounting or investments. Some may consider earning Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credentials, which are available from the CFA Institute, which can lead to job opportunities with higher pay or career advancement options. Others opt to seek industry-relevant certifications or licensing before applying for jobs.

On-the-job experience plays a crucial role in becoming a successful Financial Analyst. Most who pursue this career path begin as interns or Junior-Level Financial Analysts, then work their way up to more senior roles. Those with hands-on training in accounting, finance, or economics have an advantage over other job candidates who lack real-world experience. Another option many consider to pursue their ideal finance job is earning a master’s degree in accounting or an MBA. This provides additional training in advanced financial reporting, auditing, strategic analysis, and managerial methods. Resources such as and have helped many people find competitive Financial Analyst positions.

Creating a strong portfolio is another important factor in helping you land a job as a Financial Analyst. Professional portfolios provide a way to showcase a selection of your best work to share with potential employers. Although the type of portfolio you will create will vary depending on the specific job to which you’re applying, most portfolios include work samples, transcripts, certificates, proof of skills, and visual elements that illustrate your training, such as project overviews or details about projects you’ve contributed to or managed. Your resume, as well as letters of recommendation, also are commonly included in portfolios. A strong Financial Analyst portfolio can help set you apart from other candidates who seem equally qualified in terms of credentials. They provide an engaging and creative way to demonstrate that you have financial skills and have taken the time to arrange them professionally. A strong portfolio not only shows employers the impact of the work you’ve done but also what lessons you take away from this work, as well as the significant outcomes for your organization that occurred from your efforts.

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.

Key Takeaways