Explore the path to becoming a Financial Analyst, including educational requirements, necessary skills, and professional experience. Understand how Noble Desktop’s training programs can equip you with the knowledge and tools needed for a successful career in financial analytics.

Key Insights

  • A bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, business management, or a related field is often the first step towards becoming a Financial Analyst, though not all employers require this level of education.
  • Financial Analysts need a range of skills including strong understanding of core financial principles and software, data analytics, clear communication, strategic thinking, and problem-solving capabilities.
  • Real-world training, like internships, is an integral part of a Financial Analyst's career development, providing valuable experience and insights into the field.
  • A professional portfolio showcasing your best work can help distinguish you from other job candidates and increase your chances of landing a job in financial analytics.
  • A well-organized and detailed resume, along with an up-to-date and professional LinkedIn profile, are crucial for finding job opportunities as a Financial Analyst.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive training programs, including a Financial Modeling Bootcamp and a Financial Analyst Training Program, that equip students with the necessary skills for a career in financial analytics.

If you’re considering a career in financial analytics, you may wonder what the requirements are for this field of work. Although the skills and tools you’ll need will likely depend on the specific requirements of the job, there are some common requirements across industries in finance you’ll need to have. Read on to learn more about what it takes to become a Financial Analyst.

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.


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.


The amount of experience needed to become a Financial Analyst will depend on the position you’re applying for, as well as the industry in which you wish to work. Most people begin gaining real-world finance training with an internship shortly after graduating from a bachelor’s program. Some individuals consider internship training to be an essential step toward becoming a Financial Analyst. It’s common for large firms to have internship programs that allow aspiring Analysts to work in different departments. This is a great way for them to see what areas they are most drawn toward, where they have the most talent, and which skills they still need to acquire to advance professionally. 

In addition to internships, some people who recently graduated with a bachelor of science in finance or a related field may wish to apply for entry-level Financial Analyst positions. Positions are available in a variety of specialization areas. Some graduates may choose to pursue junior-level positions at brokerages or banks, whereas others may wish to work for corporations or large firms. Some aspiring Financial Analysts may explore roles in pension management companies, rating agencies, or even small private companies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics notes that most Financial Analysts are employed with insurance carriers, financial investments, securities, credit intermediation, or professional, scientific, and technical services. Acquiring at least two to four years of training in internships or junior-level finance positions is a great way to learn the skills needed to pursue more senior job positions.


Although the specific skills you’ll need for financial analysis will likely depend on your industry focus and the requirements of your employer, some skills are common across financial industries and professions. The following are some of the most commonly sought-after hard and soft skills Financial Analysts need:

Read more about what skills you need to become a Financial Analyst.


Creating a professional portfolio in finance can play an essential role in helping you to stand out from other candidates in the job application pool. A strong portfolio is an opportunity to show off a select sample of your best work and use it to tell a story to employers about how your prior training would benefit their organization. The kind of portfolio you make will depend on the job you’d be interested in pursuing. Generally speaking, a strong financial analytics portfolio will contain a range of professional and educational samples, such as transcripts, your resume, proof of skills, certificates, work samples, and visual components like project overviews or details about relevant projects you’ve been involved with or managed. 

Everything you choose to include in your portfolio should serve a specific purpose, which is telling the story about why your particular financial skill set, educational background, and work experience would be a good match for the job at hand. Taking the time to arrange these materials in a visually engaging way that tells a larger story can distinguish you from other job candidates who may have similar qualifications. The goal of a financial analytics portfolio is to show employers the work you’ve done, how it’s impacted the organization, the lessons you’ve learned from this experience, and the outcomes the organization was able to achieve from your efforts.

Resume & LinkedIn Profile

When searching for a job as a Financial Analyst, having a strong resume and an up-to-date LinkedIn profile can help your employment prospects. Your resume should provide a brief (1-2 page) overview of your educational background, most relevant work experience, and any skills or credentials you’ve acquired. Information such as certifications, programming languages, software skills, and training with industry-standard applications like Excel are also important to include. Formatting your resume in a clear and clean manner with a consistent, readable font such as Times New Roman can help audience members absorb the content. 

When writing about past job experience, make sure to highlight the skills most relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you have experience at your current employer in which you managed a team that helped your organization finalize its budget, or if your advanced Excel skills played an important role in the data analytics process, highlight these experiences using active resume verbs. Details such as these will likely gain the attention of employers interested in finding candidates to perform similar roles within their organization.

If you’re interested in learning how to create a resume that will get the attention of employers, Noble Desktop offers Financial Analyst resume tips.

In addition to a succinct and engaging resume, another factor that can help you get a job is maintaining an up-to-date and professional LinkedIn page. Over 800 million people in 200 countries use LinkedIn to make professional connections, apply for jobs, and list job openings. Not only is LinkedIn a rich resource for employment-related information and connections, but this platform expanded in 2015 to include LinkedIn learning. Those who use this service can receive industry-specific training, a credential that then appears in their profile. 

Having a current LinkedIn profile is a great way to connect with others in financial analytics, as well as to apply for jobs. The following are some tips to help you create an effective LinkedIn profile:

For those who want to learn more about how to use LinkedIn to find a job in finance, Noble’s LinkedIn tips is a great resource that can help you get a job.


On your financial analytics resume, you may wish to include a section in which you list two or three references. When deciding whom to include, you will want to select those who can speak specifically and positively about your work ethic. Although these individuals don’t need to be Financial Analysts, it is helpful if they have a background in finance, which can help situate their discussion about your skills and expertise. You may wish to include supervisors, colleagues, former professors, or others who can speak at length about your work and how it made a larger impact. 

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