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A Research Analyst researches, analyzes, and interprets data on markets, operations, finance, economics, and customers in their industry. They can find work in nearly any industry but are found at the highest concentration in the financial services sector. They are most commonly hired by insurance companies, banks, finance firms, governments, health care providers, pharmaceutical companies, marketing agencies, and manufacturing companies.
Most Research Analysts choose to specialize in things like market research, operations, economic, financial, or equity, but there are other specializations as well. They can find full-time work onsite or remotely. Each Research Analyst position will have different responsibilities related to their industry, but most Research Analysts perform tasks such as analyzing results and performing variance analyses, identifying and analyzing trends, making recommendations for improvements, forecasting trends, identifying process improvements and reporting systems, using excel to organize and analyze data, and creating data visualizations for presentations.
First and foremost, Research Analysts need to be able to research and analyze data that they must effectively communicate with their managers. They will need to be strong communicators on paper and in-person. They should be proficient with data modeling and data visualization. They must be experts in Excel and other Microsoft Office programs, such as Outlook and Powerpoint. A Research Analyst will need to take large amounts of information and distill it into digestible key takeaways for their supervisors.
Every industry and specialization is different and Research Analysts must work in their own time to get to know their industry on an expert level. Industry etiquette plays a big factor in landing and keeping a job as a Research Analyst, especially at finance and pharmaceutical companies. Curiosity is essential for a Research Analyst. They should be organized and they’ll need to pay close attention to detail in everything from spreadsheets to emails.
Financial modeling is the use of a tool built into Excel to forecast the future financial performance of a business. These predictions are based on the historical performance of a company, and inferences of the future.
Accounting involves processing, measuring, and communicating financial information about businesses. Accounting often uses software like QuickBooks, Excel, and other office communication tools.
Finance involves the management, study, and creation of money and investments. Finance dictates how a company, individual, or governing power acquires necessary capital. Finance typical uses tools like Quickbooks, Oracle, and Excel.
Investing is allocating money with the expectation of a future benefit. Benefits accrued through investment are called returns.
A Research Analyst in the United States makes, on average, $85,844 annually, according to Indeed.com.
Salaries for Research Analysts vary by region within the the United States. Listed below are some Research Analyst salaries for specific areas with the United States compared with the average national salary:
Most Research Analyst positions require a two- or four-year degree in math or finance. They can also obtain a professional certification like the Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA) certification or a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification to get a leg up on the competition. An MBA is the most efficient way to get your foot in the door if you have no experience, or studied in an unrelated field.
Each industry has its own job boards, depending on your specialization and interests you should seek out industry-specific job boards for more efficient job search. We’ve listed the most helpful job boards here. There are some freelance opportunities for Research Analysts specializing in market research but not for many other focuses.
Research Analysts can find jobs on these sites:
Research Analysts can find remote and freelance jobs on these sites:
Research Analysts might find the job search competitive, but they can try utilizing LinkedIn to get started. Use their job search function to find open positions within your specialization and then see if you have any first, second, or third level connections with someone at that company. You can connect with people at that company and other Research Analysts and ask questions such as what their job entails, how they like the company they’re working for, what the company culture is like there, and if they know anything about the interview process. Making genuine connections can boost your application and help you get insider information to prepare better for your interview.
Job titles for Research Analysts usually involve the exact phrase “Research Analyst” but might also specify the industry or specialty of the Analyst within the title. Research Analysts can look for higher pay grades in the financial and marketing sectors.
Research Analysts can look for these job titles:
Research Analysts who want to pivot into a more lucrative career could try to land a job as an Investment Analyst. Investment Analysts evaluate financial and investment informationwhile Research Analysts research, analyze, and interpret data. Similarly, Research Analysts could pivot their careers into the more rewarding career of a Financial Analyst, which is easier to secure than an Investment Analyst. Financial Analysts communicate with CEOs, CFOs, and other executives.
Generally, Investment Bankers advise and aid in merging, acquiring, and investing in capital markets and is a role that a Research Analyst could secure if they became an Investment Analyst. While Private Equity Associate is a competitive line of work, Research Analysts could attempt to get on this career path. Private Equity Associates work on a project start-to-finish, analyzing and monitoring data, looking for potential investment opportunities for their firm, and raising capital from outside investors.
Most of these roles require bachelor’s degrees in finance, math, statistics, economics, or accounting, depending. It would be worth obtaining a Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA) certification or a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification to elevate your chances at success.
Financial Analysts make the least in Finance roles, while Research Analysts and Investment Analysts are comparable promotions, and Private Equity Associates are at the top of the Financial hierarchy, breaking into six-digit salaries and seeing a significant surge in rates recently.
Financial analysts use their business, finance, or accounting background to analyze data and make recommendations for investments. They study past, present, and future business and economic trends to provide data-driven insights for business decision-making. Financial analysts take on roles as fund managers, portfolio managers, investment advisors, and risk analysts. Many earn additional credentials in the field, such as Certified Public Accountant or Project Management Professional certifications.Learn about becoming a Financial Analyst
Investment bankers are financial advisors for corporations. These professionals help clients with mergers and acquisitions and advise on investments in capital markets. Companies looking to make capital investments or to expand operations may turn to an investment banker to help locate and acquire capital. Investment bankers have nearly limitless earning potential, as they are compensated for the value they provide.Learn about becoming a Investment Banker
Investment analysts are experts in analyzing financial and investment information and using it to make recommendations. Buy-side investment analysts help mutual fund managers target investment opportunities, and sell-side analysts work with investment banks. Using their deep expertise in stock, bonds, commodities, and currencies, these financial professionals continuously analyze trends to forecast performance. Experienced analysts can become certified as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).Learn about becoming a Investment Analyst
Private Equity Associates are responsible for leading deal processes from beginning to end. They work with private equity firms to analyze and monitor data, look for potential investment opportunities for their firm, and raise capital from outside investors.Learn about becoming a Private Equity Associate