Excel is the foundation behind analyst jobs in finance, business, and marketing. It’s also a low-level useful tool for data analysts. Learning excel sets you up to head down any one of these career paths and there are even specific courses that show how each career uses Excel in their own specific ways.
Excel is necessary for positions in any of these fields, but on its own won’t get you the job. You will also need to learn the nuances of each industry, basic concepts for the industry of your choice, and soft skills in order to get a job.
Excel is the best analytical tool for roles in the finance industry. It has been the foundation of finance careers for over a decade now. It’s used financial analyses that inform investors’ decisions. Roles in finance –including Financial Analyst, Investment Banker, and Investment Analyst – will rely heavily on Excel daily.
Excel is also the first-choice tool for most Business Analysts. Business analysts often serve in a role that bridges the gap between the tech team and business stakeholders. They use Excel to analyze data to make business decisions, draw informed conclusions from those analyses, efficiently create reports, budget, and communicate their findings to both of the teams that they work with.
Excel is one of the most used tools for data analysis by marketers. Marketing teams use Excel to organize research and data for their campaigns, analyze the effectiveness of campaigns, forecast trends, and compile reports. Excel is an essential tool for jobs such as Marketing Analyst and Digital Analyst.
Excel plays a smaller role in data science jobs. While Excel was created to manage and manipulate data, it is often too small-scale to handle big data the way that professional Data Analysts require. It is, however, a great way to start understanding data, data analysis, data manipulation, functions, and efficiently transforming data.
Excel Career Options
Here are a few career paths for which you’ll likely need Excel skills in order to succeed. We also include additional info about their average salaries, their day-to-day responsibilities, and a link to learn more about each career.
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
Digital analysts work with a marketing team to analyze the effectiveness and reach of digital marketing campaigns. They use Google analytics and site tagging tools to harvest user data. This data is analyzed and interpreted to provide insights into how to improve the user experience and the effectiveness of the digital marketing campaign.Learn about becoming a Digital Analyst
A marketing analyst brings marketing expertise to companies and organizations to assist with their marketing initiatives. Depending on the type of role and company they are working for, the marketing analyst's job can vary in channels and the type of work. In some cases, the marketing analyst will be in charge of providing analytical support for a specific channel or set of marketing channels. The marketing analyst may also be involved in coming up with strategies, finding the right audiences, performing competitive analyses, and optimizing channels.Learn about becoming a Marketing Analyst
Data analysts review large amounts of data to summarize, analyze, and visualize it and provide insights. Working from data from multiple, relevant sources, they create and maintain databases, and use statistical techniques to analyze the collected data. Data analysts must be able to communicate with others about what the data shows and to be able to provide realistic recommendations based on their analysis. Many industries such as healthcare, advertising, and retail rely on the work of data analysts to inform their business decisions and strategy.Learn about becoming a Data Analyst
Business analysts use business, technology, and project management skills to analyze business problems and propose data-driven solutions. Grounded in technical expertise, business analysts perform risk analyses, manage project plans, and translate technical information such as diagrams and blueprints. Experienced business analysts can become business or project managers, which puts their professional expertise to work with the management of project deliverables and other people. Business analysts can put their skills to work across a variety of industries, companies, and job functions.Learn about becoming a Business 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