Are Financial Modeling Bootcamps Worth It?

Discover the high-demand skill of financial modeling, a crucial tool in evaluating an organization's financial performance and forecasting future outcomes. Learn this valuable skill through various options including bootcamp courses, further aiding your current job performance or a new career path in finance.

Key Insights

  • Financial modeling is a critical business tool used for evaluating an organization's financial performance and predicting future outcomes, commonly used in investment banking.
  • Anyone looking to establish a career in finance or improve their job performance can learn financial modeling through a bootcamp course or class.
  • In 2022, almost 59,000 people in the U.S. graduated from tech bootcamps, proving the rising popularity of this learning format.
  • Both in-person and online bootcamps provide hands-on training, real-world experience, and valuable skills in financial modeling within an accelerated timeframe.
  • Financial modeling skills can lead to various career opportunities, including business decision analysis, company performance evaluation, investment evaluation, and budget organization.
  • Noble Desktop offers a range of financial modeling courses and bootcamps, in both in-person and online formats, to help learners master this high-demand skill efficiently and effectively.

Financial modeling is a process in which an organization’s or a project’s financial performance is evaluated based on important factors like risk and growth assumptions. Financial models are spreadsheets that are created in Excel that are used to forecast future financial performance. This financial analytics skill is in demand by many employers. It draws from a range of skills, such as business, finance, and accounting, to make predictions about future performance based on how a project or organization has performed historically. Those who prepare financial models create documents like balance sheets, supporting schedules, income statements, and cash flow statements. A financial model aims to provide a concise overview of the different factors involved in creating a sound financial forecast. A financial model is either created using an existing model with new data incorporated or designed from scratch. These models are commonly used in investment banking to predict how a company may perform financially in the future by providing relevant assumptions about variables like the estimated cash flow a project is expected to produce over a five or ten-year period.

Financial modeling is a useful skill. However, training in a range of finance-related tools and skills is needed to create a sound model. Bootcamp study can provide learners with the financial modeling background necessary to perform more effectively at their current job or to consider a new finance-related career path. Bootcamps remain an extremely popular study option. In 2022, nearly 59,000 people in the US graduated from tech bootcamps. These programs are available in-person and online, as well as in the part-time and full-time formats, which provides learners with a range of hands-on training options to study this useful skill.

What is Financial Modeling?

Financial modeling is the process of evaluating a company’s past performance to predict the likelihood of various financial outcomes. Those who create financial models rely on financial forecasts to do so. The assumptions in a forecast are played out using the organization’s financial statements to predict how various statements may look in the future. Since these models are based on financial statements, they are typically generated monthly, quarterly, or yearly. It’s common for financial models to be constructed using manual data entry in an Excel spreadsheet. 

Read more about what financial modeling is and why you should learn it

What Can You Do With Financial Modeling?

Financial modeling provides a way to perform a detailed analysis of all possible financial outcomes of a business decision. It helps an organization budget for the future and analyze the company’s performance against goals and targets, as well as determine the organization’s current value. Financial models allow individuals to compare one company’s performance against its competitors. These models can analyze financial statements, ratios, and capital structure, as well as estimate financial metrics for new projects. They can help professionals estimate a company’s projected growth, organize its budget, evaluate investments, decide between acquisition or merger, and determine which projects to prioritize.

Why Learn Financial Modeling in a Bootcamp or Class?

Financial models are valuable tools that provide insights into how a business has performed in the past, is currently performing, and how it is expected to perform in the future. These models can be integral to a company’s financial identity and inform its decision-making process. They are vital for business planning. Those with the skills to create accurate financial models contribute to their organization’s ongoing financial success. Bootcamp study provides a great opportunity to fully master this skill set. 

Bootcamp study provides students with real-world experience creating financial models. In the small class setting, participants receive instruction from an expert on a range of topics, such as working with various accounting and finance concepts and using Excel to create a discounted cash flow model. One of the benefits of bootcamp study is that they don’t require months or years of study. Most programs require a commitment of 20 or so hours of classroom time. Participants can choose whether to complete their coursework in several full-day sessions or space it out over a few weeks of part-time study. Bootcamp study is available in the live online format and in person. Both provide real-time access to a live instructor, allowing students to ask questions and receive immediate guidance.

This accelerated learning format offers more than class instruction; many financial modeling bootcamps also offer career support services, such as help with professional portfolios, job search advice, or resume reviews. Tuition for financial modeling bootcamp study is usually several hundred to several thousand dollars. This fee often includes other perks such as the option of a free course retake for up to a year to brush up on the material covered, access to online tutorials or other training materials following the completion of the course, and a certificate of completion that can be included on your resume.

Bootcamps Compared to College

You may wonder if it’s more effective to study financial modeling in a bootcamp or to acquire knowledge of this process through college study. Those who enroll in a four-year college or university program have committed to spending this full-time acquiring a range of skills. Most schools require that participants complete general education coursework to graduate, such as classes in history, English, or science. Gen-ed coursework is usually unrelated to financial modeling or the field of finance but can take up a good portion of study time. In addition, most universities do not offer a major in financial modeling. Instead, students would major in finance, accounting, or a related field. This means that even within their own major, some coursework would be unrelated to creating financial models. While this learning approach can help students become well-rounded learners, it isn’t for everyone.

Bootcamp study doesn’t take four years to complete. Depending on whether you choose to take a financial modeling bootcamp on a part-time or full-time basis, it only requires several days or weeks of time. This means that the finance training you receive can immediately be applied to your current job. Bootcamp study is available in-person and in the live online format. This allows students interested in learning to create financial models to do so remotely if needed. 

Cost is another important consideration when selecting a training format. The average cost of college study is over $35,000 a year. Private universities cost significantly more and require the average student to pay nearly $55,000 annually. This cost may be prohibitive for some learners and can require $220,000 for four-year study. This figure can get as high as half a million dollars when student loan interest is added. Bootcamps, on the other hand, are much more affordable. Some financial modeling bootcamp programs are available for less than $1,000. This means that students can learn this skill and even opt to take other related coursework in finance or accounting and still spend a fraction of what they would in college. 

Bootcamps Compared to Self-Paced Courses

If you’re committed to learning financial modeling, you may wonder if studying through a bootcamp or enrolling in a self-paced class is more effective. Both learning platforms have their own benefits.

Self-paced coursework is pre-recorded. This means that those interested in learning how to create financial models learn to do so through lectures an instructor recorded at an earlier time and posted online. Asynchronous training material can take many formats. Some courses are offered that focus specifically on creating financial models. Others teach a specific form of modeling, such as creating financial models for startups and small businesses. These courses range in length from an hour or two to a dozen or more hours. Other self-paced learning materials are shorter. YouTube videos, for example, can be watched in just a few minutes and often teach just one modeling skill, such as forecasting profit or loss.

Bootcamps are generally taught synchronously. A live instructor teaches students a range of finance skills and provides hands-on training and real-world examples. This learning format provides extroverted learners with a way to connect with others who are studying, which can be a valuable opportunity to network. Additionally, students are encouraged to ask questions and actively participate and can receive immediate clarification or support. Those studying in the live online format can even share their screen with the instructor (with permission) for additional clarification. Although live bootcamps require attending class on a regularly scheduled day and time, they provide a supportive learning environment in which students can form connections with others while simultaneously studying financial modeling.

One of the benefits of self-paced financial modeling training is that it doesn’t require attending regularly scheduled classes. This flexible learning format can be completed from any location with internet access. Students can study any time or day. They also can dictate the speed at which they study. Whereas bootcamps take place in real-time and require that students complete lessons at the instructor’s pace, asynchronous content allows students to pace their learning as they see fit. This may mean spending more time on a particularly challenging concept, rewinding a video, or repeating an entire lesson.

In terms of cost, self-paced content is often cheaper than live coursework. Some material is available through a platform subscription, whereas other content can be purchased as a standalone class. Coursework is available asynchronously for less than $100. Some educators even provide free self-paced material to help students learn basic financial modeling skills. Bootcamp study can cost a thousand dollars or more. With this cost comes additional perks; some providers offer incentives like career counseling or the option of a free course retake for up to a year for bootcamp participants.

Because so much self-paced content is posted online, it can be difficult to ensure that you select the most current. This is why it’s a good idea to research the educational provider before enrolling in their class to make sure they’re reputable and offer up-to-date information. It also may be challenging to fully master financial modeling through asynchronous material. The financial modeling process is complex and involved; it can require intensive instruction to fully grasp it. No instructor is available to field questions when studying asynchronously. For this reason, self-paced content can help learners to get started with this skill. However, to truly master the process behind creating sound financial models, more intensive and structured learning may be required, such as that which is provided through an in-person bootcamp.

Bootcamps Compared to Free Training Options

Another option for learning to create financial models is to study this process using free online training material. Unlike bootcamps, which are taught in the live environment and provide students with access to an instructor in real-time, free content is asynchronous. This training material was recorded at an earlier time and placed online. While it provides the flexibility of allowing students to decide when and where they study, it doesn’t allow them to ask questions in real time, which is an option in bootcamp programs.

One of the benefits of free financial modeling training material is that students can decide their own learning pace. In bootcamps, which take place in the live environment, an instructor determines lesson pacing. Free material can be paused, rewound, and watched repeatedly. This provides the additional flexibility of allowing students to select where and when they wish to complete their lessons. Some providers offer full asynchronous courses, which can take ten or more hours to complete. Other free material, like videos, is much shorter and may require only minutes to watch. It’s essential to do some research before selecting free financial modeling content because not all information posted online is up to date. Bootcamps, on the other hand, teach the current best practices in finance.

Because there’s no monetary investment needed for free financial modeling training material, it provides a low-stakes way to study this skill set. Students can receive an overview of the process behind creating financial models and learn basic concepts without having to spend a penny. This format is a good option for individuals curious about financial models but not ready to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on training. Unlike bootcamps, which sometimes require participants to pay the entire tuition fee upfront, learners can decide to stop their studies at any point without accruing financial loss. 

Learn Financial Modeling Skills with Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop offers several excellent learning options for those interested in financial modeling. Noble’s Financial Modeling Bootcamp covers the basics of accounting, finance, and corporate valuation. Noble also offers a Financial Analyst Training Program that provides instruction on how to create a full valuation model. Noble has financial modeling training courses in-person and live online. Those interested in working with Excel for data modeling can attend the hands-on Excel Bootcamp. Noble’s FinTech Bootcamp is also available, which teaches learners how to create machine learning models and work with programming languages SQL and Python for financial data analysis.

Key Takeaways

  • A range of training options are available for individuals who want to learn financial modeling. College study is the longest and most expensive learning format. Bootcamps are more focused and less expensive.
  • Students looking to learn to create financial models can opt for in-person classes or online training. In-person and live online study allow learners to connect with a live instructor in real-time, whereas self-paced training material is pre-recorded.
  • Free financial modeling training options are also available. This asynchronous content comprises full courses, online tutorials, and videos. It provides a low-stakes way to learn basic concepts independently.
  • If you’re ready to get started learning financial modeling, let Noble Desktop help. Noble offers comprehensive training options in-person and live online to accommodate learners at all levels.

How to Learn Financial Modeling

Master financial modeling with hands-on training. Financial modeling is a technique for predicting the financial performance of a business or other type of institution over time using real-world data.

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