Discover the intricacies of financial modeling and its vast applications across various industries. Learn about different training options and costs, and how mastering this skill can facilitate budgeting, business valuation, and decision-making processes in a business.
- Financial modeling is the evaluation of a company's past performance to predict future financial outcomes, often constructed in Excel spreadsheets. This tool aids in estimating business or project performance based on multiple factors.
- Effective financial modeling reduces unnecessary risks for a business by providing detailed analyses of potential financial outcomes of certain decisions. It aids in budgeting, performance measurement against goals, business valuation, and comparison of company performance with competitors.
- Different training options for financial modeling vary in cost and format. Options range from attending a four-year college or university, in-person courses like bootcamps and certificate programs, live online courses, and self-paced study through online tutorials.
- Studying finance or a related field at a four-year college or university can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year, while in-person and live online courses can cost several hundred to several thousand dollars.
- As a cost-effective alternative, self-paced study through online tutorials is also available. However, this option may not offer access to an instructor and the content may be outdated.
- Free introductory courses for financial modeling are available online through various platforms, including Noble Desktop, which offers short clips and over 100 free financial modeling tutorials on its Training Resources & Articles page.
Are you looking to learn financial modeling? If so, Microsoft Excel is available by subscription, starting at $6/user/month. Once you have Excel, you can create financial models for no additional cost. Beyond this, you’ll want to consider the cost of financial modeling training. Although the cost of training options varies depending on the learning format and educational provider, most in-person and live online courses cost several hundred to several thousand dollars. Read on to find out more about how much you can expect to spend on learning financial modeling.
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.
Financial modeling is a valuable tool for estimating how a business or a specific project will perform based on relevant factors, as well as risk assumptions and growth, then evaluating their impact. This process helps to present a concise understanding of the variables used to make financial forecasts. Those who create financial models either build them from scratch or work with existing models, making changes based on newer data that’s become available since its creation. Because financial situations are complex and can change quickly and rapidly, financial modeling helps to create a detailed understanding of the different components.
Read more about what financial modeling is and why you should learn it.
What Can You Do with Financial Modeling?
Without well-executed financial modeling, any business operation would be analogous to a ship floating aimlessly in the sea with no navigation system. Although one could use gut instinct to steer the ship in the correct direction, there would be no guarantee that this course would be accurate. The more sound a financial model is, the less unnecessary risk a business will likely encounter. And the less likely it will be to drift aimlessly.
Financial modeling has numerous applications across industries. Strong financial models are the backbone of many businesses and are a critical component to help them continue to grow and mitigate risk. Financial models provide a way to perform a detailed analysis of all possible financial outcomes of a business decision. These models seek to avoid loss as well as increase profits.
Financial modeling is a powerful tool for a range of financial analysis tasks. It can help an organization budget for the future and analyze the company’s performance against goals and targets. It also can be used for business valuation. Financial models allow individuals to compare one company’s performance against its competitors. It is often used to analyze financial statements, ratios, and capital structure, as well as to estimate financial metrics for new projects. Not only are these models imperative for solving problems, but they are used to make decisions about future outcomes. Some of the many decisions financial models can help with are estimating a company’s projected growth, organizing its budget, choosing investments, deciding between acquisition or merger, and deciding which projects should be prioritized.
In-Depth Review of the Training Cost
The cost of studying financial modeling varies significantly depending on how you learn. The most expensive training option is a four-year college or university. Studying finance or a related field in college can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year. While four-year college or university study can provide excellent training, it also includes courses that may not be directly relevant to financial modeling.
For those who don’t have four years to devote to learning financial modeling, in-person courses, such as bootcamps and certificate programs, are also offered. These provide access to an expert instructor with real-world experience creating financial models and can answer questions and provide guidance. In addition, in-person study provides a way to network with other learners. Students who study in the classroom also have access to a computer lab with the most up-to-date software. In-person financial modeling classes range in price, typically from hundreds of dollars for beginner-level coursework and bootcamps to several thousands of dollars for certificate study. However, a critical consideration of in-person study is that it may require taking time off of work to attend classes, as well as to commute and find parking.
Live online courses are also available for those who appreciate the chance to connect to an instructor in real time but also want the flexibility of completing coursework from home. Instead of having to battle rush-hour traffic to commute to and from class for each meeting, students can complete live online study remotely. These courses, bootcamps, and certificate programs are often available for the same price as in-person study; some are even available for less. Because they eliminate the need for a commute, this makes them a money-saving option for some learners.
Another way some people choose to learn financial modeling is through self-paced study. Asynchronous financial modeling content is generally pre-recorded and loaded. This makes it an excellent option for those who want to learn how to create financial models but cannot commit to a regularly meeting class. Online tutorials are available from any location at any time. This flexible learning option can be helpful for those who need to balance financial modeling study with family or professional commitments, as well as travel.
A critical consideration of on-demand financial modeling content is that it doesn’t provide access to an instructor. Because creating financial models is a complex process that takes most learners months, if not years, to master, it can be challenging to study independently. Students in self-paced study don’t have access to an instructor to answer questions. In addition, because so much online content is available, it can be challenging to know which is the most current and which is already outdated. While asynchronous courses and videos are generally a much more affordable option (some are even available for free), it doesn’t provide many of the same benefits as in-person and live online coursework. That’s why it’s a good starting point for those new to financial modeling. However, if you’re interested in working with advanced Excel skills or more complex modeling skills, live coursework may be a better option ultimately.
Free Introductory Financial Modeling Course Online
Not ready to dive into an entire course? If you’re looking for an overview of financial modeling, the good news is you can get started learning for free online. Noble Desktop offers a range of short YouTube clips to help learners start working with financial modeling. These videos are each only several minutes long and offer insights into topics like Foreign Exchange,
Interest Rates and the Fed, and Understanding Terminal Value. Noble also provides over 100 free financial modeling tutorials on its Training Resources & Articles page. Learners can browse topics like stock options, the stock exchange, and a liquid market, among others.
In addition to the free resources provided by Noble, other top educators also offer free content devoted to financial modeling. Udemy’s Introduction to Financial Modeling is a free course that teaches participants how to build a simple integrated financial statement model. Coursera also has several free financial modeling classes and tutorials available. One option is their Business and Financial Modeling Specialization, a beginner-friendly course that takes approximately six months to complete. Those enrolled receive instruction on how to create quantitative models, how to use spreadsheets to map and predict data, and how to measure and manage risk.
Read more about free financial modeling videos and online tutorials.
Learn Financial Modeling with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop
Noble Desktop offers several excellent learning options for those interested in studying financial modeling. Noble’s Financial Modeling Bootcamp covers the basics of accounting, finance, and corporate valuation. Those enrolled in this hands-on class work with Excel to create a discounted cash flow model. Students who don’t have a background in accounting or finance will be sent a short guide on terminology before class starts. All participants should have intermediate Excel proficiency as a prerequisite.
Noble’s Financial Analyst Training Program provides learners with instruction on pertinent corporate and financial concepts and how to create a full valuation model. This intensive program teaches core Excel skills, like how to work with PivotTables and shortcuts, as well as advanced Excel techniques, including cash flow projection tools and Goal Seek. All students will create an integrated, three-statement financial model based on current financial data.
Noble also offers financial modeling training courses in-person and live online. Those interested in learning more about how to use Excel for modeling can attend the Excel Bootcamp. In addition, FinTech courses such as Python for Data Science Bootcamp, Algorithmic Trading With Python, and FinTech Bootcamp are also available. Noble’s FinTech Bootcamp provides hands-on training from expert instructors in creating machine learning models, using programming languages like SQL and Python to analyze financial data, and working with various types of data, such as integers, strings, and floats. One-on-one mentoring and the option of a free course retake is included for all participants.
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.
- Financial Modeling Bootcamp at Noble Desktop: live, instructor-led course available in NYC or live online
- Find Financial Modeling Classes Near You: Search & compare dozens of available courses in-person
- Attend a financial modeling class live online (remote/virtual training) from anywhere
- Find & compare the best online financial modeling classes (on-demand) from the top providers and platforms
- Train your staff with corporate and onsite financial modeling training