Comparison of Financial Modeling Training Formats

Are you interested in a career in finance? Explore the power and potential of financial modeling, its application in various professional sectors, and the different training options available to master this invaluable skill.

Key Insights

  • Financial modeling involves creating forecasts to predict an organization's future financial performance, helping in detailed analysis, budgeting, and decision-making.
  • Various training options to learn financial modeling include in-person classes, live online classes, on-demand classes, and free courses, each with their own advantages and limitations.
  • Certificates, bootcamps, and introductory courses offer different depths of training in financial modeling, tailored to suit students' individual learning needs and professional goals.
  • In-person and live online classes provide real-time, interactive learning experiences, while on-demand and free courses offer flexibility and self-paced learning.
  • The cost of training varies widely, with certificate programs being the most expensive and introductory courses being the most affordable.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive financial modeling training through various formats, including a Financial Analyst Training Program and a Financial Modeling Bootcamp.

Financial modeling is the process of creating a forecast that can predict how an organization may perform financially in the future. Financial models take into account how an organization performed in the past, in addition to what it currently spends and earns, to provide a prediction of how future decisions could impact the organization’s financial health. Once you’ve decided to study financial modeling, the next important question is deciding how it is you plan to learn these skills. Most students find that they learn better when they receive guided training and there is no shortage of available options for students to receive guidance in their financial modeling training. To discover more about the different financial modeling training options, and what advantages and disadvantages they carry with them, read on.

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 Skills?

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 Training Format Matters

Choosing a training format for your financial modeling study is an important decision. Learners can select from a range of in-person and online courses, short introductory-level classes, bootcamps, certificates, and other coursework. Because of the range of training options available for those interested in creating financial models, it can be challenging to choose the one that will benefit you the most. This is why it’s essential to consider your current work schedule, as well as your availability to attend synchronous or in-person training when selecting coursework. In addition, you will want to select a training format most in line with your professional needs for acquiring financial modeling skills. The good news is that many excellent options for training are currently available to help with your journey to learn financial modeling.

Types of Training Formats

If you’re interested in learning financial modeling, both in-person classes and online coursework is available. Those who prefer meeting in real-time can select from live online or in-person course options. Students who have busy schedules may prefer asynchronous study options like on-demand or free financial modeling coursework. Once you select a learning format, you also will need to choose from introductory-level coursework, bootcamps, and certificates, each of which provides its own unique educational benefits. The following sections will briefly examine each training format and explore the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Live In-Person Classes

If you want to learn financial modeling in the most interactive and engaging format, in-person coursework is for you. In-person classes are taught in real time by an expert instructor who has real-world experience creating financial models. They provide hands-on training in a range of modeling concepts. Live coursework allows students to ask any questions they have as they arise and to receive immediate answers and feedback. Participants in the in-person study format have access to a computer lab with the most up-to-date software and tools for creating financial models. They also have the chance to connect and network with other classmates, which provides many professional benefits.

If you’re still deciding whether in-person financial modeling coursework is for you, it’s important to remember that this training format requires participants to attend regularly scheduled classes. This may mean having to take off work periodically, as well as allotting time for the commute and parking. This training format may also cost slightly more than online study due to travel expenses. 

Live Online Classes

Live online financial modeling classes are available for those who enjoy learning in real-time but aren’t able to commute to do so. Similar to in-person study, live online classes occur in real-time, which means participants are instructed by an instructor who’s teaching lessons at that moment. This training format provides an opportunity for learners to ask any questions they have as they occur and to receive in-the-moment guidance and support. Those enrolled can even share their screen with the instructor (with permission). Live online financial modeling study offers the same learning benefits and hands-on training as in-person coursework. It also affords the additional flexibility of allowing students to complete all lessons remotely from the comfort of their home space or office. 

Live online financial modeling classes are a good option for individuals who may not be able to commute to attend regularly scheduled classes due to work or personal commitments. The flexibility of this training format ensures that study can be completed from any remote location with internet. This is a convenient learning option for those who live far from training facilities or may work long hours that would prohibit them from driving to attend classes. However, since live online coursework occurs in real-time, it still requires that students connect to the instructor at scheduled intervals, which may require taking off work to do so.

On-Demand Classes

In addition to in-person and live online study, on-demand coursework is also available in financial modeling. This study format occurs completely online. It is generally comprised of pre-recorded materials like videos, tutorials, quizzes, and written lessons, which students can access at their own pace and from any location with a strong internet connection. On-demand classes offer flexibility for those who wish to study financial modeling but have other professional or personal commitments like travel, family events, or busy work schedules.

When deciding whether on-demand coursework is right for you, as well as which training materials are best for your learning needs, there are several important considerations. Since the course content is pre-recorded, you won’t have access to an instructor to help if you have questions about creating financial models. This is why asynchronous study options are often a good place to start on your financial modeling studies, but for advanced training for professional reasons, a more structured learning format like live online study may be more effective. In addition, since so much on-demand content is available, finding the most current lessons can be difficult. If you do choose to study in this format, it’s therefore important to make sure you select up-to-date material that reflects the most current information on financial modeling.

Free Courses

Free financial modeling coursework is also available from many top educational providers. This content is usually pre-recorded and includes YouTube videos or channels, as well as other materials like study guides, presentations, lectures, quizzes, and written lesson materials. Free coursework can be completed from any location, at any time, which makes it a good way to acquire basic modeling skills without having to attend weekly classes, waste time commuting, or invest thousands of dollars in study.

Because there’s no cost associated with free classes, they provide a great opportunity to get started learning financial modeling in a low-stakes environment. However, if you’re seeking to acquire this skill for professional reasons, such as to complete a work project or to advance within your current role, it may be more beneficial to enroll in a more structured study format, such as in-person classes, to master complicated modeling concepts. Free coursework typically doesn’t include access to an instructor, which can make it harder to acquire advanced financial modeling skills. 

Depth of Training Formats

Another consideration when selecting financial modeling coursework is the depth of training you’re interested in. Students can select from certificate programs, bootcamps, and introductory-level coursework. The following sections will take a closer look at each of these learning formats so you can select the one that’s the best match for you.

Certificate Programs

Studying financial modeling in a certificate program is an excellent way to receive rigorous training. These extended programs typically last for several weeks or months and offer hands-on instruction from an expert with real-world experience creating financial models. Those who enroll in a financial modeling certificate receive the instruction they’ll need to pursue a career in financial analytics or investment banking. Certificates are available in a range of finance-related topics. Some focus exclusively on financial modeling, whereas others provide instruction on several related skills, such as creating Excel spreadsheets, performing financial analytics, and creating sound financial models.

Certificate programs are typically the most expensive study option available besides four-year college or university study. These programs can cost several thousand dollars. Along with the cost comes many perks; some certificates provide career counseling, one-on-one mentoring, and the option of taking the course again for free. Noble Desktop’s Financial Analysts Training Program provides training in a range of core finance skills, like using advanced Excel for financial modeling, valuation, corporate finance, and creating an integrated three-statement financial model.

Training Bootcamps

Another excellent way to learn how to create financial models is to study this skill-set in a training bootcamp. Bootcamps typically span several days or weeks and provide instruction that’s focused on financial modeling. This training format is a good option for those interested in learning to create financial models for professional advancement or to fill a skill gap at their current job. Classes are taught by instructors with real-world experience creating financial models. Because they are relatively short in duration, financial modeling bootcamps ensure you can receive the financial modeling training you need without having to spend months or years on study. Bootcamps are available for those who are new to financial modeling, as well as more advanced students interested in taking their modeling skills further.

Another benefit of financial modeling bootcamps is that they generally cost significantly less than certificate programs. Bootcamps range in price from several hundred to several thousand dollars. This makes them a good option for learners who may wish to take multiple finance courses without breaking the bank. Noble Desktop’s Financial Modeling Bootcamp is currently available for those who want to study topics like corporate valuation, finance, and accounting, as well as Excel modeling techniques.

Introductory Courses

If you’re just getting started creating financial models, introductory-level coursework is available. These classes are generally shorter in duration than certificates or bootcamps; some can be completed in just one or several days. Beginner-friendly financial modeling training is designed for those who don’t have prior experience with this skill and want to learn in a supportive environment. Some introductory courses may include instruction specific to Excel, such as Noble Desktop’s Excel Level 1: Fundamentals, whereas others provide training exclusively on financial modeling. 

Another benefit of intro-level financial modeling classes is cost. Whereas certificates and bootcamps can cost thousands of dollars, introductory coursework is a much more affordable option. These courses generally cost just a few hundred dollars. This means that you could begin your financial modeling study with an intro-level class, then, as you develop your skills, progress into more advanced study options, such as bootcamps or certificate study. 

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 Insights

  • Financial modeling is the act of creating a forecast designed to predict the future financial performance of an organization. 
  • If you’re interested in learning financial modeling, you can choose between in-person and online coursework. In-person and live online classes are taught in real-time with a live instructor, whereas on-demand content is pre-recorded and can be completed at your own pace and from your own space.
  • The depth of training format is another important consideration when studying financial modeling. The most rigorous and expensive educational option aside from four-year college study is a certificate program. Bootcamps are shorter in duration and cost less than certificates. Introductory-level classes are the shortest and most affordable financial modeling study option.
  • A great way to learn more about financial modeling and the tools needed to create financial models is to enroll in one of Noble Desktop’s in-person or live online financial modeling classes. 

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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