An Essential 2023 Career Guide for Financial Analysts

An Essential 2023 Career Guide for Financial Analysts

Blog Summary

  • What Does a Financial Analyst Do?
  • 5 steps to Become a Financial Analyst?
  • Career Advice for Financial Analysts
  • Financial Analyst: top 7 Finance Career Paths
  • What are the new technologies that are impacting financial analysis?
  • Professional Development for Financial Analysts
  • How to increase your financial analyst salary over time
  • Some of the frequently asked questions
  • Takeaway

financial analysts

What Does a Financial Analyst Do?

A financial analyst analyzes and interprets financial data to provide insights and recommendations to businesses or individuals. While a typical financial analyst job description includes the following tasks:

1.     They evaluate the financial health and performance of companies by analyzing financial statements, such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.

2.       They identify trends, patterns, and anomalies in financial data to help businesses make informed decisions about investments, financial strategies, and budgeting.

3.       Financial analysts also conduct industry research and market analysis to assess the competitive landscape and identify potential investment opportunities.

4.       They use financial modeling techniques to forecast future financial performance and assess the impact of different scenarios on a company’s financial position.

5.       In addition to financial analysis, they may also be involved in conducting risk assessments, evaluating mergers and acquisitions, and preparing financial reports and presentations.

6.       Financial analysts often work closely with other departments, such as accounting, operations, and management, to gather relevant data and collaborate on financial planning and decision-making.

7.       They stay updated with relevant laws, regulations, and financial market trends to ensure compliance and make informed investment recommendations.


A financial analyst for a large corporation may analyze the company’s financial statements to determine its profitability and identify areas of improvement. They may identify that certain departments are not generating sufficient revenue and recommend cost-cutting measures or new revenue-generating strategies. They may also analyze industry trends and market conditions to identify potential risks and opportunities for the company’s investment portfolio. Based on their analysis, they may provide recommendations on which stocks or bonds to buy or sell to maximize returns.

5 steps to Become a Financial Analyst?

1.       Obtain the necessary education and qualifications:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, or a related field.
  • Consider pursuing a master’s degree in finance or obtaining a professional certification, such as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

2.       Gain relevant work experience:

  • Look for entry-level positions in finance or accounting to gain practical experience in financial analysis.
  • Consider internships or part-time roles to get a foot in the door and start building your financial analyst resume.
  • Seek opportunities to work with financial modeling, data analysis, and investment analysis.

3.       Develop strong analytical and technical skills:

  • Develop a solid foundation in financial analysis techniques, including financial statement analysis, valuation, and forecasting.
  • Improve your Excel skills, as it is a crucial tool for financial analysts.
  • Familiarize yourself with financial modeling software and data analysis tools, such as Bloomberg or FactSet.

4.       Stay updated on industry trends and developments:

  • Read financial publications, such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, or Bloomberg, to stay informed about current events and trends in the financial world.
  • Attend industry conferences and seminars to expand your knowledge and network with professionals in the field.
  • Join professional organizations, such as the Financial Analysts Federation or local networking groups, to connect with others in the industry.

5.       Continuously refine your skills and knowledge:

  • Take advantage of professional development opportunities, such as workshops or online courses, to further enhance your skills and stay up-to-date with industry best practices.
  • Seek feedback from mentors or supervisors to identify areas for improvement.
  • Stay curious and proactive by seeking out new challenges and learning opportunities within your organization or through side projects.

6. Obtain the necessary education and qualifications:

  • Enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in finance at a reputable university.
  • Consider joining relevant finance clubs or associations on campus to further develop your skills and network.

7. Gain relevant work experience:

  • Apply for internships at financial institutions, such as investment banks or asset management firms, to gain hands-on experience in financial.

Career Advice for Financial Analysts

  1. Stay updated with industry trends:
    • This includes following news, reading industry publications, and attending conferences or seminars. 
    • For example, subscribing to financial news websites like Bloomberg or Financial Times can provide valuable insights into market trends and analysis.

  2. Build a strong foundation of technical skills:
    • Financial analysis requires proficiency in areas such as financial modeling, financial statement analysis, and valuation techniques. 
    • Taking courses or earning certifications in areas like CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) or CPA (Certified Public Accountant) can enhance your technical skills and make you more marketable. 
    • Additionally, software skills like Excel, SQL, or data visualization tools like Tableau can also be advantageous.

  3. Develop strong analytical and problem-solving abilities:
    • Financial analysts need to have a sharp analytical mindset and the ability to solve complex problems. 
    • Enhancing your problem-solving skills can involve practicing case studies, participating in financial modeling competitions, or even solving puzzles and brain teasers. 
    • Being able to demonstrate your analytical capabilities can set you apart from other candidates during job interviews.

  4. Network within the industry:
    • Building a strong professional network within the finance industry can open doors to new opportunities and provide valuable insights. 
    • Attend industry events, join professional organizations like the CFA Institute, and connect with other financial professionals through platforms like LinkedIn. 
    • For example, attending networking events hosted by local finance associations or participating in online finance communities can help you connect with influential individuals and gain industry-specific knowledge.

  5. Seek continuous learning and growth:
    • The financial industry is constantly evolving, and it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve. 
    • Engage in continuous learning by pursuing advanced degrees, attending workshops or webinars, or even joining online learning platforms like Coursera or Udemy. 
    • Demonstrating a commitment to personal and professional growth can make you a more attractive candidate for career advancement opportunities.

  6. Develop strong communication and presentation skills:
    • As a financial analyst, you need to effectively communicate complex financial information to both technical and non-technical stakeholders. 
    • Enhancing your communication and presentation skills can involve taking public speaking courses, practicing presenting financial analyses to colleagues or even participating in Toastmasters. 
    • Being able to clearly articulate your findings and recommendations can greatly impact your success.

Financial Analyst: top 7 Finance Career Paths

  1. Investment Banking:
    • Financial analysts who work in investment banking help companies and individuals make informed investment decisions. 
    • They analyze financial data, conduct market research, and provide recommendations on investments.

Example: Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, etc.

  1. Corporate Finance: 
    • Financial analysts in corporate finance work within a company to help make strategic financial decisions. 
    • They analyze financial data, create budgets, and assess the financial health of the organization. 

Example: Apple, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse.

  1. Financial Planning and Analysis:
    • These analysts focus on budgeting, forecasting, and financial modeling to help companies plan for the future. 
    • They analyze historical data, assess trends, and provide insights to support decision-making. 

Example: Deloitte

  1. Wealth Management:
    • Financial analysts in wealth management help individuals and families manage their investments and finances. 
    • They develop personalized investment strategies, conduct portfolio analysis, and provide guidance on financial goals. 

Example: J.P. Morgan, UBS, Charles Schwab, BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, etc.

  1. Risk Management:
    • Analysts in risk management identify and assess potential risks that could impact a company’s financial performance. 
    • They develop risk management strategies, conduct risk assessments, and monitor risk exposure. 

Example: AIG, Aon, Marsh, Willis Towers Watson, Milliman, Lockton, etc.

  1. Hedge Funds: 
    • Financial analysts in hedge funds help manage investment portfolios for high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors. 
    • They conduct research on potential investment opportunities, analyze financial data, and make investment recommendations. 

Example: Bridgewater Associates, Renaissance Technologies, Two Sigma Investments, Citadel, Millennium Management, etc.

  1. Consulting:
    • Financial analysts in consulting firms provide financial advice and expertise to clients across various industries. 
    • They help clients with financial analysis, M&A transactions, and strategic planning. 

Example: McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group, The BCG Group, Oliver Wyman.

Note: These career paths are just a few examples and there are numerous other opportunities available to financial analysts depending on their interests and skills. It is important for individuals to research and explore different options to find the right fit for their career goals.

What are the new technologies that are impacting financial analysis?

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML):

    • For example, AI-powered robo-advisors can provide personalized investment recommendations based on an individual’s financial goals and risk tolerance.

  2. Big Data Analytics:
    • For instance, analyzing social media data can provide insights into market sentiment and potential investment opportunities.
  1. Blockchain Technology:
    • For example, blockchain technology can be used to securely track and verify the ownership of assets, such as stocks or real estate.
  1. Robotic Process Automation (RPA):
    • For instance, RPA can automate the process of collecting and organizing financial data from multiple sources, saving time and reducing errors.
  1. Data Visualization Tools:
    • For example, interactive dashboards and charts can help analysts visualize key performance indicators and financial ratios.
  2. Quantum Computing:
    • For example this technology could enable analysts to perform calculations that are currently infeasible with classical computers, leading to more accurate financial models and predictions.
  3. Cloud Computing:

    • For example, cloud-based financial analysis platforms can allow for collaboration and data sharing across teams and locations.

Professional Development for Financial Analysts

  1. Continuing education courses:
    • Financial analysts should regularly participate in professional development courses to stay updated on industry trends and gain new skills. 

For example, attending workshops on financial modeling or taking courses on risk management can enhance their expertise.

  1. Networking opportunities:
    • Joining professional organizations or attending industry conferences and events can provide financial analysts with the chance to network with peers, exchange ideas, and stay informed about current market practices. 

For instance, attending a CFA Institute event can offer valuable networking opportunities for financial analysts.

  1. Industry certifications:
    • Pursuing relevant certifications like the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation or the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) certification can demonstrate a commitment to professional growth and increase job prospects. 

For instance, these certifications require passing rigorous exams and often involve ongoing education to maintain the certification.

  1. Mentoring programs:
    • Participating in mentoring programs, either within the organization or through external networks, can provide financial analysts with guidance and support from experienced professionals in their field. 

For instance, a mentor can offer insights, advice, and guidance for career development.

  1. Research and publications:
    • Financial analysts can enhance their professional development by conducting research, publishing articles or white papers, or presenting at industry conferences. 

For instance, these activities can demonstrate expertise in specific areas, establish credibility, and contribute to the advancement of the field.

  1. Technology skills development:
    • Given the increasing reliance on technology in the finance industry, financial analysts should continuously develop their technology skills. 

For instance, this may include learning advanced Excel techniques, data analysis using programming languages like Python or R, or gaining proficiency in financial software and tools.

  1. Soft skills training: 
    • Besides technical knowledge, financial analysts should also focus on developing soft skills such as communication, presentation, and critical thinking abilities. 

For instance, these skills are vital for effective collaboration with stakeholders, making persuasive recommendations, and understanding clients’ needs.

  1. Industry-specific training:
    • Financial analysts should seek out training programs tailored to the specific sectors they work in. 

For example, a financial analyst working in healthcare may benefit from attending seminars or workshops focused on healthcare finance to gain industry-specific knowledge and insights.

  1. Analyzing case studies:
    • Engaging in case study analysis exercises can help financial analysts sharpen their problem-solving and decision-making skills. 

For example, this can involve reviewing real-world scenarios and applying financial analysis techniques to make informed recommendations or strategies.

How to increase your financial analyst salary over the time?

  1. Continuously improve your skills and knowledge in financial analysis through courses, certifications, and professional development opportunities. This can make you more valuable to employers and increase your earning potential.

Example: Pursue advanced certifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, which is highly regarded in the industry and can lead to higher salaries.

  1. Seek out opportunities for career advancement within your organization or in the job market. Moving up the corporate ladder or transitioning to a higher-paying role can significantly increase your financial analyst salary.

Example: Take on additional responsibilities, such as leading projects or managing a team, to showcase your leadership abilities and demonstrate your value to the company.

  1. Network with professionals in your industry to gain insights, learn about potential financial analyst jobs, and build relationships that can lead to salary advancements.

Example: Attend industry conferences or join professional organizations related to financial analysis to connect with influential individuals who can provide valuable career advice.

  1. Negotiate your salary during job offers or performance reviews. Research industry salary ranges and be prepared to articulate your value and contributions to the organization to justify a higher salary.

Example: Highlight specific accomplishments such as cost savings, revenue generation, or successful investment recommendations to demonstrate your impact on the company’s financial performance.

  1. Consider working for a larger or more prestigious firm that typically offers higher salaries for financial analysts. These organizations may have more resources and higher budgets, resulting in better compensation packages.

Example: Apply to positions at investment banks, private equity firms, or hedge funds, which are known for offering competitive salaries and bonuses to financial analysts.

  1. Keep an eye on market trends and demand for financial analysts. If there is a shortage of qualified professionals in your area of expertise, you may be able to negotiate a higher salary due to the high demand.

 Example: If you specialize in financial analysis for renewable energy projects and there is a growing focus on sustainable investments, your expertise may be in high demand, leading to higher compensation.

  1. Provide exceptional work and consistently deliver results. Demonstrating your value through successful projects, accurate financial forecasts, and insightful analysis can make you indispensable to your employer and justify salary increases.

Example: Develop comprehensive financial models that accurately assess investment opportunities.

Some of the frequently asked questions

1. What skills and qualifications are necessary to become a successful financial analyst?

2. How does a career as a financial analyst offer opportunities for growth and advancement?

3. What are the key responsibilities and day-to-day tasks of a financial analyst?

4. How does the role of a financial analyst contribute to the overall success of a company?

5. What steps can someone take to break into the field of financial analysis and gain relevant experience?


A career in financial analysis offers numerous benefits, including professional growth opportunities, high demand, competitive salaries, intellectual challenges, and a respected position in the business world. These advantages make it an attractive option for professionals seeking a rewarding and fulfilling career path.

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10 thoughts on “An Essential 2023 Career Guide for Financial Analysts”

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  3. […] and investment decision-making, making them more credible and sought after in roles such as financial analysts, portfolio managers, and investment […]

  4. […] strong and solid understanding of accounting fundamentals is sine qua non of any financial analyst. Ability to read financial statements, prepare balance sheets, income and revenue statements, cash […]

  5. […] balance sheet offers internal and external financial analysts a glimpse of how a company is performing in the current period, how it performed during the […]

  6. […] date, logical operators (such as >, <, <>, =) and also wildcards (such as *, ? ). As a financial analyst or a financial professional we often use SUMIF function since it helps to sum a range of cells […]

  7. […] is where the SUMIF Excel function comes in handy in Excel. It allows us to write a formula in one single shot that can add up only […]

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