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Financial Analyst Certificate

by Richard C. Wilson on September 12, 2010

Students earning an online financial analyst certificateBelow is a brief interview regarding our financial analyst certificate program offered through BusinessTraining.com.

Why do professionals complete financial analyst certificate programs?  Our team has identified three main groups of professionals who typically complete financial analyst certificates, these include:

1) Students & Recent Graduates:  Many professionals who have completed a two or four year degree find themselves without a job because their knowledge is not specialized enough.  Everyone wants a job but companies generally want to hire professionals with every specific abilities, skills, training, and experience.  The $100,000 question is how do you get these skills and abilities if nobody will give you a chance to work for them as a financial analyst in the first place?  One way to improve what you can offer is completing a financial analyst certificate, as note below these programs can help you position yourself within this competitive industry.

2) Entry or Mid Level Financial Analysts:  The largest group of financial analyst certificate participants are those which are 1-5 years into their career as a financial analyst and have identified the need for further training.  The financial analyst industry is so large that your responsibilities within the first few years of your career in this space may change drastically as you are trusted with more responsibility.  As opportunities to be promoted or hired away into a better job arise you will want to be there with the specialized experience and training that employers value to give yourself the best shot at making that leap forward.

3) Experienced Professionals:  The last type of professional we see commonly completing certificates in financial analysis are those which have 5, 10, or 20+ years of experience within another field and now want to transfer their career over to being a financial analyst position.  In our experience these professionals are highly motivated to succeed but are hesitant about “starting over” or they question whether it is “too late” to make the move.  Our advice to everyone is that if you know in your gut that you should make a move than trust yourself and write out a 3-5 year plan for making it happen.  Most important things in business and life take hard work and sacrifice and it will likely never by easy to make this adjustment.

How can I complete a certificate in financial analysis? What is involved? Most financial analyst certificate programs will require you to read 300-800 pages worth of books on financial analysis.  In addition to the reading most will include video modules, lectures, expert audio interviews with industry experts, and practice examinations.  The goal of most of these programs is to help you master the necessary skills to do well within at least an entry level financial analyst job.   All certificate programs that we have reviewed end with some sort of test or examination, and the best programs will also examine your practical application of the material as well.

How much does a online financial analyst certificate program cost to complete?  During our last survey of the financial analyst industry we saw that programs typically cost $700 to $3,500 to complete.  In addition to the costs of tuition and acquiring the required readings watch out for hidden technology, testing, or commuting costs which are often added in when completing programs at Universities or community colleges.

Are these certificates complete online or on-campus somewhere in-person? While many programs are offer on-campus a few of the most popular are now offered 100% online as most participants who complete financial analyst certificates are already working or studying full time.  Make sure whichever program you join that it requires a practical application of knowledge, career coaching, resume feedback, and some sort of online training component.

What are the benefits of earning a certificate in financial analysis? The benefits of completing a program are diverse and go beyond what may be immediately obvious if you are considering completing a financial analyst certificate.  Some of the benefits of completing such a program include:

  • Third party verification of your financial analysis knowledge, skills, and abilities
  • In depth training and specialized knowledge within the financial analyst niche
  • Career coaching, resume feedback, and support systems for alumni

I am interested.  How Can I Complete A Financial Analyst Certificate Program? To complete your financial analyst certificate you will need to first identify which program you would like to complete.  While there are many options available on  the market, one which our team offers is the Financial Analyst Specialist (FAS) program.  After identifying which certificate program to complete you will typically need to acquire some required readings (books), and then study for 3-6 months to prepare for the examination.  Typically 75-100+ hours are needed to complete certificates within this field.

I hope these interview questions and answers help you evaluate whether you should be planning to complete a financial analyst certificate.  If you have any further questions about completing certificates in this area please email our team or read our FAQ on BusinessTraining.com

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