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Career Profile: Financial Analyst

Why Is Financial Analysis a Job of Tomorrow?
As businesses expand and seek new opportunities, financial analysts will be needed to advise them on the best investments to make. Employment opportunities for financial analysts are expected to increase 34 percent, a much faster rate than the national average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Financial analysts make an average salary of $66,590 annually.

What Does a Financial Analyst Do?
Financial analysts are responsible for overseeing the details of a company's investments. They often research the performance of companies and industries in which firms are interested in investing, ensuring that the moves are sound ones that are likely to see financial returns. Analysts conduct their research by reading the company's financial statements, sales, costs and tax rates to project how it will be doing in the future. Analysts work either in buying or selling, with buyers researching potential companies for others to invest in, and sellers pitching companies for interested investors to consider. Analysts must have a good handle on technology as well, as they often use it to keep track of investments and other financial data.

What Kind of Training Do I Need to Become a Financial Analyst?
Financial analysts must have a bachelor's degree in finance or business administration, as well as frequently participate in seminars to keep up with the latest developments in the field. A bachelor's degree takes four years to complete, and courses include accounting and budgeting. Licensure for financial analysts is typically obtained after employment, as many licenses require the consent of an employer.