Starting a career as a financial analyst will allow you to use your strategic thinking skills to work with and advise company stakeholders. Starting a career as a financial analyst will enable you to pursue more advanced positions and increase your earning potential. Financial analysts are highly valued for their expertise in analysing and interpreting financial information to support decision-making.


A financial analyst is in charge of assessing the performance of a firm by examining its financial tools, methodologies, and processes. They frequently deliver reports to management teams, allowing them to change their financial plan and capitalise on profitable investment opportunities. A financial analyst is very much needed in the finance industry because every decision they make opens new insights, learning and opportunities. Additionally, we live in a data-driven world, companies need people with skills to understand and analyse data.


This piece will guide you on how to start and pursue a successful career as a financial analyst.


How to Become a Financial Analyst

  1. Obtain an O’level Certificate

    You should have a minimum of credits in subjects such as accounting, economics, commerce and financial-related subjects. Without these subjects in your O’level results, you might not be able to gain admission to study a financial-related course at the university.

  2. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

    You can obtain a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, business administration or a related field. You will have a thorough understanding of business, accounting and investments to prepare you for your future job.

  3. Complete an Internship

    You need to have work experience in this field to become a successful financial analyst. This is necessary as it helps you to develop practical knowledge and improve analytical skills. Additionally, you can build relationships with your colleagues and experts which can enable you to gain recommendations for better opportunities.

  4. Earn a Master’s Degree

    A master’s degree will provide further knowledge and skills in financial analysis. This will also give you a higher level of expertise in the field.

  5. Acquire Relevant Certifications

    Obtaining more certificates in this field shows a level of dedication and experience. It can also lead to greater career opportunities. However, you can obtain additional certifications or degrees such as an MBA, CFA, FRM, CISA or ACCA. This can enable access to employment opportunities and high-level positions.

  6. Join a Professional Association

    You should register with professional associations and try to build a network with established financial analysts. This can enable you to get industry advice, career opportunities and referrals to companies. Additionally, you should participate in conferences as this can help build and grow your network.

  7. Develop Relevant Skills

    A successful financial analyst should have relevant skills that will enable you to thrive in this career path. You should develop skills such as accounting skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills, technical skills, and leadership skills.


Types of Financial Analysts


As a financial analyst, you can choose to carve a niche for yourself in one of these areas based on your interest.

  1. Investment Banking Analyst: Investment banking analysts assist organisations in developing or maintaining effective investments that satisfy their financial objectives. Additionally, they evaluate a company’s needs, identify its goals and explore new investment opportunities.
  2. Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) Analyst: These analysts assess a company’s operations qualitatively and quantitatively to assess progress towards present and future goals. Furthermore, they examine corporate and economic trends to examine past company’s performance.
  3. Equity Research Analyst: An equity research analyst works in the securities industry for both sell-side and buy-side firms such as pension funds or wealth management firms. Additionally, they write research papers, provide recommendations and forecast stocks and companies.
  4. Treasury Analyst: A treasury analyst usually works for businesses or government bodies. They are in charge of controlling and managing an organization’s finances.
  5. Risk Analyst: Risk analysts assist businesses looking to invest or develop in new markets or regions. In addition, they examine strategies and offer financial guidance to manage risks and foster growth.
  6. Budget Analyst: This analyst assists organisations in keeping track of their money by maintaining a balanced budget. Furthermore, they prepare regular financial reports about funding requirements and assess budget decisions.
  7. Corporate Development Analyst: A corporate development analyst is in charge of streamlining business operations and increasing income. They also evaluate finances and operations, look for sales prospects and refine business plans.


Schools in Africa that Offer Business Administration Degrees


  1. Lagos Business School- Pan Atlantic University, Nigeria
  2. Gordon Institute of Business Science- University of Pretoria, South Africa
  3. Strathmore Business School- Strathmore University, Kenya
  4. Henley Business School- South Africa
  5. The American University in Cairo School of Business, Egypt
  6. ESCA Ecole de Management, Morocco
  7. Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  8. University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa
  9. Wits Business School- University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  10. Milpark Business School- Milpark Education, South Africa


Starting a career as a financial analyst requires a massive amount of perseverance patience and hard work. This is because this is a challenging and competitive field. However, the returns you get for every investment you make in the career path are always worth it in the long run.


In Conclusion, education is the cornerstone for starting a career as a financial analyst. Additionally, you must prioritise both official and informal educational opportunities. Finally, as an aspiring financial analyst, it is essential to keep learning and growing in your industry. You should improve your skills and expertise by keeping up with industry trends, networking with professionals and mentorship opportunities.


Good luck!

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