Financial analysts are charged with the tasks of examining markets, understanding company financials, and initiating investment decisions. While most financial analysts work in banks, mutual funds, insurance companies, securities firms, or other financial institutions, others are employed at large corporations with a focus primarily on corporate finance decisions. A strong background in accounting, finance, and financial statement analysis is crucial. Most analysts also have at least a bachelor's degree; however, more and more analysts are pursuing advanced degrees and certificates. Analysts tend to specialize in an economic sector or have industry expertise. Hiring managers should explore this aspect when considering applicants.
Financial analysts must have strong analytical skills and possess the ability to work under pressure and against deadlines. Above all, financial analysts must be able to make the right decisions for their clients. Hiring managers using pre-employment assessment tools should be looking for candidates with problem-solving abilities, critical thinking and logic skills, as well as business acumen. Financial analysts have to be able to keep clients satisfied while making sound decisions, and they need to also be able to explain those decisions while backing them up with data.
Because of the emphasis on critical thinking and quantitative analysis, cognitive aptitude tests are especially well-suited for helping inform employee selection decisions regarding financial analysts. Employers who use Criteria Corp's testing instruments generally favor the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT), a 15-minute test which measures problem-solving and critical thinking, and contains specific suggested score ranges for analysts. The CCAT is often paired with the Employee Personality Profile (EPP), a personality test with different benchmarks for different positions, including one designed specifically for analysts.
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Rank in HireSelect:
16 out of 1,100
Median wage in U.S.:
$81,760/year or $39.31/hr
Expected growth rate 2016-2026:
Number employed (2016): 296,100
Education level of Analysts (Financial):