It's hard to find a position that's more in demand today than financial analyst. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 12 percent rate of growth in the number of financial analyst jobs in the 10-year period between 2014 and 2024. That's faster than the average growth for all professions.
What's contributing to this trend?
1. Today's business decisions require financial expertise
Most firms require an expert to deal with financial business decisions. This expert should be able to forecast where the the company's money is coming from now — and in the future — then help managers decide how to invest it in ways that generate the greatest return.
A financial analyst needs top-notch decision-making skills. And they need to be able to contribute to department-specific and overall business strategies and provide data-based solutions grounded in solid analysis. They're also expected to translate reports and forecasts into easy-to-understand advice that streamlines processes, improves efficiency, saves time and money, and prepares the company for growth. Professionals with all of these attributes aren't easy to find these days.
2. The need is widespread
Nearly all companies need a good financial analyst to balance their books and watch the bottom line. But the size of a business, its complexity, the industry it operates in and its stage of development determines the specific duties of the financial analyst. For example, a growing technology company may need a financial expert to evaluate potential acquisitions, while a well-established insurance provider may need someone to identify potential new revenue streams.
Learn more about hiring trends, in-demand skills and salary ranges from our Salary Guide.
3. The economy is (still) recovering
Recent economic uncertainty has encouraged employers to recruit forward-thinking financial analysts who stimulate business growth. Employers are looking for specialists who can identify opportunities for increasing business in the years ahead and can interpret financial data and turn it into solid business recommendations.
4. The population is aging
More and more experienced financial analyst professionals — namely baby boomers — are deciding to retire, according to our latest Salary Guide, which reports an accelerating number of these workers departing. In addition, some other positions become vacant as other financial analysts are promoted. So more opportunities are opening up, and companies seek new financial analyst candidates to fill them.