Navigating the complex world of finance requires specialized skills and in-depth knowledge. If you’re looking to supercharge your career in this field, earning a Masters in Financial Analysis could be your game-changing move.
This article will guide you through what this advanced degree entails, the skills you’ll gain, and how it can propel you in the competitive world of finance.
Read on to explore prerequisites, program details, and tips for choosing the right institution.
Master in Financial Analysis Overview
A Masters in Financial Analysis usually lasts one to two years and covers a variety of tough subjects such as investment analysis, corporate finance, risk management, and econometrics.
Graduates of this program often find employment in various niches, including investment banking, asset management, risk analysis, and corporate finance departments of major companies.
Their work primarily involves analyzing financial data to guide business decisions, predict market trends, and advise on investment strategies.
Graduates are prepared for a variety of roles in the financial industry, including:
- Financial Analyst: Evaluating investment management and opportunities and providing strategic recommendations
- Investment Banker: Advising on or facilitating mergers, acquisitions, and other transactions within financial institutions
- Risk Manager: Assessing and minimizing risks in investment portfolios or business operations
- Portfolio Manager: Managing investment portfolios to achieve specific financial goals
- Quantitative Analyst: Applying mathematical and statistical methods to risk and portfolio management
- Corporate Finance Analyst: Working within companies to manage finances, budget, and assess future business ventures
A Masters in Financial Analysis aims to provide professionals with the analytical capabilities, theoretical background, and practical skills needed to succeed in various financial roles. The degree equips you to analyze financial data, make informed investment decisions, and offer strategic guidance on financial matters to individuals and businesses.
Interested in getting started? We recommend Kaplan’s MS in Financial Analysis online program, which comes with review materials, a performance tracker, and flexible pricing.
How to Get a Masters in Financial Analysis
Starting a Masters in Financial Analysis degree program typically requires a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as economics, finance, or statistics.
Some programs may also accept applicants from broader educational backgrounds like engineering or mathematics if they have substantial coursework or work experience in finance.
Before you can embark on this educational journey, it’s important to understand the prerequisites and requirements for admission. Below is an overview of what you’ll generally need to get into a Masters in Financial Analysis program.
A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as finance, economics, business, or statistics is usually required.
Some programs may also accept degrees in engineering, mathematics, data science, or other related fields if you have sufficient coursework or experience in finance.
Most Masters in Financial Analysis programs also require a good score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
The expected scores can vary by institution but aim for scores above the 65th percentile to be competitive.
While not universally required, some programs highly recommend or mandate applicants to have some work experience in the finance industry. This experience can be in the form of internships, co-op programs, or full-time roles.
Usually, two to three letters of recommendation are required, which can be a mix of academic and professional references. These should speak to your capabilities and why you would be a good fit for a Masters in Financial Analysis.
Ethical Standards Requirement
While a formal ethical standards requirement may not be a separate criterion for admission into this program, the importance of ethics is often threaded throughout the program’s curriculum. Ethics standards are a fundamental aspect of related professional certifications.
Therefore, aspiring financial analysts should be prepared to engage deeply with ethical standards both academically and professionally.
Accelerated Path to Masters in Financial Analysis
An accelerated Master in Financial Analysis can be a strategic option for those looking to expedite their entry or advancement in the finance sector.
Accelerated programs usually have stringent admission criteria given the demanding nature of the coursework.
Should you possess a financial designation (such as a Chartered Financial Analyst or Certified Financial Planner, etc.) or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) securities licenses, or have completed specific courses, you might be eligible for credit for prior learning in a Masters in Financial Analysis program.
Recommended Course: Interested in getting started? We recommend Kaplan’s MS in Financial Analysis online program, which comes with review materials, a performance tracker, and flexible pricing.
Masters in Financial Analysis Salary
Several factors can influence the average salary of someone holding a Masters in Financial Analysis, including but not limited to:
- Experience: Years of relevant work experience can significantly impact earning potential
- Location: Salaries often vary by region, with higher compensation typically offered in major financial hubs like New York City or San Francisco
- Industry: The specific sector you work in — such as investment banking, asset management, or corporate finance — can also influence salary
- Role: The specific job title and associated responsibilities play a critical role in determining pay. For example, a portfolio manager usually earns more than a junior financial analyst
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for financial analysts is $95,570 per year.
Other industry sources report that the median salary range for a financial analyst with a Masters Degree or MBA falls between $63,040 and $66,505, with those holding advanced degrees often earning significantly more. It is generally higher than those with only an undergraduate degree in a similar field.
Understanding these factors and salary ranges can help you make informed decisions about your career path and potentially maximize your earning potential in the field of financial analysis.
Average Annual Salaries by State
The table below lists the average annual salary for financial analysis professionals in each state.
|State||Annual Salary ($)|
As shown in the table above, salaries vary by state with New Jersey in the lead with an average annual salary of $89,443. Note that these figures may change over time due to the factors mentioned above.
Masters in Financial Analysis FAQ
What is a Masters in Financial Analysis?
A Masters in Financial Analysis is an advanced degree that equips students with the skills to analyze financial markets, manage risks, and make investment decisions. The program typically covers topics on quantitative methods and corporate finance. This prepares graduates for roles in investment banking, financial statement analysis, asset management, and discounted cash flow analysis.
Are Masters in Financial Analysis worth it?
A Masters in Financial Analysis can offer many advantages, including specialized skills in financial modeling, risk management, and investment strategy. The degree can open doors to high-paying roles in investment banking, asset management, and corporate finance. However, the return on investment varies based on factors like tuition fees, lost earnings during study, and individual career goals.
What is the difference between Masters in Financial Planning and Masters in Financial Analysis?
A Masters in Financial Planning focuses on personal finance and wealth management, covering topics like retirement planning, estate planning, and tax strategies. A Masters in Financial Analysis is geared toward analyzing financial markets and investment opportunities, with a focus on corporate finance, investment strategy, and risk management. The two programs prepare graduates for different career paths within the finance sector.
What can you do with a Masters in Financial Analysis?
A Masters in Financial Analysis prepares you for high-level roles in various financial sectors. Career options include financial analyst, investment banker, portfolio manager, and risk manager. Skills acquired from this financial analytics program can be applied in investment firms, corporate finance departments, and consulting agencies. See our How to Become a Wealth Manager article for more information.