I just graduated Syracuse University with an economics degree and it is very hard to land a job, more specifically a business analyst job.
Finances are the heart of a company: without a profit, the company will fail.
So, hiring a financial business analyst to run this end of the organization is like finding the best, skilled heart surgeon when you need one.
If you were facing heart surgery, of course you would ask if the surgeon had studied to learn how the heart functions.
But, what you would be more concerned about is their success rate of their hands-on experience in the operating room – If you allow the surgeon to operate on you, will you recover and resume a healthy lifestyle?
The same is true with employers looking to hire a Financial Analyst. While you may have learned a great deal during your time gaining an Economics Degree, it’s not a guarantee for a job.
You will use the knowledge you have learned about both macro and micro economic principles in day-to-day decisions, but having a solid background in applying these skills to the real world is what an employer is looking for.
Employers want proof that you can do the job and for only real-world, work experience gained outside college guarantees that!
What Does A Financial Business Analyst Do?
The line of study in economics suggests that you are probably interested in an industry that employs financial business analysts such as trading, banking or risk modeling domains.
If this is the case, it’s time to put your interest and passion to work. Within the financial business analyst line of work are several related positions in a variety of industries.
An example of an industry that hires financial business analysts would be an Automobile Dealership who maintains a finance department or an investment firm needing advice on when and what stocks to buy or sell.
Some of the qualifications listed on an actual job description for a senior financial business analyst at a department store includes:
Analyze weekly performance v. forecast
Support monthly Profit & Loss review process
Participate in long-range financial planning
Help business partners understand reports
Current and new business projects forecasting
Quantify and articulate risks and opportunities
Understand key tools available for research and reporting
Lead automation of models and processes
Produce detailed financial models
Prepare presentations for recommendations
Partner with teams
Identify opportunities to improve efficiency
A College Degree Does Not Equal Business Analyst Experience!
A college degree is beneficial but is not the only training you need to pursue a career as a Business Analyst.
Some additional training to pursue will include:
Requirements Modeling Training
This is the step of presenting the requirements and visions so it can be understood by the team who will carry out the work.
Communicating by using graphics and other tools is vital for complete understanding on the part of the team.
Learn how to use Unified Modeling Language (UML).
This is the standard language for specifying, constructing, documenting and visualizing for software and non-software systems.
Requirements Analysis / Engineering Training
It is the process where you will determine the business needs, expectations and requirements.
It involves excellent communication skills between the users and other team members.
It is the time when you gather the requirements through elicitation, analysis and negotiation, specification, system modeling, validation and management.
It also involves review and documentation.
Combine a good mix of economic knowledge along with hands-on training to gain experience as a Business Analyst.
Then, update your resume and cover letter to reflect what you can offer an organization.
Whether you concentrate on the financial aspect or otherwise, proving that you can do the job, based on your experience, is what will land you a job as a Business Analyst.