Online Degree Programs & Courses in Financial Analysis

If money makes the world go round, then financial analysis keeps that money moving. Financial analysts examine the details of a business’s financial performance and assess investment opportunities that may improve it. This can involve the evaluation of current or past financial data, the recommendation of particular investment portfolios, or the preparation of written reports on the strengths and weaknesses of a particular financial position. Financial analysis has a large impact on a business’s overall health, and, as such, financial analysts typically enjoy a salary that’s much higher than average.

Typically, financial analysts are divided into two categories: the buy-side analysts, which develop investment strategies for institutional investors; and sell-side analysts, which advise financial services sales agents who sell financial instruments such as stocks and bonds. Financial analysts in both categories may specialize in a particular trend, region, asset, or industry.

Financial analysts will have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree, and a master’s degree in finance can be a competitive edge. While it’s not a requirement to practice, many employers request their financial analysts be certified, primarily through the CFA Institute.

Fortunately, the educational and experiential requirements for financial analysts can be completed almost entirely online. If you’re interested in leveling up your financial analysis skills, read on.

Fast Facts: Why Are Financial Analysis Skills Important?

  • High Reward – According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2019), financial analysts make an average of $85,660 per year, with the top 10 percent earning over $167,420 per year.
  • Growing Demand – The financial analysis field is forecast to add over 20,000 jobs between 2018 and 2028 (BLS 2019), due to a growing range of financial products and the need for in-depth knowledge of emerging markets.
  • Industry Agnostic – Financial analysis skills are applicable in every industry, allowing those who possess them to specialize in practically any area that they wish.
  • Innovative Practices – Those who learn today’s financial analysis skills are also learning innovative practices involving machine learning, simulation, data analysis, and statistics.

Mentors: Three Financial Gurus to Know

Online Financial Analysis Degree Programs

Purdue Global – BS Finance

The online bachelor of science in finance program at Purdue Global gives students the technical knowledge they need in foundational areas of finance. Students may choose to concentrate in one of four areas: general finance, investment management analysis, real estate, and wealth management.

Upon completion, graduates will be able to perform quantitative financial analyses, interpret financial statements, examine investment and financial risk, and analyze financial theory, legislation, and practices. The program consists of 181 credits.

  • Location: Indianapolis, IN
  • Estimated Tuition: $371 per credit

Boston University – MS Financial Management

Boston University’s online master of science in financial management degree is designed for students seeking specialized education in global finance. Students may choose to concentrate in either international finance or investment analysis.

Upon completion of the program, students will have a mastery of quantitative approaches to the analysis of domestic and international financial industries, particularly in the areas of security valuations and risk management. The curriculum also embeds a significant portion of the CFA Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) and offers excellent preparation for the CFA exams. The program consists of 40 credits, and can be completed in as little as 18 months.

  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Estimated Tuition: $925 per credit

Stanford Online – Graduate Certificate in Financial Analytics

The online graduate certificate in financial analytics from Stanford University is a rigorous program that provides students with a theoretical and practical framework for solving problems within the financial industry.

Taught by accomplished financial experts, the program offers students both a broad overview and a deep dive, covering probabilistic reasoning, stochastic models, and statistical and machine-learning data analysis. The program consists of four courses and takes between one and two years to complete.

  • Location: Stanford, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,352 per credit

DIY Skill-Building in Financial Analysis

It’s never been easier to level up in financial analysis. DIY skill-building modules cover a wide swathe of territory: from broad foundational programs to deep-dives into niche areas. These options are cheap, fast, and in some cases, attached to heavyweight institutions.

Coursera

Coursera is an online learning platform co-founded by Stanford Professor Andrew Ng. As a depot of massively online open courses (MOOCs), it offers an enormous range of DIY skill-building options, with over 600 focused on financial analysis.

Students can choose from programs in financial markets, corporate finance, Python for financial analysis, and accounting analytics. Partner institutions include major universities such as the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and others.

edX

Founded by Harvard and MIT, edX is an online learning platform with over 20 million students and educational partners. DIY skill-building options for financial analysis include classes in financial essentials, financial accounting, financial analysis for decision making, corporate finance, and risk management. Curriculums and course delivery are provided through partner institutions such as Columbia University, MIT, the University of Maryland, and Babson College.

Matt Zbrog
Matt Zbrog
Writer

Matt Zbrog is a writer and freelancer who has been living abroad since 2016. His nonfiction has been published by Euromaidan Press, Cirrus Gallery, and Our Thursday. Both his writing and his experience abroad are shaped by seeking out alternative lifestyles and counterculture movements, especially in developing nations. You can follow his travels through Eastern Europe and Central Asia on Instagram at @weirdviewmirror. He’s recently finished his second novel, and is in no hurry to publish it.

Degrees Without Borders: Online Degree Programs in Business & Design

Earning a master’s of science or business administration in design gives students more than just a basic business education. The majority of these programs are interdisciplinary and work across multiple campus departments.

Degrees Without Borders: Online Programs in Applied Statistics

Within the statistician field, several career and educational paths have evolved that focus especially on working with Big Data. Some are in the area of data science, which generally deals with making sense of available information; and others focus on statistical analysis, which can involve creating the frameworks and parameters for effective qualitative and quantitative research, a field generally referred to as applied statistics.

Degrees Without Borders: Online Programs in Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence is the new electricity. Data is the new oil. You would be forgiven for thinking these statements were hyperbolic, but they’re not as far off as they might first appear. The applications of AI-powered analytics reach across practically every sector. Over a third of organizations have already deployed AI-based processes, and analysts forecast global spending on AI to more than double in the next three years, to $79 billion.

Degrees Without Borders: Online Programs in Enterprise Architecture & Business Transformation

Enterprise architecture and business transformation are different roles within a business that require similar skills and challenges. They each have a unique approach to management and their own stakeholders, goals, organization, and more. However, the two commonly work together to help businesses operate effectively and successfully grow.

Degrees Without Borders: Online Programs in Financial Engineering

As the name suggests, financial engineering makes use of mathematical techniques and principles to solve problems in the world of finance. It combines principles from different fields such as computer science, economics, statistics, and applied math, to develop financial products and also analyze financial problems.