Financial-Analyst

Best Financial Analysis Courses ranked by Bankers (2020)

In Finance Courses & Certifications by Gaurav SharmaUpdated On:

Financial-Analyst“Financial Analyst” is as broad a term as you can come across in finance. A financial analyst can be someone building projections for the next quarter for a shoe manufacturer to someone analysing the returns on investment grade emerging market debt. Its pretty broad terminology.

For the most part though, financial analysts have to deal with numbers that are important to companies. So, the one skillset that all financial analysts need to have is the ability to understand, analyse and present those numbers in a format that is digestible by their target audience. That target audience can be management, clients, shareholders, regulators or anyone else.

You need Desk-Ready Skills

In order to do any of this, you first need a specialised set of skills. Some of these skills may be acquired on the job but employers would want you to demonstrate your ability to be a good financial analyst beforehand. After all, there are plenty of candidates out there.

You not only need to demonstrate the skills, but you also need to add value to your CV. Majoring in Finance, Business or accounting will help, but you need some “desk-ready” skills which is what these courses will provide you. These courses are also offered by the world’s top universities or training providers which will make your CV stand out.


1. Certified Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA) from CFI

Why take the FMVA?

  1. The FMVA is the premiere certification for financial analysts worldwide. It provides you with the CV value that you need to get a shortlist, the knowledge you need to clear the interviews and the desk ready skills to hit the ground running on your first day on the job. 
  2. The modular nature of the coursework is another unique feature. You have a bunch of optional prep courses that you can take base don your skill level. You can skip these if you already have a good grasp on those topics, thus saving  you a lot of time. The same is true for the elective courses where you only take what you need. 
  3. For example, the elective courses include topics like startup/ eCommerce modeling, LBO modelling, M&A modelling, renewable energy modeling, reals estate modeling etc. You can pick and choose the ones you want to count towards your FMVA certification.
  4. Additionally, there are some mandatory topics that each financial analyst has to be aware of anyway like business modeling, cash flow analysis, scenario and sensitivity analysis, dashboard and data visualisation etc. Everything you need as a financial analyst is in here and it is great.
  5. The quality of the course material is excellent and it is delivered by professionalises (fellow bankers) who have years of experience in the field. The added brand value of the FMVA from the Corporate Finance Institute is something that anyone would want on their Resumes, especially in this tough market environment.

Summary

  • Time to Complete: Around 120-200 hours depending on your experience and skill level.
  • Available fully online and on-demand.
  • The best formal certification for Financial Analysts.

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2. Finance & Quantitative Modeling for Analysts Specialization from Wharton Online

Why take this course?

  1. Wharton is one of the best brands you can get on your CV. It’s a top-rated business school and this course oozes the same quality that the financial services industry has come to expect of them. You learn from the top Wharton professors in Statistics, Finance and Accounting.
  2. This course has been designed for Financial analysts, as you can judge from the title. In fact, there is another very similar course like this, but I chose this one to put on this list because of that analyst focus. The module on financial acumen and corporate finance should be helpful to all analysts.
  3. The rest of the course focuses on modelling, including handling spreadsheets. As someone who has worked in finance for a long time, I can tell you that spreadsheets become a part of your life. The better you are at handling them, the easier your life will be and the more you can impress your bosses. It’s an essential skill for financial analyst and this course provides a nice primer.

Summary

  • Time to Complete: Around 25 hours.
  • Available fully online and on-demand on the Coursera platform.
  • Highly recommended for its brand value and friendly content delivery.

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3. Online Professional Certificate in Corporate Finance from NYIF

Why take this course?

  1. If you are looking for a more advanced course for financial analysis, this is it. This course is better suited for investment/ corporate bankers, equity and debt analysts, traders and others who require a more advanced understanding of financial analysis. However, it will also prove indispensable to corporate financial analysts because of the topic overage which we discuss next.
  2. The course covers everything you need as a financial analyst – starting with some basic accounting, business and project valuation, credit analysis, corporate finance, M&A, treasury management and so on.
  3. NYIF is another solid brand to have on your CV. If you need a more advanced course that covers financial analysis, then this is it. I would also recommend this for professionals looking for a mid-career transition into finance.

Summary

  • Time to Complete: Around 60 hours.
  • Available fully online and on-demand.
  • The best advanced course for Financial Analysts.

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4. The Complete Financial Analyst Course 2020 at Udemy

Why take this course?

  1. The best course if you are an absolute beginner and want to focus mostly on the spreadsheet and accounting side of things. This course is not meant for financial analysts at banks (pick one of the other ones in this list for that) but rather for financial analysts involved in financial planning, budgeting, reporting and such roles which focus on the accounting side of things.
  2. The course does present a lot of information relevant to financial analysts ranging from accounting basics and Excel magic to managing the finances, budgets and cash flows of companies. Most of what you need to know to hit the ground running or prepare for an analyst interview seems to be covered here.
  3. The course quality is solid, and the concepts are well explained with the understand that the target audience is new to all these concepts. If you already know Excel and finance/ accounting basics, you would be better served with one of the more advanced courses featured above.

Summary

  • Time to Complete: Around 20 hours.
  • Available fully online and on-demand.

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About the Author

Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav started his career as a Corporate and Investment Banking intern at Citi in 2009 and eventually ended up as an Associate Director at Standard Chartered Bank’s Wholesale Banking division a few years later. By 2016, Gaurav was consulting FinTech start-ups in London with product development in the institutional banking space. He also advises mid-market Private Equity/ Asset Management firms and Banks in North America and Europe with investments in the financial services and FinTech sector. Gaurav writes on topics ranging from European Union banking regulations and FinTech to Blockchain startups and the inevitable rise of our AI overlords! He has an Engineering degree in Computer Science and an MBA with a double major in Finance and Marketing. He is also a Certified Financial Risk Manager.