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There are four steps required to become a securities analyst: post-secondary training, related work experience, apply for a job, and complete the job interview process. A securities analyst spends the majority of her day working with securities and data analysis software. They are responsible for performing standard analyses, writing reports, and exploring different scenarios. Securities is a term used to describe a financial instrument that represents a dollar value, but does not have any value outside the securities system.
People who enjoy working independently, are comfortable exploring multiple scenarios, and are interested in finance find the greatest satisfaction in this type of work. The most important skill for a securities analyst is an affinity for numbers. Attention to detail, discipline, and focus are all essential for anyone who wants to become a securities analyst. It is important to note that huge sums of money are made and lost with the trade of these types of financial instruments. People who have a moral question regarding this type of activity would be happier in another type of role.
The first requirement to become a securities analyst is to complete a post-secondary education program. Although many firms will accept a college diploma in accounting, the vast majority of securities firms prefer a university degree. The degree can be in accounting, math, business, or a related field. The securities industry has experienced huge changes in the regulatory requirements in the past five to seven years. As a result, securities analysts without formal training are very rare.
Related work experience includes trading in securities and stocks, financial adviser, pension analyst, investment analyst, or securities teller. All of these jobs require working with numbers and computers. Analyst positions are typically mid-career, with limited opportunities available to new graduates. Speed and accuracy are critical skills that can be developed and enhanced in these roles.
When applying for a job to become a securities analyst, be sure to proofread your resume and cover letter, double-checking for any grammar or spelling mistakes. It is becoming increasingly common for securities firms to require a credit and criminal records check as part of the application process. Keep this in mind when applying.
During the job interview process, most employers have a standard list of questions and are looking for complete, concise responses. Keep in mind that everything you say will be written down and reviewed. Think about your answers, stay calm, and focus on the skills you bring and how you can contribute.
To advance your career to a management or supervisory level, additional formal training is usually required. This often includes a master's in business administration (MBA). Many people remain as an analyst for their entire careers, making lateral career moves to keep their work varied and interesting. Talk to your human resources manager about the career options available to you within the firm.
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