To become a compliance analyst, a college degree is generally required. Some companies prefer that compliance analysts have at least a bachelor's degree, while others require a master's degree. Work experience and continuing education are also important to becoming a compliance analyst.
Compliance analysts generally make sure that employees and companies are operating within guidelines that regulate the industry. Extensive knowledge of regulatory laws is required. Individuals in this position may also help to write company policy and procedures. Compliance analysts also ensure that the company is protected from potential lawsuits, acting as part of the company's preventive team, and they are also responsible for ensuring that advertising materials are within legal boundaries.
A bachelor's degree in either business or finance are both options for students who wish to become a compliance analyst; degrees specific to this position are generally not found. Many companies require that compliance analysts also have an advanced degree. A master's in business administration is one of the most commonly-held advanced degrees among compliance analysts.
While attending school, students can further their job prospects by getting an internship. While these are sometimes unpaid, they do provide valuable work experience that often makes students more desirable job candidates. In addition, companies will sometimes hire interns as full-time employees after graduation. Another option, if internships are not available, is to shadow or observe a compliance analyst. This experience may offer students a more concrete idea of what a compliance analyst does. It will also allow the student to ask questions of the analyst to find out more about the job.
Another way to become a compliance analyst is to become licensed or certified in the field. This often involves continuing education, even after obtaining a bachelor's degree. Continuing education also keeps a compliance analyst current regarding any changing laws pertaining to the industry.
Working for a company in another position, such as an accountant in the finance department, for example, is another path that may be beneficial for those who wish to become a compliance analyst. This work experience familiarizes the employee with the company and its operation. It may offer a stepping stone for moving into a compliance analyst position at a later time.