How Much Does Financial Analyst School Cost?

Financial analysts are crucial in giving guidance to people and businesses who are seeking to make decisions regarding their investments. By evaluating data, studying business trends and researching a company’s financial status, financial analysts are able to recommend which stocks, bonds and investment vehicles make the best investments. Although the job is challenging and mentally stressful, those who want a career in the financial industry are lured to the profession because of the high pay and positive employment opportunities.

If a career as a financial analyst is appealing to you then you’ll have to be prepared to make the financial investment necessary to be able to obtain your degree. The cost of tuition and other fees as well as that of books and supplies are the main expenses that you need to prepare for. In addition, you also need to think about your housing and food expenses while you’re in school.

A bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, economics, statistics and related fields are some of the undergraduate preparations for a career as a financial analyst. Bachelor’s degrees obtained in public schools are cheaper especially for students who are residents of the state where the school is located since they get to enjoy tuition discounts. No such privilege is given to students in private schools where the tuition fee is the same for all students. The difference is quite significant: In-state students in public schools can expect to spend an average of nearly $9,000 a year while out-of-state students can expect to spend about $22,000 annually. In private schools, meanwhile, the average cost of tuition and fees is about $30,000 annually. Expenses for room and board can range anywhere from $9,000 to $10,000 a year. You still have to factor in your personal and travel expenses to the equation as well.

Bachelor’s degrees are only good for entry-level financial analyst posts. Advanced positions require a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a master’s degree in finance. The total cost of these two-year programs can easily range from $100,000 to $200,000 depending on the school where you go to. Online MBA programs offer a cheaper alternative especially since the flexibility of an online program gives you the chance to work at the same time.

Whether you study online or on-campus, you can still lower the cost of tuition by applying for financial aid. Ask the financial aid advisor of your school if there are scholarships, grants or work-study opportunities that you can apply for. There are also student loans that you can apply for to help pay for your college costs.

If the price of getting an MBA is too steep for now, you can still beef up your qualifications by becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). This certification, which can be obtained from the CFA Institute, is designed to be a self-study program which can be done at your own pace and time. Although it is very challenging, the cost is definitely less than what you would pay for compared to an MBA program. You pay a one-time enrollment fee of $450 and a standard registration fee of $825. The cost will cover the curriculum that you need to study, interactive planner, practice tests and a mobile study app. For as long as you will pass the three exams in your first try, you will keep your costs at a minimum.

To qualify for the CFA exam, you need to fulfill one of the following requirements: 1) bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, 2) be in the final year of a bachelor’s degree program, 3) four years of professional work experience or 4) have combined professional work and university experience that total a minimum of four years. To receive the CFA charter, you will need to pass the three tests, gain four years of professional work experience before, during or after the CFA exams in the field and become a regular member of CFA Institute.

Career Spotlight: Financial Analyst

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