CareerExplorer’s step-by-step guide on how to become a credit analyst.
Is becoming a credit analyst right for me?
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Frequently Asked Questions
How to become a Credit Analyst
At the very minimum, a career as a credit analyst requires a four-year degree in finance, but related business bachelor degrees may work as well. As alluded to previously, the scale of a credit analyst's work environment determines the amount of education required. The best colleges in North America for a career as a credit analyst include the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago, and New York University.
Credit analysts are stratified further into buy-side and sell-side analysts. The job requirements of a buy-side credit analyst are much more complex than college graduates may realize. For instance, it is not uncommon for buy-side credit analysts to work with institutional investors such as hedge fund managers and global non-profit organizations. The sheer scope of these institutions means their credit analysts require at the very least an advanced degree along with many years of hands-on experience in the finance industry.
The ability to analyze mathematical information objectively is the most important quality a credit analyst can possess. Financial analysis is an inexact science. The day-to-day and even hour-to-hour fluctuations in financial markets can change the outcome of even the most thorough analysis. High-level organizational skills allow credit analysts to cope with these swings in the market.
From a sell-side perspective, credit analysts assist companies and investors in the sale of financial instruments by making immediate, on-the-spot recommendations. The ability to multi-task is a crucial quality sell-side credit analysts must possess in order to have a lucrative, successful career.