An analyst, specifically a financial analyst, is an expert who studies both microeconomic and macroeconomic data alongside company fundamentals and recommends appropriate business actions to clients. The financial data primarily comes from reports provided by the analyst’s clients. It should always be supplemented with general information reflecting the current international and local economic climate.

A good financial analyst also does a little investigating and gets further data to get a more complete picture of the client’s financial status by conducting interviews with the client’s representatives as well as other industry experts, and digging into public records.

If you’re interested in a career as a financial analyst, read on. Though many financial analysts are equipped with an MBA, people with majors like business, economics, accounting, math and even computer sciences, biology, physics and engineering have a good shot at being hired as junior analysts. However, an MBA of course usually means an automatically higher position than a junior level financial analyst. Successful junior analysts usually get a chance to climb the ladder after three to four years in a firm.

Being a financial analyst pays pretty well. Many employers give huge bonuses for good performance, such as successful client deals, at the end of the year. However, in recent years analysts have been painted in a bad light due to the effects of the recession. Despite this being an analyst is still considered to be a very desirable profession in terms of compensation.

Financial analysts work long hours and have to be very disciplined with deadlines and able to deliver every time a client needs it.