If you are thinking to become a risk analyst, the first step that you will need to take is ensuring that this career path is the right fit depending on your skills, interests and personality traits. If you enjoy reviewing and analyzing financial and accounting documents, industry developments and related resources, have an interest in risk mitigation and coverage, enjoy working in a corporate environment, have good skills in mathematics, analytic and business communication and are hoping for a lucrative, rewarding career, you are probably well suited for a career as a risk analyst.
In order to become a risk analyst, it is absolutely essential to have a college education. You will need to start with an undergraduate degree. Although requirements can vary depending on the specific employer, most employers of risk analysts prefer candidates to have an undergraduate degree in the field of finance, mathematics, statistics, computer science, economics or another field which suitably outlines and shows your skills and abilities when it comes to understanding and working with financial information and numbers. Even if you do not pursue a degree in any of the aforementioned fields, you should definitely consider taking a course in risk management or a data science certificate course, if available, as this can be extremely helpful for gaining a job as a risk analyst. It’s also worth noting that industry-related degree choices can also be extremely helpful.
Once you have completed your undergraduate degree, a graduate degree in a subject such as risk management or financial markets can certainly improve your chances of landing a well-paying, secure job as a risk analyst. A graduate degree is particularly helpful if you have graduated college with an undergraduate degree which isn’t directly related to risk management and analysis.
Before you embark on your journey towards becoming a risk analyst, it’s vital that you know exactly what the job entails so that you can come to an informed decision about whether or not it is the right choice for you. Risk analysts are primarily responsible for finding and scrutinizing areas of potential risk that threaten the general financial success and base earning capacity of the private or public sector organizations which employ them. Based on their analysis, they should then develop and present risk mitigation and coverage recommendations. This could include presenting strategies for minimizing risks and maximizing rewards, or ensuring that the regulations put in place by their employer are in compliance with financial and other statutory regulations.
There are many different operational sectors in which risk analysts may work, including sales, trading, origination, financial services, private banking, or marketing. Risk analysts may also specialize in one or more of the following: credit risk, market risk, regulatory risk, or operational risk.
Skills You Need
In order to gain and become effective in a career as a risk analyst, it’s important that you possess a certain set of skills. Employers of risk analysts will typically seek out candidates who have a good set of mathematical and analytical skills and abilities, as well as general skills related to business. When applying for risk analyst jobs, it’s important to make sure that you include evidence of these skills on your resume.
In order to be successful as a risk analyst, you should be familiar with quantitative analysis techniques, have a strong knowledge of the industry which your employer or potential employer operates within, and be proficient in working with and analyzing financial statements. You will also be expected to work well under pressure and work to tight deadlines, therefore you should be experienced at successfully prioritizing and balancing your workload. Gaining and working on these skills before you enter your career path can be done through an internship. Taking part in an internship as a risk analyst will give you a competitive edge over other candidates when applying for paid positions and some employers will even give their interns an advantage over outside applicants when a vacant position is made available.
Although the requirements for becoming a risk analyst will vary from employer to employer, it’s important to have education in a related field, and a range of specific skills which you will use daily in your career. If you enjoy mathematics, finances and data and have good business and analytic skills, becoming a risk analyst could be the perfect career choice for you.