How Do I Become a Market Risk Analyst?

C. Mitchell
C. Mitchell
Man holding a globe
Man holding a globe

In order to become a market risk analyst, you must typically have a university degree in business, finance, or accounting; some demonstrated interest in the stock market; and an ability to work quickly, both alone and as a member of a team. One of the easiest ways to become a market risk analyst is to work first in investment planning. The job of a market analyst usually requires expertise in investments, and many analysts start out working with stocks in a more general capacity before they begin charting trends and predicting outcomes. Depending on the company, however, it is sometimes possible to become a market risk analyst right after graduation.

Market risk analysis focuses on measuring the risk of various investment portfolio holdings. Analysis can involve both the holdings of the corporation as well as the holdings of any clients. The specific skills required can vary depending on the job, but a solid grounding in math and other quantitative skills, such as economics, statistics, and finance, is almost always required.

Most employers require you to have at least a bachelor’s degree in one of these fields before you can be considered to become a market risk analyst. A bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as computer science, can be sometimes be substituted, but you will usually have to show that you also took a lot of math and finance courses. If market risk analysis is something you are interested in because you love the coursework, think about an advanced degree. An advanced degree, such as a master’s or a doctorate, will help your candidacy and will also usually warrant a higher starting salary once you become a market risk analyst.

Companies in any number of different sectors employ market risk analysts. The job is most common in the banking and financial planning sector, but nearly all corporations that themselves hold investments employ analysts to manage them. A good way to learn about the different market risk analyst options is to investigate different risk analyst associations.

Risk analyst associations are voluntary groups of risk analysts from across industry in a given country, state, or locality. Most associations charge dues for admission, but many will let students attend meetings or events for free. This can be a great way to meet market analysts who may be willing to mentor you or at least share their career experiences with you. Associations also frequently host job postings on their websites.

Some financial management institutions, particularly in the banking sector, will also employ student interns. Not all internships are directly related to market risk analysis, but they can be a good way to get hands-on experience with the investments and financial analysis more generally, which can prove invaluable on resumes down the line. Taking a general investment internship can also be a good way to get your foot in the door with a company, which can sometimes give you an “in” once you have graduated and are ready to become a market risk analyst.

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