The data of clients are examined by the financial analysts and business analysts all over the world. They utilize their research in developing recommendations to their superiors related to the business decisions. If we talk about the financial point of view, the main reason analysts are called in an organization is to help the external clients in making the decisions related to the investments. The financial data are studied by the financial analyst with a motive to spot trends and creating forecasts. The periodic reports are prepared by the analyst where they recommend the organization about the decisions related to the buying or selling particular securities. That’s not all, the top-level financial analysts are even called for utilizing the financial models for determining whether the time is right for selling the organization.

The company’s data is poured by the business analysts in a similar way so that they can utilize their research for helping the management while making decisions about the business. There is an involvement of business’s day to day operations in this data, instead of just being related to the investment. It includes business models, business analysts study strategy, technical systems, processes, and business models. The main motive behind calling business analysts is identifying inefficiencies and looking for chances to make the operations of the company better and streamlined.

Business analysts work internally same as a financial analyst. However, their roles are different as they analyze the data for their employer. There is also a chance that they may be hired by the outside clients for conducting the analysis.

Education Needs

Both the financial analysts & business analysts aren’t governed by a central regulatory who demand extremely tough and fast educational needs as in the case of certified public accountants or attorneys. The amount of education needed for potential analysts is determined by the individual companies who are hiring a candidate. The majority of the jobs demand a bachelor’s degree in all types of fields. Additionally, there are some fields that demand master’s degrees.

A degree related to business can be useful for any career instead of just getting an overly broad bachelor degree in business. There are some particular specializations that can give you an easier way of getting a successful career as a business analyst or financial analyst. When one talks about the financial side, the majors that are preferred include economics, statistics, and finance. A candidate having a bachelor’s degree in one of these fields with some work experience and a solid GPA can work perfectly in a useful MBA program.

Individuals who want to become a business analyst can select from lots of majors that consist of management, accounting, financial, and information technology degrees. Again, you should keep in mind that the majority of jobs demand a bachelor’s degree as a fulfilling need, whereas getting a master’s degree has become more than just a necessity for the business analysts in many fields.

Skills Required

There is no need to say that you required some strong analytical skills for an analyst position of all types. No matter, it is a financial analyst or a business analyst, a successful individual should have skills to spot trends and anomalies in a great set of complex data and develop accurate inferences with the help of those researches.

When one talk about the financial side, it is also important to have solid quantitative knowledge. There is no need for financial analysts to become mathematicians as the computing technology has advanced and eliminate the requirement of an analyst to solve complex mathematical problems through hands. However, it is important that for a financial analyst to have strong knowledge in the areas, like statistics. Additionally, they should have a strong desire to understand the concept of distributions, trends, and probability.

On the other hand, the business analysts need to be stronger with the numbers, but more than that, they require to solve the problems that result due to qualitative data. For instance, there is a chance that an analyst will be assigned to researching a tougher flowchart and finding the position where a workflow process is redundant or convoluted. Although there is no need for any mathematical proficiency demanded by this type of task, the strong reasoning skills and the utilization of logic is required.

Starting Salary

There is above average incomes earned by the financial analysts and business analysts even while working at the entry level. However, none of them pay salaries offered in the fields, such as corporate law or investment banking. But, you should keep in mind that you even don’t have to work for the hours that demanded by the investment banking or corporate law. If you are one of those people who want to slightly less money than the people on Wall Street in the lieu of better life balance, then working as a business or financial analyst is worth to choose.

As per the recent update in the Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance 2017, the normal salary range of a financial analyst at a bigger company ranges from US$ 53,000 to US$ 66,000. That’s not all, the addition of bonuses and commissions can increase the salary by up to US$ 50,000.

On the other hand, an entry-level business analyst generally earns anywhere between US$ 54,750 to US$ 69,000 along with some bonuses. Looking at the above-mentioned factors, you can see the income is almost identical in both the careers. Other than money, the factors, like skill set and personality kind needs to be utilized for determining which career is better out of both.

Job Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a growth of 11% expected for the financial analysts between 2016 & 2026 in comparison to the expected job growth of 7% for all other occupations. However, they don’t reveal the numbers for the business analysts. But, we can predict that the business analysis through their nature. They are a broader and bigger field than the financial analysis that directly means it will have more number of jobs any time. The number of graduates who want to become business analysts is also increasing that reduces the amount of competition between these careers.

Which One to Select

There is a striking similarity between the two careers, competition, income, and average working hours. If you choose to work 40 to 50 hours in a week, then you can make US$ 50,000 to US$ 60,000 and enjoy a wonderful job market through 2026. So, selecting one between the two is increasingly difficult.

The biggest difference between a business analyst and a financial analyst is that a business analyst has to work with the operations and management, whereas a financial analyst has to deal with the investments. It all came down to the fact you choose the field where you feel confident and prefer to work.

A financial analyst looks to be the best career move for the individuals whose favorite subject was statistics and prefer to work with the numbers. On the other way, an individual who is skilled at delegating work and developing projects should choose a business analyst field.