A Q&A session with Finance Department Chair, Heather Dana, on the career scope and opportunities related to financial analysis and how Kaplan University’s School of Business and Information Technology educates students for excellence in this discipline.
What is financial analysis?
Financial analysis uses the financial results of an entity to provide management with an overview of how the entity is performing financially. Financial analysts use a company’s historical data (such as revenue, expenses, investments, debt, etc.) to make projections and business plans for the future. Financial analysis can involve developing revenue and expense analysis, creating annual reports, and identifying trends within the financial results.
What are common professional opportunities in the field?*
Some potential career opportunities in the field include financial analyst, budget analyst, staff accountant, accounting manager, and investment banker.
Why it is an important discipline?
This discipline is important because the validity and accuracy of financial statements are imperative for the success of a company. Business leaders use the reports generated by financial analysts to make assumptions and strategic decisions about the future. Regardless of the career one chooses, understanding how financial analysis works and the importance of using accurate numbers to reflect the financial performance of an entity is a tool that is valuable in all areas of business.
What is Kaplan University's approach to financial analysis curriculum and why is it different?
Kaplan University offers a financial analysis career focus area (CFA) in the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. The financial analysis CFA includes four six-hour courses: Managerial Economics, Corporate Finance, Financial Markets, Financial Statement Analysis.
Students can choose this CFA to learn how to analyze financial performance of organizations over time in relation to competitors, evaluate long term financing techniques and capital structure, calculate investment risks in debt and equity markets in relation to market conditions, and define the role of financial markets and institutions. Students who wish to advance their education can choose to complete a Master of Science in Finance to delve deeper into these topics.†
Kaplan University’s School of Business and Information Technology trains financial professionals for success throughout their career progression at the undergraduate, masters, and licensure preparation levels. Our faculty understands the emphasis that our country places on financial accountability and accuracy, as well as the need for customer orientation in an increasingly competitive global financial market. Our comprehensive educational resources in financial services are designed to educate our students and community about industry best practices. Besides offering opportunities to earn a degree or other credential as a pathway to enter a field, Kaplan Higher Education (KHE) also provides post-degree academic programs for working professionals who need to meet educational requirements in their fields or professions through the Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education (PACE).
Who are the faculty members teaching in the financial analysis career focus area?
The faculty is comprised of both practitioners and scholars. Some of the faculty members are currently employed in the industry. Many have an extensive background from a career in finance, recognized their passion for teaching, and decided to become scholars and researchers in the field.
Some faculty members hold positions as senior financial analysts, chief financial officers, vice presidents, investment bankers and director of treasury.
How can students complement their studies with professional and continued education such as CFA test-prep offerings?
The financial analysis career focus area is an excellent foundation for students who are interested in certifications and designations in finance such as chartered financial analyst (CFA) or certified financial planner (CFP). Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) offers test preparation courses to help assist students in obtaining professional designations. Students interested in combining a finance diploma with test preparation for finance licensure exams will find Kaplan University’s School of Business and Information Technology to be a great choice for their career goals.
* Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.
† While many of Kaplan University's degree programs are designed to prepare graduates to pursue continued bachelor-, graduate- or doctorate-level education, the University cannot guarantee that students will be granted admission to any programs.