Interested in a financial services career? Credit Risk Analysts are in demand as long as you have these skills:
SAS/SQL, R and Python
In today’s banking environment SAS/SQL is still the analytical industry standard. However, R & Python are quickly gaining steam and are being implemented in the cultures of industry disruptors like the FinTech world and companies looking to do more cutting edge analysis. It is best to have all four programs in your arsenal for the future.
Graduate Degree in Quantitative Discipline
Math, Economics, Statistics, Financial Engineering and Physics are all desirable Master’s degrees for the best credit risk candidates. While not all entry level jobs will require a master’s degree, it certainly makes individuals stand out. M.S. degrees prepare you much better for the work you will be doing early on in your career. MBA’s can become quite useful as you progress into leadership roles.
Strong Statistics Skills
Know how to work with, implement and discuss with non-technical staff statistical processes such as linear/logistic regression, time-series analysis, clustering, segmentation and scorecard analysis. Real world professional experience is always best. Having internships where you apply these kinds of techniques is very helpful, but keep in mind it will not be considered or weighted the same as professional level experience.
Strong Command of Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office tools, especially Excel and Word, are a critical, basic skill set. Excel is still widely used to organize data and as an analyst you will likely be required to know the ins and outs of Excel in order to manipulate the data. Also Excel is more widely understood by the business and strategy managers you will interact with who don’t commonly program in the more powerful tools of SAS/SQL or Python. VBA would also be valuable to know.
Especially English communication skills! It is imperative to not only understand the technical processes associated with credit analytics, but also to communicate those techniques and results to other analysts or to non-technical audiences. This is particularly true in consulting roles. Both written and oral communication skills are crucial.