Banking jobs have always been sought after for any individual who wants to make a career in the financial services space. Banks not only provide stability but also growth and the option to diversify your skill set. In the 60s, completing a graduation degree was a big achievement as it came with a guarantee of a bank job. Though the banking sector had not opened up by then, there were enough people vying for a bank job. Yet, it was much easier to get a job in the banks in those days as the competition was much lesser.
Fast forward to the 21st century where getting a basic graduation degree is commonplace and most people opt for a post graduate degree to enhance their skill set and become a specialist of sorts. The competition is much more considering higher availability of qualified people who want to build a good career for a good lifestyle. Exposure to the global markets gives individuals a better understanding of different types of jobs available.
If you are looking for a career in the banking space, one of the most sought after job roles is that of a credit analyst. Most people, if given an option, would not want to be in sales as it is a high stress profile with targets that are not welcome. Hence, a credit analyst position gives you the opportunity to be part of the banking ecosystem and contribute to the growth of the bank by analyzing the risk in giving any form of credit (credit cards, loans etc.) to individuals or corporates.
What exactly do credit analysts do?
Today, we live in a world of credit where everything from a mobile phone to a house can be bought by paying a small down payment followed by monthly EMIs. This also means big money for the institutions who are offering credit as interest earned on these loans is extremely lucrative. But this also means that the institution is willing to take the risk of default and hence the chance of losing the principal. Hence, credit analysts play an important role in analyzing the profile of the entity before a loan is granted. Credit analysts are responsible for collecting and analyzing information of the entity by looking at their credit history and paying habits. A credit analyst would also evaluate the future contingencies involved and the potential to pay up the EMIs. Hence, this profile could translate into a lucrative career for those individuals who are good at analyzing data and enjoy number crunching.
Skills required to becoming a credit analyst
Strong analytical skills – Considering a credit analyst deals with a lot of financial data, having strong analytical skills becomes a pre-requisite. They should be good with number crunching and should be able to identify anomalies in the data to reach a right decision.
An eye for detail – A credit analyst should have an eye for detail to look for hidden information in the profile that might not be written explicitly. They need to be diligent and pay great attention to detail
Understanding of different sectors – Since the credit analysts have to analyze entities that could come from varied industries, a basic know how of the different industry sectors is definitely a value-add that can help credit analysts take a more informed decision.
Ability to read financial statements – A credit analyst should be able to read financial statements and analyze them before reaching a decision on whether credit should be given or not.
What is the education qualification required to become a credit analyst?
A credit analyst position is a specialized job that requires specific skill-set. The minimum education qualification is a bachelor’s degree in a financial stream where fair amount of exposure is given to accounts, economics, financial statement analysis etc. But as mentioned earlier, a bachelor’s degree might not be sufficient to cater to the complete skill set required for the job. An additional certification in the credit space would surely be a value add that would differentiate an individual from others vying for the same role. A certification like CCRA (Certified Credit Research Analyst) is a specialized certification that focuses on credit analyst jobs and is a course that many institutions look for before hiring individuals.
In the 60’s or the 70’s, banks/institutions used to spend ample time with employees for trainings them on different aspects of a particular job role. But in the current scenario, with increasing target pressure and less time in hand, on the job trainings become difficult. Hence, an individual is on his own and has to figure out ways of enhancing his skill set by himself. This is where a CCRA certification can be very helpful and provide the right knowledge for the job.
Job opportunities available with CCRA certification
There are ample job opportunities available for a credit analyst. Some of them could be with the banks (car loan, home loan, credit card, personal loan etc.), Credit rating agencies, Insurance companies, Non- Banking Finance Companies(NBFCs), Credit Monitoring agencies, Credit Research agencies etc.
Article written by Namrata Arora (Director, Knowise Learning Academy)