Budget analysts often come from a math background, with many choosing a degree in accounting or finance. In addition to math and analytical skills, the profession requires strong communication. Since budget analysts work closely with management, you need to be able to convey your analysis in writing and in visual and oral presentations.
A career in budget analysis goes well beyond crunching numbers and using budgeting principles, though. This career is a good option for people who want to apply a range of skills and collaborate.
Here is a closer look at the career path of a budget analyst.
How to become a budget analyst
Budget analysts need a specific skill set, professional experience in their sector of choice, and a degree. Here is a closer look at these requirements.
Earn a degree
The first step along the budget analyst career path is to earn a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s in math, accounting, business or social science can typically qualify you for an entry-level job. If you choose a business, finance or accounting degree, you will have a stronger understanding of the different types of financial functions of a company or organization.
Budget analysts’ findings can affect the strategic direction of a company or the standing of a government agency. Because of the importance of this role, some employers prefer applicants with a master’s degree. Ideally, a master’s degree in accounting, economics or statistics will provide a thorough understanding of an organization’s financial requirements.
Gain professional experience
Employers in many sectors prefer applicants with experience. In some sectors, competition for lucrative positions is high, and those with experience may have a better chance of securing interviews or open positions.
Internships during a bachelor’s degree program can help with real-world experience, and some small businesses and nonprofits may hire recent graduates and provide a setting for them to gain valuable on-the-job experience.
Some federal agencies hire budget analysts with limited experience for entry-level duties, allowing them to move into higher positions as they gain experience.