How to Become an Associate Analyst in 5 Simple Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published July 5, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you want to help businesses improve their policies or procedures, becoming an associate analyst may be a good option for you. Associate analysts work in a variety of industries, such as finance, information technology, and marketing. Learning more about the role and its responsibilities can help you decide whether this is the right career path for you to follow. In this article, we explain what an associate analyst is, discuss how to become an associate analyst, and answer frequently asked questions you may have about the position.

What is an associate analyst?

Associate analysts, or junior analysts, help businesses or clients with their research and data collection. They typically gather information and present it to a senior analyst to help a company's management team make informed decisions. There are four common types of associate analysts, which are IT associate analysts, business associate analysts, market research associate analyst, and investment associate analysts. While each role has unique responsibilities, here are some common ones associate analysts may share:

  • Evaluate the business' performance and operations to determine what research to conduct

  • Gather information from reputable sources

  • Create detailed reports of their findings to present to management

  • Recommend changes to a business' procedures or policies

  • Meet with clients to understand their requirements and expectations

Related: What Is an Associate in the Workplace? Definition and Types

How to become an associate analyst

If you want to know how to become an associate analyst, here are the steps you can follow to do so:

1. Choose a speciality

Associate analysts can work in almost any industry, but they're most popular in IT, finance, marketing, and business. Here's an explanation of each specialty to help you choose one that meets your interests and unique skills:

Market research associate analyst

Market research associate analysts help businesses and clients get to know their target market and audience better. They may analyze the company's competitors to assess their successful operations and campaigns. They also research industry trends to help companies develop new products and services their target audience is interested in purchasing. Market research associate analysts help companies improve their brand, create new marketing material, and build a loyal customer base.

IT associate analyst

IT associate analysts improve a company's technology and operations. They assess the company's current technology and systems to suggest improvements. They also conduct research to determine what the newest technology is and stay updated with industry trends. This helps companies implement technology that's fast and up-to-date.

Business associate analyst

Business associate analysts help companies improve their day-to-day operations, policies, and procedures. They help businesses develop short-term and long-term goals that lead to improvement. They conduct research to help ensure the company's policies are compliant and successful.

Investment associate analyst

Investment associate analysts typically work with clients or businesses to improve their investment portfolios. They assess their client's existing portfolio and recommend specific investments they can make to improve their profits. They stay up-to-date with the industry to inform clients on when they can sell or purchase specific investments.

Related: Learn about 13 Investment Companies in Canada to Work For

2. Earn a bachelor's degree

Most employers require associate analysts to have a relevant bachelor's degree. Your major depends on the speciality you chose. For example, if you want to be an IT associate analyst, a bachelor's degree in information technology, computer science, math, or statistics can be useful. If you want to be a finance associate analyst, a bachelor's degree in finance, business administration, or accounting may be more helpful. It typically takes four years to get a bachelor's degree.

Related: 9 Data Analyst Certifications to Pursue (With Skills)

3. Pursue an internship

Some programs may require you to complete an internship, but even if yours doesn't, pursuing one on your own can be beneficial. It allows you to gain industry experience in a controlled environment. You can develop the skills, attributes, and knowledge to succeed as an associate analyst.

Related: Nine Practical Benefits of Completing an Internship

4. Gain industry experience

Some companies prefer applicants to have prior industry experience before applying to become an associate analyst. This can include your internship, but also entry-level positions, such as a data analyst. It can also include other positions that help you develop transferable skills, like communication or problem-solving skills. For example, a customer service position can be beneficial as it helps you improve your communication and interpersonal skills.

Related: Learn about 14 Trading Companies in Canada You Can Work For

5. Update your resume

When you graduate and gain industry experience, you can start applying for associate analyst positions. To do this, you need an updated resume. Start your resume with your credentials to show employers you're qualified to work as an associate analyst. Then, discuss your relevant work experience. Include details like the name of the company you worked for, the position you held, your dates of employment, and three to five of your responsibilities.

End with a list of your skills that the employer is looking for in a candidate. To determine what skills to include, assess the job posting or description. Including specific associate analyst skills can help you gain the employer's attention and improve your chances of receiving an invitation to interview.

Related: What Is the Standard Canadian Resume Format? (With 7 Tips)

6. Prepare for upcoming interviews

If your resume is successful, you may receive an invitation to interview for an associate analyst position. To improve your chances of getting the job, it's best to prepare for the interview ahead of time. One way to do this is to research potential questions the interviewer may ask.

Hiring managers typically ask a combination of general and role-specific questions to get to know you and assess your suitability for the role. For example, an interviewer may ask about your greatest strengths and weaknesses and about what software you have experience using. Preparing potential answers ahead of time can help you feel more confident during the interview.

Related: How to Start an Interview (With Tips for Good Performance)

Frequently asked questions about becoming an associate analyst

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions you may have about becoming an associate analyst:

What skills and attributes does an associate analyst need?

A successful associate analyst may need the following skills and attributes:

  • Analytical skills: One of the most important skills for an associate analyst to have is analytical skills. It allows them to conduct research and collect data that helps businesses make informed decisions.

  • Organizational skills: As associate analysts may work on multiple projects at a time and access a variety of databases, staying organized is important. It allows them to work more efficiently and adhere to strict deadlines.

  • Problem-solving skills: Associate analysts typically conduct research and prepare reports to address specific issues of a business. Having strong problem-solving skills allows them to target their research and present potential solutions.

  • Communication skills: To discuss or present their findings, associate analysts need strong communication skills. These skills help them convey their messages effectively in writing or in person.

  • Interpersonal skills: As associate analysts typically work closely with management or clients, having strong interpersonal skills can be beneficial. It allows them to build connections and understand what's expected of them better to improve their work.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

What's the difference between an associate analyst and a data analyst?

Associate analysts and data analysts are similar, and some companies even use the terms interchangeably, but there are some distinctions between the two. A data analyst position is typically entry-level, meaning there are fewer requirements for applying. Associate analyst positions can be entry level, but most companies prefer candidates to have some industry experience. Another difference between the two positions is that data analysts focus solely on research and gathering information, while associate analysts may have more client interaction to understand and fulfil their requirements.

Related: What Does a Data Analyst Do? (With Requirements and Salary)

What is the work environment of an associate analyst?

Associate analysts typically work in an office setting with their own desk or cubicle. They may share the space with other analysts to collaborate more effectively. Associate analysts may work normal office hours, Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but can work overtime to complete projects with strict deadlines. They spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer or in conference rooms to meet with the management team and present their findings.

Explore more articles