Hedge Fund Analysts


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Useful high school classes include finance, business, accounting, economics, computer science, English, and speech. Participation in business or investing clubs will also be useful.

Postsecondary Education

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in finance, statistics, mathematics, computational finance, financial engineering/financial mathematics, or a related field is needed to work as an analyst. Many analysts (especially those in senior positions) have graduate degrees. The International Association for Quantitative Finance provides a list of colleges and universities that offer degrees in financial engineering/financial mathematics at http://www.iaqf.org/academic-programs.


The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association offers the Fundamentals of Alternative Investments Certificate Program. In this online, self-paced course, you’ll learn about traditional vs. alternative investments, hedge funds, investment returns and risks, due diligence, risk management, and other topics. Visit https://caia.org/programs/fundamentals for more information. 

Other Education or Training

Many professional associations provide continuing education opportunities. For example, the CMT Association offers webcasts such as Building a Career Using Technical Analysis and U.S. Financial Market Update. The New York Alternative Investment Roundtable, CFA Institute, International Association for Quantitative Finance, Investments and Wealth Institute, and CFA Society New York also provide professional development classes, webinars, and seminars.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Becoming certified is a good way to keep your skills up to date and show employers that you’ve met the highest standards established by your industry. Here are some of the most popular certification designations for analysts:

  • The chartered financial analyst program, which is administered by the CFA Institute, has three levels of examinations and measures the candidate’s ability to apply the fundamental knowledge of investment principles at the professional level. This is also a useful advanced course, primarily for research analysts and similar positions. See https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/programs/cfa.
  • The chartered alternate investment analyst designation is administered by the Chartered Alternate Investment Analyst Association. It’s geared those who manage, analyze, distribute, or regulate alternative investments. See https://caia.org/programs/the-caia-charter. 
  • The chartered investment counselor designation, which is offered by the Investment Adviser Association, tests applicants’ proficiency in investment counseling and portfolio management. See https://www.investmentadviser.org/resources/professional-designations/cic-designation.

Other certifications are provided by the: 

  • Association for Financial Professionals (certified treasury professional, certified corporate financial planning and analysis professional)
  • Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (certified financial planner)
  • CMT Association (chartered market technician)
  • Hedge Fund Group (certified hedge fund professional)
  • Investments & Wealth Institute (certified investment management analyst)

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Analysts who are hired straight out of college must have previous experience (internship, co-op, summer job) at a hedge fund or in financial research at an investment bank, in another alternative investment sector or with a Fortune 500 corporation. Two to three years of experience as a junior financial analyst is necessary to qualify for positions at top firms.

Successful hedge fund analysts must have a deep understanding of financial and economic markets; excellent quantitative, communication, presentation, and time-management skills; curiosity; a passion for investing and the investment process; the ability to analyze information quickly; a willingness to continue to learn throughout their careers; and the ability to work both independently and as a member of a team.