The Finance Preparatory Program (FPP)

Department of Finance
School of Business - Central Connecticut State University

As part of the Department of Finance mission, we are launching the Finance Preparatory Program (FPP). The objective of the FPP is to enhance the job-readiness of our students for entry into the financial industry and to ensure a better alignment between pre- employment training and the quantitative skills that financial sector employers expect from fresh graduates. Mainly, we aim at providing them with the analytical and quantitative skills, (which are not covered in traditional class setting), they need to succeed in the financial industry. The FPP will ensure that our finance graduates continue to be sought after by financial sector employers and that financial industry continues to benefit from well-trained and job-ready graduates.

If you have any questions regarding the FPP , you can email the FPP coordinator :
Dr. Joseph Farhat at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

What are employers looking for?

Many of the financial companies are looking for more than just business, and finance students. The national survey of employers - A Survey Of Employers Conducted On Behalf Of The Association Of American Colleges And Universities – Shows that , Only 29 percent of the employers said transcripts were “fairly” or “very useful”, compared to 67 percent who said “not useful” or “Just somewhat useful”. In terms of skills, one-third of business executives think that a significant proportion of recent college graduates do not have the requisite skills and knowledge.

Below are quotes from recent articles discussing the important of quantitative and analytical skills in the financial industry

Weak economy? Or weak job skills? : What to do now to get a great job upon graduation- by Ann Sumwalt - MBA Center

“Recruiters[Financial Industry ] find the following skills highly attractive ….
• Ability to think analytically
• Quantitative skills
• Ability to integrate information from a wide variety of sources
• Information-gathering skills”

Wall Street Wants More Grads Who Are Good With Numbers -By Ronald Alsop
Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal

"They have come to realize they[Banks and Wall Street firms] really need students with strong skills in financial economics, math and computer modeling for more complex products,"

Analytical & Quantitative Skills are the key to succeed in the Financial Industry!

Most employers today put more emphasis on graduates' skills than on their academic majors. "We want you to have quantitative and analytical skills." Quantitative skills are especially important for those interested in working in finance or financial consulting. If you have completed coursework, workshop or training session that helped you develop and refine these skills, be sure to highlight that on your resume and cover letters aimed at employers who value quantitative skills.

Just to give you a sense of just how important analytical & quantitative skills are, during the first month of 2009 there was about 6,600 openings in the Financial Industry that required (or preferred) quantitative skills. A few examples of these positions advertisements are:

Job TitleQuantitative /Technical Skills/Competencies
Executive Assistant - Hedge FundExcel development experience
Financial Surveillance AnalystProficiency in Microsoft Excel
Financial Planning & Analysis ManagerAdvanced Excel skills
Finance ManagerExpert in Excel and presentation packages
Financial Data AnalystAdvanced Excel skills
Financial Operational AnalystExceptionally Strong excel skills
Quantitative AnalystMust have very strong math and computer skills; focus on Statistics and MS Excel.
Quantitative Research ConsultantExperience with statistical packages such as SAS, SPSS
Credit Risk AnalystAnalytical ability - Must have the skills to use standard statistical packages such as SAS (preferred) or SPSS
The Finance/ Data AnalystPreferred: Hyperion Pillar, SPSS or equivalent,
Fraud Decision Analyst Proficiency in use of analytical packages (SAS, SPSS, Excel etc.) is required.
Risk Management Department - a Risk AnalystWorking knowledge of statistical programs such as SAS, SPSS, or similar packages and analytical methodologies
Credit Risk Portfolio AnalystCompetency in basic statistical analytic languages such as SAS or SPSS.
Financial Analyst1+ years of experience with statistical software, including SAS, Minitab, SPSS
Financial Product Development Associates

Excellent analytical capabilities, with a solid background in accounting, corporate finance, and financial modeling
User familiarity with software financial products such as Fact Set, Compustat.

Research Analyst (Financial Services)

Knowledge of or interest in financial markets and data
Programming and database skills a plus
Prior experience with macro-economic and market data vendors (e.g., Reuters, Bloomberg, Havers, Factset, Datastream, Compustat, Thompson, etc.) preferred.

Risk Analystexperience in SAS, SPSS, and SQL are preferred
Financial AnalystProficiency in use of analytical packages used to analyze customer databases (SAS, SPSS, etc.) is a plus