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The top 35 MBAs for getting a job in investment banking

Is it worth going back to school for an MBA?

Is it worth going back to school for an MBA?

It’s no secret that the love affair between MBAs and investment banks is on rocky grounds. There’s a debate about who dumped who, but fewer MBAs are choosing to go into investment banking and investment banks are hiring fewer MBAs – they’ve closed off their markets divisions to MBAs and only them hire for IBD. Instead, banks are hiring Masters in Finance students or graduates from analyst level.

Nonetheless, assuming you wish to spend upwards of $100k on an MBA, and have aspirations to work in investment banking, opportunities remain. Our latest MBA rankings suggest that, predictably, that banks like top hire from the world’s top MBA schools – finance focused or not.

For the third year running, Columbia Business School tops our rankings, followed by (again) the University of Pennsylvania: Wharton and London Business School. The biggest riser in our rankings at the top this year is New York University: Stern, which has gone from seventh in 2015 to fourth this year. According to its employment report, investment banking remains the vocation of choice for Stern graduates, and the largest proportion of its MBAs are still heading into the sector.

The schools that do well in our rankings, which are based on 1.5m CVs uploaded on to the eFinancialCareers Resume Database, not only have a high proportion of their graduates going into investment banking, but they also secure positions at top tier investment banks.

The league table below is based on the proportion of people with an MBA from a particular school who have gone on to work in a ‘front office’ investment banking role upon graduation. This means corporate finance, sales and trading or equity research.

We’ve allocated a greater weighting to those working for investment banks we’ve deemed ‘tier one’ than ‘tier two’ or ‘tier three’. In our ranking, tier one banks are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley. Tier two banks are Barclays, Credit Suisse and UBS, and tier three banks are BNP Paribas, HSBC, Nomura, Royal Bank of Scotland and SocGen. Together with the proportion of people on the CV database who have secured an investment banking job, we’ve come up with the ranking below.

There are, perhaps, few surprises in the rankings. Investment banks hire from elite schools. Students who attend colleges like NYU Stern, which are located in major financial centres, have the advantage of being close to the big banks and therefore able to secure all-important work experience and internships.

Nonetheless, our ranking suggests the overall prestige of the college is all-important when you’re choosing an MBA. This is in contrast to our Masters in Finance ranking, which suggests the top courses for breaking into banking are at less well known institutions and succeed on their own merit.

Photo: Ismagilov/Thinkstock

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