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The best banking jobs when you’re in your 20s

Young banker

Contemplating a career in M&A

Being a 20-something banker is like being a 50-something poet. You’re in your prime. Long hours come as easily as iambic pentameters and jobs flow to you like readings in village halls.

Just how easy it is to find a banking job in your 20s is demonstrated by the ‘experience distribution’ of jobs on this site. 72% of the jobs which actually specify experience levels are open to candidates with between one and seven years’ experience. The 20-something cohort, in other words.

As per our article last week on jobs for finance professionals aged 35+, the distribution of finance jobs by experience looks like this:

Best banking jobs when you're 35

Just as some jobs in banking are more skewed towards people aged 35+, other finance jobs are disproportionately skewed towards people in their 20s. An analysis of the jobs advertised on this site suggests that if you have less than seven years’ experience in financial services, you’re best off applying for jobs in…equities.

As the graph below shows, however, it’s not that simple.

Different sectors have different requirements within the seven-year experience range. If you have one to three years’ experience, jobs in trading and private equity are particularly skewed in your favour. When you have three to five years’ experience it’s trading, M&A and private equity (although some jobs in private equity may require M&A experience first). And when you have five to seven years’ experience, operations and equities jobs are particularly slanted to you. At this stage, jobs in private equity and trading and relatively hard to come by.

And the jobs that are less accessible to 20-somethings? Unsurprisingly, they’re in risk and compliance, where 63% and 62% of jobs require less than seven years’ experience respectively. Even here, though, a clear majority of roles are skewed towards the young. Wisdom counts for something in financial services, but intelligence, enthusiasm, youth, and cheapness count for more.

 

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