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The best Hong Kong universities for getting a front office investment banking job

Hong Kong is the de facto financial centre for the Greater China region, and Hong Kong’s universities send a good proportion of its graduates into finance and banking each year. But do graduates from these universities have their own preferences as which division of investment banking they they end up in?

We’ve looked into our CV database, encompassing over 1m CVs globally, to ascertain where the graduates of the top five Hong Kong universities – University of Hong Kong, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST), City University of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong Baptist University – work within the investment banking sector.

We isolated the proportion of total graduates from these universities on our database and then split that number across the divisions that fall into IBD – investment banking/M&A and capital markets – and then those working in ‘markets’ jobs – namely, trading, equity research and exotic products within this.

Perhaps not surprisingly, HKUST and University of Hong Kong have the highest proportion of graduates going into the IBD division of investment banks: both at 8%. This vindicates a long-held perception that HKUST, well-known for its business and science courses, has been a major provider of graduates to investment banks in recent years. However, the University of Hong Kong, which is very strong at liberal arts majors, is no worse than HKUST when it comes to sending its graduates into banks. Further down, Chinese University of Hong Kong is not far behind, with 7% of its graduates going into investment banks. At the end of the chart, the chance for graduates of Hong Kong Baptist University to enter investment banking is only half of that at HKUST or University of Hong Kong.

 

And here is what we find about the markets division:

University of Hong Kong stands out in this category: almost 1 in 4 of its graduates get a job in the Markets division at investment banks. After this, Chinese University of Hong Kong and HKUST come almost neck to neck with each other, meaning graduates from these two universities have nearly the same chance of getting a Markets job with a bank. At the end of the chart, it is again Hong Kong Baptist University which has 17% of its graduates going into Markets. Not surprising, though, as Hong Kong Baptist University is traditionally known for its excellent journalism courses.

It’s worth pointing out, however, that if you are geared towards the financial sector and want to work in investment banking, Hong Kong universities still lag the top global schools. A hefty 40% of graduates from the University of Pennsylvania on our database work in M&A alone, for example, and top schools like London School of Economics have more than 30% of their graduates working in front office roles.

 

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