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Non-Ivy League schools that can help you get a job in asset management

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Asset managers are rather picky when it comes to recruiting. As one would expect, hedge funds, private equity firms and banks pluck heavily from Ivy League schools. Roughly 25% of all undergraduate hires come from the eight schools that comprise the Ivy League, according to new research from data provider EVestment. That number is even greater when looking at MBA hires.

The report, which ranked schools based on the total number of alumni actively working in asset management, offers no real surprises at the top. University of Pennsylvania, Harvard and Columbia hold the top three spots, with other Ivy League schools and larger universities with huge enrollments rounding out top 10.

But what if you can’t get into an Ivy but still want a liberal arts education provided by a smaller school? There are some options. Below are the top 10 liberal arts colleges for landing a job in asset management. As you’ll see, the rankings aren’t based solely on total alumni. The list is scaled for school size.

 

Rank Liberal Arts Colleges Total Alumni
1 Williams College 109
2 Bowdoin College 55
3 Claremont McKenna 41
4 Amherst College 49
5 Swarthmore College 30
6 Middlebury College 69
7 Haverford College 23
8 Wellesley College 39
9 Pomona College 23
10 Davidson College 26

 

 

While the numbers don’t appear huge, remember that liberal arts schools only enroll a few thousand people. As a whole, only 6% of active asset managers went to liberal arts schools.

Meanwhile, there are several other slightly larger schools that aren’t classified as liberal arts colleges that are also quite popular amongst asset managers. These include Rice (64 alumni), College of William and Mary (75), Brandeis University (70) and Tulane University (83).

Another interesting anecdote from the report: just 38% of people who work in asset management don’t have a post-graduate degree. The rest have an MBA, a Master’s degree, a PhD or a JD. Also, graduates from Boston-area schools (one of the biggest homes of asset managers, like Fidelity) often find their way into the industry. Whether it’s the proximity or the firms’ proclivity to hire locally is up for debate. Likely it’s a mix of the two.

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