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Is this really the best Masters in Finance when your finance career has stalled?

How to kick start your finance career, or not

How to kick start your finance career, or not

You’re already working in banking or financial services, but you’re stuck in the back office, or you’re stuck in the middle office, or you’ve missed a promotion, or you’re working for the Bank of Benghazi on the dinar trading desk. What can you do to jump up a level? How about a Masters in Finance? But which one?

Fortunately, the Financial Times has just issued its ranking of the best post-experience Masters in Finance for 2014. If you want a Masters in Finance that will kick-start your career, the FT suggests the courses below (ranked from top to bottom):

1. London Business School’s Masters in Finance 

2. Florida University Chapman Masters in Finance 

3. University of Cambridge Judge Business School Masters of Finance 

4. University of Illinois Masters in Finance 

5. University of Hong Kong Masters in Finance 

But before you go out and spend £38k ($65k) on a 10-16 month Masters in Finance at the London Business School (plus a £1.3k application fee), maybe you need to stop and think. If you follow the FT’s ‘careers ranking’, you may not end up in that desirable finance job you’d hoped for. You could simply end up in a career dead end.

The FT defines career success as ‘career status three years after graduation.’ This in turn is defined as progression according to your level of seniority combined with the size of the company you work for. In other words, the FT is defining career success along the lines of working as vice president for a large international bank. But as as we suggested in May, a lot of vice presidents in investment banks are now frustrated and stuck. Is this really what you should be aspiring to?

A better measure of career success might be the Masters in Finance courses which best enable graduates to escape banks and work for hedge funds or M&A boutiques. Unfortunately, these criteria aren’t included in an easily digestible ranking. Don’t rely on journalists’ research – before you start a MiF degree, you really need to do some investigations of your own.

Related articles:

How a Masters in Finance will affect your pay

The top 25 Masters in Finance for getting a job in investment banking

What recent recruits at JPMorgan tell you about trying to get a job there 

 

 

Comments (4)

Comments
  1. The MiF at LBS is not worth that kind of money. It is geared towards people with experience (it is an executive Masters) and as such caters for people looking to change career paths. 80% of its students are Indian or Chinese students looking to break into the City. These rankings are all biased (same as MBA rankings). As executive Masters go LBS is very good. In terms of ROI, do you really think you will boost your career with a MiF. Most people who do the MiF are accountants, risk managers and middle office executives looking to cross over to the front office.

  2. Let me demystify these comments – with this kind of reasoning skills, i doubt this poster is good enough for a good grad school…probably wldnt get past GMAT and applications.

    The MiF at LBS is not worth that kind of money – yes looks pricey if you pro-rate cash costs. But opportunity costs makes it much cheaper than MBA and executive programs

    It is geared towards people with experience (it is an executive Masters) and as such caters for people looking to change career paths – apparently it teaches financial engineering, quantiative credit risk, distressed and value investing. Not quite executive flavour I reckon.

    80% of its students are Indian or Chinese students looking to break into the City. These rankings are all biased (same as MBA rankings) – Most aspiring finance professionals especially those in markets and IBD aspire to come to London. Those already there will understand why. So not surprising for many students to do the same. As for 80% claim…hmmm, think you should check the facts first. No B-school will overwhelm their population with one or two nationalities.

    As executive Masters go LBS is very good. In terms of ROI, do you really think you will boost your career with a MiF – please substantiate such a claim. If you dont know how to, please enroll yourself at a respectable degree program. They will teach you how to.

    Most people who do the MiF are accountants, risk managers and middle office executives looking to cross over to the front office – from the profiling of students, I think at least half were directly from front office or revenue centres.

    As someone who works in the city, I think the program at LBS is highly reputable. Whether it works for anyone really depends on your personal circumstance…

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