If you aspire to work in banking but are uncertain as to what the biggest banks look for when they hire, we may have some answers for you.
We’ve combed through the eFinancialCareers database to look for the commonest features of people who work or have worked in nine of the biggest banks in the world (Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, UBS, Credit Suisse, Bank of America, and Barclays). Our database has millions of résumés in total, but we focused our attention on the 250,000 CVs that have been uploaded in the past year.
We screened these CVs on the basis of educational establishment, industry qualifications, languages spoken and sportiness. The results were pretty predictable – Goldman Sachs employs the most highly educated bankers from the biggest name universities in the world. It also employs the highest proportion of people with top class degrees (although they’re still in a tiny minority). But there were some surprises. These included the fact that the most sporty bankers seem to work at UBS and that by far the most prevalent qualification at all banks is a Masters, with nearly 30% of people who’ve worked for Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank or UBS possessing a Masters qualification of some kind.
Based on our analysis, we’ve suggested what makes employees at each bank distinct. Our findings are not scientific. The results may be skewed by the prevalence of a large number of Europeans on our database. Nor have they been validated by each of the banks concerned. The variations between banks are small. And the most notable thing of all is the proportion of bankers at top firms who haven’t been to top Ango Saxon universities and who don’t have CFA or MBA qualifications and play sport in their spare time.
The perfect profile for a career at Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs: Big name universities, more CFAs than MBAs, sporty types
Surprise, surprise: Compared to other banks, Goldman Sachs employs the most highly educated bankers from the biggest name universities, with the best academic records. It’s also comparatively keen on people who play sport.
Of 4,527 resumes loaded into our system over the past year with the words ‘Goldman Sachs’ written on them…
- 10% were from Oxford or Cambridge, the London School of Economics or Imperial College.
- 9.9% were from the Ivy League (here defined as Harvard, Yale, Wharton, Columbia, Princeton, Dartmouth, Duke)
- 10.1% were from Mandarin or Cantonese speakers
- 28.4% had a Masters or MSc qualification
- 2.98% had a first class honours degree or a GPA of 4.0.
- 17.3% had passed a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam
- 11.5% had an MBA.
- 6.7% said they participated in ‘sport’.
The perfect profile for a career at J.P. Morgan
J.P. Morgan: Meritocratic mavericks hired from off the beaten-track
If Goldman Sachs is comparatively keen on elite universities, the same can’t be said for J.P. Morgan.
Of 5,665 resumes loaded into our system over the past year with ‘J.P. Morgan’ written on them…
- Just 6.5% were from Oxford or Cambridge, the London School of Economics or Imperial College
- Just 6.1% were from the Ivy League
We infer that JPMorgan is less educationally elitist than Goldman Sachs. However, JPMorgan does like to hire people with CFAs (15.5%) and does like to recruit MBAs (10.2%) – just not as much as Goldman Sachs.
The perfect profile for a career at Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley: Ivy Leaguers, especially in the UK
Like Goldman, Morgan Stanley quite likes big name universities – especially in the UK.
Of 6,083 ‘Morgan Stanley’ resumes loaded into our system over the past year…
- 7.8% were from the Ivy League universities in the U.S.
- 8.8% were from Oxford or Cambridge, the London School of Economics or Imperial College.
- 10.9% have an MBA.
The perfect profile for a career at UBS
UBS: Some sporty German and French language speakers with Masters Qualifications
There are no big surprises for UBS either: the Swiss bank likes well-educated French and German language speakers. More startlingly, people at UBS are disproportionately into sport.
Of the 8,393 ‘UBS CVs’ loaded into our database over the past year…
- 32% speak either French or German (compared to 25% at Goldman Sachs)
- Only 5.2% have a U.S. Ivy League education
- 6.9% included the word ‘sport’ (compared to 4.5% of people at Citigroup or 4.2% of people at Bank of America, for example)
- 28% have a Masters or MSc (higher than at any other bank except Deutsche)
The perfect profile for a career at Barclays
Barclays: Educationally ambivalent – seems to hire from a broad range of universities. Not big on the CFA
As a major UK bank, you might think that Barclays would hire a lot of people from elite UK universities like Oxford and Cambridge, Imperial or the London School of Economics. Actually, this doesn’t seem the case.
Of 10,729 ‘Barclays’ CVs loaded into our database (yes, Barclays bankers seem keen to move)…
- Only 11.1% mentioned the CFA qualifications (versus 17.3% at Goldman Sachs)
- Only 6.9% were from Oxford or Cambridge, Imperial or the London School of Economics (versus 10% at Goldman Sachs)
- Only 2.9% had a Masters qualification (versus 28.4% at Goldman Sachs).
The perfect profile for a career at Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank: Some highly educated Germans and Hindi speakers with a thing for sport
Entirely predictably, our database suggests that Deutsche Bank likes to employ Germans. Surprisingly, however, it doesn’t like to hire that many Germans. – The most common language spoken at Deutsche Bank is English. Along with Barclays (and – surprisingly – Bank of America) Deutsche Bank hires comparatively few CFAs.
Of 8,052 CVs loaded into our database citing ‘Deutsche Bank’…
- 19% were from German speakers
- 98% were from English speakers
- 28.1% were from people with a Masters or MSc.