As MBAs pull back from financial services, and banks invest more in new graduate recruits, the Masters in Finance qualification is gaining more prominence as firms expect their new recruits to be more technical than ever.
Our own research suggests that of the analyst class of 2015 going into the investment banking divisions of bulge bracket firms, 36% of new recruits possessed and Masters in Finance qualification. At analyst level, a higher proportion of people possess a Masters than at any more senior rank in investment banking, suggesting that today’s juniors are more qualified and technically proficient than their predecessors.
But your chances of securing a front office investment banking job also depend upon your choice of school. In actual fact, according to analysis of 1.2m CVs on our resume database, the largest proportion of Masters in Finance graduates (12%) end up in accounting roles.
For the third year running we’ve decided to assess which schools’ Masters in Finance courses are most likely to land you a front office job in a large investment bank.
Our results suggest that European schools, which have more established Masters in Finance courses, are most likely to land you a front office job. Esade Business School in Spain tops our rankings, moving up from 2nd last year, followed by HEC Paris and then MIT: Sloan in the U.S. MIT is, however the only U.S. school to make the top ten, with both Imperial College London and London School of Economics moving up our rankings over the past 12 months to complete the top five.
The league table is based on the proportion of people with finance-focused Masters degrees in our CV database who have gone on to secure a ‘front office’ investment banking job upon graduation. This means those who have moved into M&A, capital markets, sales and trading or equity research. Since the rankings are simply based upon individuals’ moves upon graduation, we’ve included both pre-experience courses (which make up the majority) as well as the small number that recommend students have industry experience before undertaking them.
We’ve allocated a greater weighting to those gaining a position in a tier one investment bank (Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley), followed by tier two banks (Barclays, Credit Suisse and UBS) and finally tier three institutions (BNP Paribas, HSBC, Nomura, Royal Bank of Scotland and SocGen) and, together with the proportion of people securing a job, have assigned a score to each college.
This year, because of an increasing number of profiles on our CV database, we’ve extended the ranking to include 30, rather than 25, universities.