For every available graduate job in investment banking, there are over 40 applications. Goldman Sachs only hires 3% of those that apply for its analyst and associate schemes. It helps, therefore, to have an edge over the competition. Can a Masters in Finance course – which cost upwards of $30k at the top schools and requires a further year of study – help provide this?
Anecdotally, the answer appears to be yes. The graduates who succeed in securing a full-time offer at a bulge bracket investment bank are equipped with ever more formidable arsenals of CV points – multiple internships, impeccable academics, the CFA Level I qualification and, increasingly, the technical knowledge that comes with a Masters in finance degree from a top university.
However, we wanted to test which schools offering financial Masters degrees were most favoured by the large investment banks. By analysing the eFinancialCareers CV database, which encompasses around 1.2m resumes of financial professionals globally, we’ve come up with the rankings below.
The league table is based on the proportion of people with finance-focused Masters degrees in our system who have gone on to secure a ‘front office’ investment banking job upon graduation. This means those who have moved into corporate finance, 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, 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. We’ve also broken out the data in the PDF below to show the proportion of graduates gaining roles within the different tiers of investment bank.
We don’t claim that this ranking is perfect, but it gives you an idea of the chances of securing a full-time job if you choose to shell out on an expensive Masters degree.
There are a few of points worth noting on the rankings. Firstly, some schools are missing from the list. U.S. universities are absent for the simple reason that there is not enough data available on our system to credibly include them. The ranking is also a top 25, so other schools which made it on to the list in 2013 have been displaced over the past 12 months. Secondly, some schools or students may grumble at their position – a number of universities who have scored highly in other publications’ rankings are low on the eFinancialCareers list because such a large proportion of their graduates found employment in what we have deemed ‘tier three’ institutions. Skema Business School is a notable example: the largest proportion of its graduates are employed by French investment banks.