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The top 30 Masters in Finance for getting a job in investment banking

Msc finance investment banking

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.

Comments (13)

  1. For anyone looking at the top schools listed here it could be worth noting that the Stockholm School of Economics is completely free if you are a EU citizen. SSE can therefore be a really good choice for a banking career. Also worth noting is that their Masters degree programmes are two years long which could be something negative, but also something positive, depending on your situation.

  2. What you guys think of Cambridge’s MPhil in Finance? Does IB recruit from there at all?

  3. JohnW – Cambridge MPhil finance is one of the best fin programmes in the world (not very practical like IE’s programme, but more theoretical) and those who actually manage to get in and have good work exp credentials will have their pick of whatever they want to do for a career. Note most would probably shun IB for something better paid/more prestigious/more exciting. Source: personally Studied at IE and Cambridge and have friends from most of these programmes.

  4. how good is the bocconis msc in finance.it was ranked 8th in the world in the ft rankings however it has registered a massive drop in these rankings.however in the another etc ranking it was ranked second for breaking into banking in london.i had offers from warwick,bocconi and melbourne and have chosen bocconi.have i taken a wrong decision?

  5. why there is no Mathematics here? surely quants would have strong math background…

  6. 44 year old male with no banking experience, 20 years running my own small/medium sized businesses, and B Com / MBA degrees completed 15 years ago from an OK university. Am I wasting my time considering doing a MIF degree to fulfil a dream of breaking into corporate finance? Would any banks consider employing such a dinosaur ☺?

  7. Is this list worth to follow for sorting out universities and sending applications in IB careers perspective ?
    And what are the precautions i have to take to get accepted in these top schools with non-finance undergrad(now working in an IT MNC from past one year) ?
    Please provide valid inputs if have any ideas. Thanks in advance. :)

  8. Hi alex oldguy,

    I have 15+ years experience with top-tier banks in London/Singapore and came across your comment while researching a good uni for someone close.

    MIF is for entry level jobs in banking e.g. Corporate Finance. Though all banks have “equal opportunity” policy, but in reality these factors become quite real unless you have good networks in banking. Then there are issues of working under a 27 year old associate.

    Instead of targeting a technical area e.g. corporate finance, M&A or trading where you would suit more entry level role, I would suggest pick where you can show transferable skills gained in running your business.

    Suggested areas:
    Project manager in banking (regulatory / risk / compliance etc) – Normally project managers have anywhere between 7-30 year experience. It’s not uncommon to see people with less than 2 year experience in Finance rest in other industries. A PMP certification + a finance / risk mgt Masters will help.

    Business Analyst – experience range from 1 year to 20 years. There are Director level BAs in banking who manages team of offshore BA teams in say India/Poland etc.

    Route suggested: Once you have relevant qualification get a contract role in large companies (easier to get in non-London location), then to contract role in banking and then to permanent role. It’s easier that way.


  9. It has always been based on connections – kids of some related / influential people with money to start the fund…
    Probably their kids are already in.
    Next hires need real skills… since they came up with many ‘sophisticated’ products to crash themselves.
    It also depends on which country these companies are from – hire their own

    Mostly scam ‘news’ and ‘analyses’ – ivy league standard!


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