Mac Bank's Masters

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There are several advantages to working for Australia's top investment bank - including the opportunity to take a degree programme run by a world-leading business school.

Macquarie Bank has arranged for leading French business school INSEAD to provide a Masters programme for staff in its investment banking business.

Ian Woodward, programme director for Macquarie's new Master in Finance, says it's something a bit special: "There are plenty of courses [run by other banks] but they don't confer a degree. It's the only investment banking-focused degree from a top 10 business school. Our people study in multiple residential sessions while they work for us - gaining experience and learning together."

According to Woodward, Mac Bank's INSEAD course covers finance, accounting, leadership, management and strategic analysis in the context of investment banking. The programme takes place partly in France and is open to all employees, but there's a caveat - they'll need to meet INSEAD's stringent entry requirements and be nominated by the business. If these two conditions are met, Macquarie will stump up the fees.

Mac Bank isn't the only one coughing up for courses. Commonwealth Bank has an arrangement with Macquarie University in Sydney, and Westpac offers a co-operative programme with the University of New South Wales. Goldman Sachs JBWere will subsidise people taking university courses and allow time off for their studies.

The downside to taking a course subsidised by your employer is that any bank paying for you to study will require you to work with it for a few years subsequently - not good news if a better or more lucrative opportunity manifests itself while you're tied in.