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These are the financial services qualifications which should enable you to earn the most and the least

Diploma

Following on from last week’s look at the qualifications most likely to get you a job in UK financial services now, we’d like to elaborate with a look at the financial services qualifications that should – apparently – enable you to earn the most money.

The figures below are derived from jobs currently advertised on eFinancialCareers in the UK. As ever, they are not infallible: some qualifications may be a necessary but not sufficient condition of employment; some jobs may specify one or other qualifications (especially in accounting). Just because you have a qualification, it does not mean you will automatically earn this amount. In some cases, the sample numbers are small and we haven’t included jobs where a pay range isn’t specified.

Nevertheless, with these caveats, the figures do suggest the relative lucrativeness of each qualification type. The conclusion appears to be that the biggest money now is generally on offer to the quantitatively qualified with higher university degrees.

Pay per qualification

1. PhD: £106k

Mean pay for PhD jobs currently advertised in London:  £106k

Sample size: 81

Range: 2 jobs paying £500k+ (assumed at £750k); 5 at £251k-500k; 8 at £151-250k; 34 at £80-150k; 23 at £40-80k; 10 at 0-£40k.

Takeaway: 17% of PhD jobs currently advertised pay more than £150k

2. MSc: £92k

Mean pay for MSc jobs currently advertised in London:  £92k

Sample size: 48

Range: 1 job paying £500k+ (assumed at £750k); 1 at £251k-500k; 4 at £151-250k; 18 at £80-150k; 15 at £40-80k; 8 at 0-£40k.

Takeaway: 52% of MSc jobs currently advertised pay more than £80k.

3. MBA: £91k

Mean pay for MBA jobs currently advertised in London:  £91k

Sample size: 46

Range: 0 jobs paying £500k+ (assumed at £750k); 1 at £251k-500k; 2 at £151-250k; 20 at £80-150k; 16 at £40-80k; 7 at 0-£40k.

Takeaway: 50% of MBA jobs currently advertised pay less than £80k

4. CFA: £88k

Mean pay for CFA jobs currently advertised in London:  £88k

Sample size: 78

Range: 0 jobs paying £500k+ (assumed at £750k); 1 at £251k-500k; 10 at £151-250k; 15 at £80-150k; 43 at £40-80k; 9 at 0-£40k.

Takeaway: 55% of CFA jobs currently advertised pay between £40k and £80k.

5.  ACA: £65.7k

Mean pay for ACA jobs currently advertised in London:  £65.7k

Sample size: 196

Range: 0 jobs paying £500k+ (assumed at £750k); 0 at £251k-500k; 1 at £151-250k; 39 at £80-150k; 127 at £40-80k; 29 at 0-£40k.

Takeaway: 80% of ACA jobs currently advertised pay less than £80k.

6. CIMA: £58.5k

Mean pay for CIMA jobs currently advertised in London:  £58.5k

Sample size: 76

Range: 0 jobs paying £500k+ (assumed at £750k); 0 at £251k-500k; 0 at £151-250k; 11 at £80-150k; 47 at £40-80k; 18 at 0-£40k.

Takeaway: 24% of CIMA jobs currently advertised pay less than £40k.

7. ACCA: £52.3k

Mean pay for ACCA jobs currently advertised inLondon:  £52.3k

Sample size: 118

Range: 0 jobs paying £500k+ (assumed at £750k); 0 at £251k-500k; 0 at £151-250k; 11 at £80-150k; 69 at £40-80k; 38 at 0-£40k.

Takeaway: 32% of ACCA jobs currently advertised pay less than £40k.

Comments (3)

Comments
  1. I graduated with a PhD from Cambridge and a Masters from Oxford. From my experience, a PhD is only useful if it is applicable within the industry. It is true if you possess the right skills, a PhD, Masters or any other professional qualification can add significant value to your worth in the finance industry. My observation is those who undertake a PhD with significant quant component is worth much more than those that did qualitative research. Many PhDs are esoteric and do not add significant value to your income. If you undertook a qualitative PhD, my observation is to make serious money you need to start a business or head into management consulting. My two cents. Dr. Paul

  2. I agree with the above comment. Unless the PhD is highly quantitative, with topics specifically related to quantitative finance covered, a PhD will not make you any more marketable than an MSc, maybe even less competitive. Spending three to four years in industry will give you a much better understanding of how the real world works – Many of my friends from academia take the, understandably, academic approach to problems where there aren’t an strict deadlines and mistakes are easily forgiven. Unfortunately this is not the case in the real world. Sad but this is the way things are I’m afraid.

  3. I am not so sure about the ‘easily forgiven’, in fact one of the things which deter me a little from academia is the fact that every whatsoever small rock has to be looked under. In my experience the real world is often more forgiving because there almost always is no right or wrong. I do subscribe to the strict deadlines, though this does not quite hold for grant application which take up a significant amount of an academics time these days…

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