If you want a job at a top investment bank in Europe, you're probably thinking about attending one of the continent's top universities for careers in finance - most of which seem to be located in the UK and will therefore cost you £9.3k (€11k, $12.5k) a year as an undergraduate if you're an EU student, and £10k a year if you're not.
But maybe you're missing a trick? Imagine if you could land a banking job by attending a university which only costs €2k (or less) a year and which feeds students into banks' hottest new hiring market?
Welcome to the top universities in Poland.
As we've noted before, Goldman Sachs is building out its technology and operations centre in Warsaw and is expected to make hundreds of new hires both in the front and back office in the next few years. It now transpires that J.P. Morgan has much the same idea. The Financial Times reports that J.P. Morgan plans to create 2,500 new middle and back office roles in Warsaw after opening a new global operations centre in the Polish Capital.
If you want to work in banking, Warsaw's three top universities - The University of Warsaw, the Warsaw University of Technology and the Warsaw School of Economics - therefore look like a very good bet. All three already feed students into top banks. All three run key courses (eg. computer science, finance and international investment, and quantitative finance) in English. And all three are very, very cheap.
For the moment, Citi is by far the biggest employer of graduates from Warsaw's universities: many go into Citi's big retail banking operation in Poland. However, as the chart below shows, the Swiss banks and Goldman Sachs are also in the market and J.P. Morgan is likely to soon join them. LinkedIn data suggests that between 84% and 87% of graduates from Warsaw's universities who work in investment banks stay in Poland, although some students from the Warsaw School of Economics also find their way into front office jobs in sales and trading in London.
If you want to work in risk, or operations or technology - or even data-related quantitative finance jobs related directly to sales and trading - in Europe, Warsaw looks like the future. The FT says there are already 50,000 people working for international banks in Poland, and the country is gunning for 30,000 more after Brexit. In the past, ambitious students who graduated from bachelors degrees at Polish universities came to London to take Masters programmes and get jobs in the City. In future, UK students might simply study in Poland from the outset.
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Photo credit: Warsaw University by Fox Wu is licensed under CC BY 2.0.