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The MBA courses that are most likely to lead to investment banking jobs


Investment banking is not a hip career choice for MBAs. The number of new graduates choosing to enter the sector is on the decline, outside of the US investment banks are recruiting fewer business school graduates on to their associate programmes and the pay gap is narrowing.

And yet. For all the talk of tech firms hoovering up all the best MBAs, the biggest individual sector hiring business school graduates is consulting. Outside of this, finance – and investment banking in particular – still represents a significant proportion of new recruits, albeit a falling number. How do we know this? Over the past few weeks the large business schools have been unveiling their employment reports for the class of 2014.

We have analysed these reports and looked at the proportion of individuals moving into investment banking, as well as how much they got paid.

The results suggest that New York Stern is the best place to study if you wish to enter investment banking. It should be noted, though, that the proportion of MBAs from NY Stern entering finance is on the decline. Not only did fewer people go into investment banking this year, but the proportion going into hedge funds and private equity was so low that it didn’t even register a single percentage figure. Last year 3% entered the industry.

Generally, studying at a US school is the best route into investment banking. Only two of the large business schools in Europe made it into the top 20. London Business School claims to provide 40% of all MBAs recruited into investment banks in EMEA and yet just 12% of this year’s class entered the sector.

This list contrasts with our own rankings of the best MBAs for getting into investment banking. Our data covers a bigger timeframe and focuses only on those securing front office positions, rather than entering the investment banking sector as a whole. While Columbia Business School tops this list, the eFinancialCareers ranking does show a similar dominance among U.S. business schools, with London Business School the only university to make the top ten.

College% of class of 2014 in investment bankingAverage salaryAverage sign on bonusAverage guaranteed bonus
New York Stern University19%$102.4k$43.4k$41.6k
University of Chicago: Booth15.2%$100k*$40k*N/A
University of Pennsylvania, Wharton14%$100k*$40k*$40k*
Yale School of Management14%$100k*$60k*N/A
Columbia Business School14%$100k*$48k*N/A
London Business School12%$117.6k$38.8k$49.8k
Tuck School of Business11%$106.4k$41.9k$89.2k
Cornell University, Johnson11%$103.5k$45.6kN/A
University of Virginia: Darden11%$100.7k$46.8kN/A
UCLA Anderson9.3%$108.2k$45.9kN/A
Duke: Fuqua School of Business9%$107.1k$25k*N/A
Carnagie Mellon: Tepper8%$99.2kN/AN/A
University of Michigan: Ross6.1%$106.6k$50k*$45k*
Harvard Business School5%$100k*$40k*$40k*
University of Cambridge: Judge Business School5%$130k**N/AN/A
Kellogg School of Management4.1%$106.9k$49.3kN/A
Stanford Graduate School of Business4%$130.6k$40k$73.3k

*Median **Total compensation



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