Which qualifications will get you a job at large investment bank come 2014? And do some banks favour one particular qualification above others?
We've looked at the 230,000 resumes uploaded to the eFinancialCareers' CV database globally over the past 12 months and have some possible answers. We looked at CVs citing the names of leading banks (Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, UBS, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, Bank of America, Barclays and RBS) and cross-referenced these CVs for mentions of leading qualifications.
Our conclusions are presented below. They're not definitive: there's no line of causality. Just because someone's CV includes the words "Morgan Stanley" and the acronym "CFA", that doesn't mean a CFA qualification was the deciding factor that made Morgan Stanley employ them. On the other hand, there do seem to be some definite favourites, and some distinct differences bank-by-bank.
1. An MSc or Masters in Finance: mentioned on 27% of CVs.
2. A CFA qualification: mentioned on 13% of CVs.
3. An MBA qualification: mentioned on 11% of CVs.
4. C++ (not exactly a qualification, but...): mentioned on 8% of CVs.
5. ACCA: mentioned on 1% of CVs.
6. A PhD or DPhil: mentioned on 1% of CVs.
7. An ACA: mentioned on 1% of CVs.
8. CIMA mentioned on 1% of CVs.
Conclusion: An accounting qualification is not ideal if you aspire to work in a major investment bank.
European investment banks like Barclays are big on hiring people with a masters qualification. Compared to U.S. banks, they seem generally less keen on hiring people with a CFA and more keen on hiring people with an accounting qualification. CVs belonging to people citing the Royal Bank of Scotland seem to have generally less qualifications of any time than others...
U.S. investment banks like JPMorgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) are big on hiring people with MScs. JPMorgan and BAML look particularly likely to recruit people with an MBA on their resume, and JPMorgan seems partial to people with C++. Notably, Goldman Sachs (like RBS) seems to hire far fewer people with Masters or MBA qualifications than its rivals...