Having a Masters in Finance degree on your resume is becoming an increasingly important way of landing a graduate job in investment banking. Breaking into the buy-side is an altogether tougher proposition.
In the past couple of years hedge funds and private equity firms have started hiring graduates directly from university, but these places are still highly-contested and firms hire a handful of people. Even large asset managers, which have well-established graduate recruitment programmes, hire a few students into them – especially when compared to the banks.
If your career ambition is to work in the buy-side, is it worth staying longer at university – and paying thousands of dollars more in fees – to complete a specialist Masters in Finance course? We’ve trawled through the eFinancialCareers CV database, encompassing more than 1.5m resumes, to find out which universities are most likely to give you an edge over the competition.
The results suggest that at many schools a relatively small proportion of MSc in Finance graduates go on to get a job in hedge funds, private equity or asset management. At our top-ranked university, London Business School, 32% of graduates on our database are now working in one of the three buy-side sectors, but the percentage is much lower for most other institutions. Predictably, hedge funds and private equity firms – which tend to be smaller employers who hire raw undergraduates that they can mould into the employees they need – don’t recruit as many MSc Finance graduates as asset management firms do.
The overall rankings assigned to each school reflect the relative difficulty of securing buy-side jobs away from asset management. We’ve therefore given a higher weighting to the number of graduates working in hedge funds, followed by those who are employed in private equity. Universities with more private equity and hedge fund graduates tend to rank towards the top of our table as a result.
The more well-established Masters in Finance programmes based in the UK and Europe largely fare better than their US or Asian counterparts, with the exception of MIT’s course, which sits fourth in the rankings.
We don’t claim these rankings are all-encompassing – they don’t include earning potential, career progression or the number of students finding jobs immediately after graduation. But they do reflect the number of graduates from these schools going on to get a job in private equity, hedge funds and asset management.
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