Masters degree for investment Banking
Investment Banking is highly competitive, not just because of the lucrative salaries of workers, but because the industry itself sits at the forefront of the world economy. Graduates with a Master’s in Finance can go into a variety of finance related fields, including working in investment and corporate banking. A Master’s in Finance also provides a great background for someone seeking work in brokerage firms, or as a hedge fund manager, asset manager, or venture capitalist. Other traditional fields of study associated with investment banking include finance, accounting, economics and business administration. Many universities offer an MBA in Investment Banking as well.
The Road to Investment Banking: MA Finance vs. MBA
Although it is possible to enter the world of investment banking with a Masters in Finance, the majority of investment bankers are still choosing to earn MBAs. The programs generally differ in the following ways.
- The Master’s in Finance is usually of shorter duration. Whereas the traditional MBA is often 2-3 years, the Master’s in Finance is only a one-year program.
- Some Master’s in Finance programs are comprehensive and teach all of the aspects of finance, while others specialize in fields such as financial engineering or mathematical finance.
With billions upon billions of dollars being invested annually in securities, stocks, bonds and mutual funds, banks and fund managers want to know that they are hiring the best and the brightest that the country has to offer. The majority, if not all of the major investment banks and brokerage houses in the United States recruit from specific target schools, namely Ivy-league graduate business programs. Yes, it is possible to break into investment banking without coming from an Ivy League, or other such target school, but it is considerably more difficult. This makes the specific graduate degree and relevant work experience factor more into the decision for employers.
Making the Decision That Fits
Work experience can balance everything out in the long run. Since the Masters in Finance program runs shorter than earning a full-time MBA, the graduate will have the opportunity to be employed sooner. For those with Master’s in Finance degrees a job as an analyst is often the first stop in investment banking. The quantitative skills learned in school make a finance graduate highly qualified to crunch numbers. If wanting to expand within the field of investment banking, or take on managerial roles, an accompanying MBA somewhere down the line might be a worthwhile investment. Since the best MBA programs require 2-5, years of work experience, a Masters in Finance could be the degree that offers a toehold immediately into Wall Street, while the MBA could allow for unlimited possibilities. The choice really depends on the individual and what he, or she, is most drawn to within the world of investment banking.