Table of Contents
An investment banker requires specific skills, such as a razor sharp mind, excellent written and verbal communication and number-crunching abilities. They will need a strong basic understanding of accounting, finance and economics. An investment banker's educational requirements include an MBA from a top-notch institution and/or a Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Should I become an Investment Banker?
The biggest draw of being an investment banker is the incredibly high salary, but this comes at the cost of having almost no life outside of work. There are 168 hours in a week; investment bankers often work upwards of 100 of those 168 hours. There is also always the possibility of being summoned to work at a moment's notice, which makes it very hard for investment bankers to keep a regular or reliable schedule.
If you're going to be spending that much time at work, you had better love what you do. While the pay is huge (usually over $100k for a first year analyst), the common advice for those considering this is a career is to do it because you love the work, and not the cash.
What are Investment Bankers like?
Based on our pool of users, investment bankers tend to be predominately enterprising people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.
Investment Bankers by Strongest Interest Archetype
Based on sample of 468 Sokanu users
Are Investment Bankers happy?
Investment bankers rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 7th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.
Investment Banker Career Satisfaction by Dimension
Percentile among all careers
How long does it take to become an Investment Banker?
It's possible to become an investment banker straight after earning a bachelor's degree. Most of the training will come from the bank that hires you.
Steps to becoming an Investment Banker
There is more than one path to become an investment banker. You do need a bachelor's degree, but not in any particular field. Typical majors for investment bankers include finance, accounting, business and economics. Since the career demands a hefty amount of mathematical skill, some investment bankers come from a background in things like physics and engineering as well.
Regardless of which education background you come from, it's important that you become good at using Excel and Powerpoint, as you will have to use both of those very frequently when you become an investment banker.
The best thing you can do while in school is to get an internship. Interning is useful for two main reasons: work experience and networking. The ideal place to be an intern is at one of the big name banks in New York or London, but this is not always possible as there is a lot of competition. There are also smaller 'boutique' investment banks that might be more conveniently located than the big ones. They may also do business in specialized fields, which can be a big asset down the line when looking for work. A third option is to intern at a regular bank, which while not as prestigious as the previous options is still a very valuable experience and gives you a major advantage finding a job compared to those who did not intern at all during school.
While entry level positions often only require a bachelor's degree, many people interested in becoming investment bankers pursue a Master's of Business Administration (MBA). This will make finding an analyst or associate position easier. Banks will often come to your school to recruit.
No matter which stage you are at, it's important that you network as much as possible. Perhaps even more than other professions, it's not what you know, it's who you know. Here is a very interesting and informative article on the realities of finding an investment banking position.
Education History of Investment Bankers
The most common degree held by investment bankers is Finance. 15% of investment bankers had a degree in finance before becoming investment bankers. That is over 8 times the average across all careers. Economics graduates are the second most common among investment bankers, representing 13% of investment bankers in the Sokanu user base, which is 3.8 times the average.
Investment Banker Education History
This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming an Investment Banker, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.
|Degree||% of investment bankers||% of population||Multiple|
|Business Management And Administration||9.0%||6.0%||1.5×|
|Marketing And Marketing Research||1.3%||2.0%||0.6×|
|Philosophy And Religious Studies||1.1%||1.4%||0.7×|
|Statistics And Decision Science||1.1%||0.3%||3.7×|
How to Become an Investment Banker
The Top 100 Universities Globally For Careers In Banking And Finance
If you’re a student with aspirations to become a global financial services professional, you may be interested in a new study by QS Top Universities indicating where you ought to go to school.
The Best Business Schools For Investment Banking In The US
Investment bankers work in three main sectors: trading, research analysis and corporate finance. Attending a top business school for this field will give you the best education for the top jobs in investment banking.
MBA: The 6 Best Canadian Business Schools In The World
The Financial Times is out with its global ranking of business schools, with Harvard and Stanford taking first and second place respectively. Six Canadian universities made the 100-school list.
The Top 20 Business Schools For Breaking Into Investment Banking
Along with consulting, investment banking has traditionally been a popular destination for MBA students, but which business schools will enhance your chances of gaining a place?