Contrary to popular belief, working in banking is about more than just neutral-colored suits and big talk. Banking can be an incredibly rewarding career, both financially and in terms of job satisfaction. So what’s the best way to get employed in various banking positions? Here’s a brief guide to banking careers.
A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject is a pretty standard requirement for most jobs in banking (62.5% of employees have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, according to a report by IJSTR). Accounting, finance, and business administration are all typical things for banking professionals to have majored in, and will certainly be a good foundation for a career in the field. Master’s degrees will often be required for more senior positions, and can certainly help your chances with mid-level positions.
Interviewing is understandably one of the most important determining factors in whether or not you get your dream job in banking. Top companies like J.P. Morgan look for candidates with strong GMAT scores, relevant work experience, and the ability to make good decisions and analyze effectively. When answering interview questions, always try to link your experiences and talking points with the job you’re applying for, and try to keep your answers concise. Emphasize how your skills and work ethic can benefit the company, and highlight the things about yourself that make you suitable for the job.
A lot of top banking firms compete with each other through their summer internship programs. Typically well-paid with a lot of perks, these internships are competitive to get into but very rewarding. Companies invest a lot in them in order to find the best candidates for future full-time jobs. Interns gain considerable experience in the banking world, while having the opportunity to make a good impression on the employer. A lot of finance students will do a couple of internships before they graduate in order to secure the best job possible. Capital One, Liberty Mutual, and Evercore are among the companies that offer fantastically beneficial internships.
Ladies – don’t think banking is just “a man’s world”. While it’s true that 65% of employees in the banking sector are male, the female presence in the industry is increasing.
Keep your resume and cover letter no more than a page, and make sure it’s very relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Investment banking has a reputation for being an “Ivy League” kind of profession, as a lot of people in the industry attended a highly prestigious school. Typically, wannabe investment bankers will work for a few years at a large global bank after university, before returning to education to obtain an MBA degree. They then tend to return to their previous employer in a higher position.