Best Degree for Investment Banking


Hey, im just wondering which of these degrees would stand me in best sted for IB

Birmingham - Economics and Politics
Manchester - Economics (or Economics and Politics) BA
York - Accounting, Business Finance and Management

I am also interested in consultancy, but more so IB.

I know its very subjective and there’s no definitive answer, but any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.


All good universities. If you want to do IB the most important thing isn’t the uni you go to, it’s to have done an internship. You MUST get an internship during university. You should apply for as many internships as possible - most IB’s aren’t recruiting many people. Instead they are mostly recruiting from their internship pools.

Get an internship. Make sure you get very high A Level grades and a 1st class degree and you’ll be OK no matter which of these universities you go to…although ideally, you should be going to Oxbridge, Imperial or LSE.


Thanks for the reply. I managed to get 2weeks last summer at Santander in risk. Im hoping to get an internship with my MP at parliament, as oppose to local offices, over my gap year - how much of an advantage, if any, would this be when coming to try and get an IB internship?


I’m not sure. I’d suggest if you do take work experience in parliament, you take it off your CV when you apply for IB. Sometimes, if you have too much variety of experience, it looks like you aren’t focussed on IB.

However, I’d do the internship, just leave it off your CV.


I would disagree with Redsuperted, to have done an work experience in Parliament will demonstrate passion and determination. You can demonstrate that you worked under pressure, not fazed by deadlines or intense spotlight - Simply lots of competencies that you can use to during your IB interviews.

Altho, I would agree with Redsuperted that getting an internship is sooooooo important, when I went for an IB interview the HR woman told me that this year they had 10,000 applications for 120 intern roles in London alone!!! So get in there!!

btw just out of curiosity Redsuperted, are you a grad or undergrad? also what you up to job wise?? (jus cos I’ve been using wikki jobs since sept and you’ve been on here since and wanted to know how your getting on?)


Ethre - I’m a supergrad :stuck_out_tongue:

I run the forum with Chris. I graduated from Manchester a couple of years ago, I used to be a graduate recruiter and now work full time on this site.

I’ve met a lot of graduate recruiters recently and 100% - you all need [[internships]]. They are increasingly seen as the most important part of your CV - even more than grades and skills - because they prove you can work in a work environment and understand what you’ll be doing.

What are you up to Ethre? …where are you studying and what do you want to do?

Ed :stuck_out_tongue:


Pretty experienced then!
Can I ask what you studied at Manchester?
Do you think its worth me getting a few weeks (or more if possible) at a bank this year (im a gap year student)? I did 2 at Santander in risk the summer just gone and really enjoyed it and 2 at pwc the previous summer, however their undergrad internships at santander are for spanish students, so if i can do a few weeks this year and do some networking/make a good impression I may be able to set myself up for a internship. p.s my aunty is a HR consultant who works mainly at banks, if youre wondering how id get it


@Redsuperted - ahhh I thought you were a professional wiki job forum guy!! you seem so wise in all your posts…like a wiki job yoda!?lol yeh I am a undergrad (3 of 4 years) at UCL, got an internship at a BB IB for this summer and just want to get that coverted grad offer!!! I’ve been following this site since Sept, when I was making applications and found it pretty useful, but in my experience, every interview is different, but its good to hear what other people think and their opinions etc.

@Jack_m - all the major bulge bracket investment banks will offer an official internship program, you can apply directly from their websites - but apply early! Sept/Oct is when you should be applying. So get yourself ready for Sept 09!! But if you could work in Santander over the easter hols, it would be really good on your CV? or the work experience at Parliament?


Hi, I was just reading your posts and i understand when you say you have more chance with a first.

However, my mate is on for a 1st in economics at Leeds, he applied for internships at 12 IB’s, but didnt get past the application at any of them! They just told him the academic standard was really high this year…etc and they couldnt take it forward. Even though he has decent work experience as well. So i really believe that especially now you have to go to oxbridge and lse etc to have a chance!


Hey Tony898,

I dont think you have to go to LSE or Oxford to get an internship - altho when you go to an IB Assessment Centres, they all seem to come from those universities. And to illustrate this point a lot of my former school chums got into IBs and they all went to ordinary Russell Group Universites like Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and even Univ. East Anglia. They all currently work at top IBs or hedge funds. Its just about showing them that you are driven, even hungrier than oxbridge people, who on my expereience from ACs seem to be really one dimensional. *altho this surely isnt the case for all oxbridge candidates.

Also what Dept did he apply to? If he applied for Sales and Trading then you pretty much need AAA at A-level, I think all IBs ask for this anyway or AAB??



You need to consider timing. During boom, IBs usually recruit masses of graduates, and it’s not unheard of that people with 2:2 degrees landing graduate roles with Investment Banks.

The situation is completely different now, and it is the case that nearly all IB hires will be from the Golden Triangle of universities. The universities you listed were ideal for breaking into IB as recent as 2007, however it’s a completely different story for 2008, 2009 and maybe even 2010.


see what unis offer BAs in ‘Competencies’


Hey guys,

I am doing Finance related BSs, and I was thinking of continuing my education, if I don’t manage to find a grad job. Thus, wanted to ask u, if a second undergraduate degree (PPE in Oxford) is considered advantageous, or should I go for an MSc course? The two options will take more or less the same time.


P.S. I am stuying in a top 10 business school, and have done a summer internship (in my first year)


@Jack_M - I did English (which is why I didn’t end up with a real job :p) I’d definitely recommend you do the internship - do any relevant internship - internships can only be a good thing as long as the employer is established and the work you do is high value. P.S. Your aunty sounds interesting - does she know about WikiJob? Perhaps we could work with her in some way?! …I’d be interested in finding out more at any rate :stuck_out_tongue:

@Ethre - I’m not really Yoda. Chris (other WikiJob founder) is more like Yoda. He’s smaller. And he’s green.

@Ethre & Tony898 - at the moment, things are very competitive regarding IB jobs and internships.

Read this article from the [ FT, which puts things bluntly:] only students from Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial and being actively recruited for IB. Reg’s post above is spot on.

There also another article in the [ FT here] which is unbelievably depressing - I suggest you only read it if you already have a job offer, and can gloat :stuck_out_tongue:

@Donnie-Brasco - Where are you currently studying? If you’re already at Oxbridge don’t bother doing PPE. If you aren’t - I’d do that. It’s a great course and you can do it in two years. However, there is a risk of employers seeing you as “too educated” if you do that… but in my opinion it’s one of the best courses you can do in England, at any university and if you can get onto it - I recommend it. An MSc or MA is fine too, of course. Or you could just travel. Bear in mind that employers like foreign languages and IT skills, so taking courses in these things is also always a good idea to increase your chances of getting an interview.

And finally… you could also always bolster your [ CVs] and [ Covering Letters] with the excellent services [ offered - here - by WikiJob] :stuck_out_tongue:


I am currently at Manchester Business School:), and Oxford sounds really appealing + i want to study something different from finance/economics.

Regarding the internships - Credit Suisse/Morgan Stanley/Goldman and JP Morgan seem impenetrable from my point of view. I am becoming increasingly aware how important is to know someone from inside the bank…anyone.
Ive done an internship in Citi in my first year/set up a trading society/most probably will get a first class in uni….and it seems that this doesn’t help.


Keep trying. That’s great experience. It is useful to know someone at a bank to get internships and jobs - but it’s not necessarily a golden ticket.

I used to know the Graduate Recruitment Manager at Lehman Brothers (needless to say, she doesn’t work their any longer!) and despite all my suggestions that they only hired the children of rich clients - she disagreed.

Apparently 90% of the people hired for [[internships]] are legitimate. The banks, and actually all firms, want the very best people and nepotism doesn’t usually come in to it. 10% of the time the son or the daughter of a wealthy client will get an internship, or people that know someone - but usually these are still people that have a first, have been to a good uni and have experience anyway. IB is just very tough to break in to - especially right now.


Ed, in re: to your post

“There also another article in the FT here which is unbelievably depressing - I suggest you only read it if you already have a job offer, and can gloat :p”

The link doesn’t seem to work, can you verify it’s correct? I’d like to read the article!


Yep - that’s the link.

Here’s the article in full anyhow!

Bear in mind though, that you should always take these types of “published surveys” with a pinch of salt. Newspapers always publish the results of the most pessimistic, or most optimistic, surveys, and very infrequently publish other results that are more moderate.

‘’‘Point of note’’’: By having this information published in the FT, “Morgan McKinley” and “High Fliers” (the organisations that released the original information used to write this article) have scored massive free press. Now, I’m not suggesting for one moment that these guys have made up any of the details in their survey, but, if they had, it would have been a great way to generate free publicity… take from that what you will! :stuck_out_tongue:


‘’‘UK graduate jobs’’’
‘‘Financial Times, January 14 2009’’

For you, graduates, the war for talent is over. The bleak message from the head of a financial recruitment group that job opportunities in Europe’s main financial centre are drying up fast looks bad for undergraduates. Almost perversely, despite the events of the past year, a startling number of bright young things still want to pursue a City career: there are more Gordon Gekko wannabes than jobs – and only the most ruthless will succeed.

Morgan McKinley, the recruitment specialist, says City job vacancies have slumped by 65 per cent since the end of 2007. For final-year students at UK universities, unremitting news flow about job cuts at banks and investment banks may have killed all hopes of paying off student loans and bar bills with the sign-on bonus.

It is not just the investment banks. Law firms and accountants, mindful – or optimistic – that business goes in cycles, still need bright minds, but they too have cut back. High Fliers Research, which studies graduate vacancies among top employers, says investment banks and other financial employers alone have cut more than 2,500 entry-level positions in the past year.

Employers are becoming more demanding in their selection processes. Whereas students once juggled swotting for final exams with job interviews, those intent on a career in investment banking have to compete for places on summer internship programmes prior to their final year. Sponsored suck-it-and-see programmes in theory enable bankers to avoid catastrophic hires and cherry-pick the best.

If the City job scene looks like a ravaged war zone, graduates might opt instead for real war games and join the armed forces or the more sedate public sector, this year’s main hirers after the accountants. Another alternative is to embark on postgraduate study – which could make the UK more like continental Europe, where every other person seems to be a Doktor or Dottore. The war for talent may be over, but for debt-laden graduates surrender is not an option.


I think York