Top 5 Business Schools for Investment Banking Careers


If you’re hoping to land a high-paying investing career, not just any business school will do. You have to attend a top business school that has a history of employing graduates. Even then, you’ll most likely need to be near the top of your class or have an impressive background/internship to land the job you want.

There’s also a matter of location. Investment banks are heavily located in major cities. In particular, you’ll find the highest concentrate of investment banking positions in New York so attending a school in the same metro area makes sense.

For example, though Harvard Business School might be one of the top MBA programs in the world, but graduates out of Harvard are more likely to work in a revenue-generating role at a top bank instead of as an investment banker. The same goes for graduates out of Stanford GSB. On the other hand, Columbia Business School, NYU Stern, and Wharton are all great choices for an investing career.

So what are the top five business schools for a career in investment banking?

In terms of which business school sends the most MBA graduates into a career in investment banking, NYU Stern School of Business comes out on top. For the graduating Class of 2019, 22.6 percent went into investment banking with an average base salary of $143,194 and a signing bonus of $60,713.

As for your academic career, NYU Stern is known for its world-leading Finance department. You’ll have access to professors and courses focused on global financial markets. Students can also participate in two student investment funds, including the Michael Price Student Investment Fund and the NYU Impact Investing Fund. MBA students can major in finance and choose from a pool of over 200 electives, including those directly related to investment banking with top employers including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, UBS, and Credit Suisse.

Columbia Business School is another top choice for students interested in investment banking. 14.3 percent of the graduating Class of 2019 went into investment banking, earning an average base salary of $150,000 with a $50,000 signing bonus.

As for your academic experience, the School’s Program for Financial Studies is designed for students interested in a career in investment banking. There’s also the Columbia Student Investment Management Association as well as the Investment Banking Club, which provides students with the opportunity to dive into the industry: the overarching goal being to help students find summer and full-time investment banking positions.

Out of the 35.9 percent of Wharton School students that enter the finance field each year, 11.8 percent of the Class of 2019 went into investment banking. The median base salary for those students was $150,000, and they worked at Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan.

Students in the Wharton MBA program have access to a finance major, which emphasizes analytical methods and financial leadership roles in the private and public sectors. There’s also an opportunity to go on a career trek to network within the investment banking industry while building knowledge. In addition, you can join the Wharton Impact Investing Partners club, Wharton MBA Finance Club, or the Investment Management Club.

The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, the most sought after career in the financial services industry is investment banking, which attracted 10.4 percent of the Class of 2019. The graduates earn a median starting salary of $150,000 with a sign-on bonus of $50,000. Top employers include Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse.

For MBA students, a concentration in finance is an attractive option for future investment bankers. Courses cover such topics as Advanced Investments and Cases in Financial Management. You can also join the Investment Banking Group, which is the largest student group on campus, the goal being to equip members with the knowledge they need to have a successful career.

Although only 20 percent of the graduating Class of 2019 went into financial services at Dartmouth Tuck School of Business, 11 percent of those went into investment banking. It’s important to note they earned a smaller average starting salary than the rest of the schools on this list at just $128,913. Top employers include Citi, Bank of America, and JP Morgan.

For MBA students, there are multiple classes within finance that students can take, including courses on Investments, Corporate valuation, and Futures and Options Markets. Students can also participate in the Investment Club or the Finance Club for additional experience in the industry.

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About the Author

Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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