Enrolling in a Master in Finance can have a huge impact on your career. Half of global employers said they planned to hire MiF graduates in 2021, according to the latest Graduate Management Admission Council Corporate Recruiters Survey.
The Masters in Finance jobs available to graduates range from some of the highest-paying jobs in finance to roles across a variety of industries including popular sectors like consulting and technology.
So, what are some of the top Masters in Finance jobs, and which companies will hire you after you graduate?
1. Investment banker
In investment banking, you’re responsible for buying and selling different financial assets. If you picture yourself working at one of Wall Street’s top investment banks, then a Master in Finance is a good place to start.
Investment banks regularly hire large proportions of MiF classes. At Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management, for example, 29% of MiF students go on to work in investment banking. Given that average salaries for investment bankers in New York are $117k, this is hardly surprising.
Investment banks like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan regularly rank highly among top employers of Master in Finance graduates. In MIT Sloan’s most recent Master in Finance cohort, 10 graduates went on to get jobs at Goldman Sachs, while seven went to work at Bank of America.
Ferdinand Petra, from the HEC Paris Master in Finance, believes an MiF prepares candidates well for a career in investment banking. Not only do they get the thorough expertise finance requires, the program also gives a good flavor of the working culture.
“It’s highly multicultural, and this is what you will have in investment banking. There’s a great deal to be learned by practising and doing cases in multicultural teams,” Ferdinand says.
Consulting is a popular career choice for all business school graduates and it's no different for finance grads, as consultant is one of the top Masters in Finance jobs. At Imperial College Business School, 20% of the most recent MiF class joined consulting firms.
These include companies like the Big Three of McKinsey, Bain, and the Boston Consulting Group, who are keen to snap up MiFs from top programs. Masters graduates can expect starting salaries in consulting of around $90k, reaching $125k after signing and performance bonuses.
Keith Bevans, global recruitment lead at Bain, explains why Big Three consulting firms are drawn to MiF graduates.
“MiF students add that financial lens: they tend to have built financial models, they can read financial statements, and they know the role financial organisations can play in a business from a strategy standpoint. This means they have more subject matter expertise than other masters students would.”
3. Central banker
Many MiF graduates are drawn to public finance roles, including working at global financial institutions or with national government banks.
At London Business School, roles at central banks or in public finance are some of the top Masters in Finance jobs, with 22% of graduates going on to work in these industries. Employers include Ministries of Finance in Japan and Singapore, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank).
While these jobs may not be as well paid as private financial services, they’re a great opportunity for global exposure on a diplomatic level. Christian Dummett, director of LBS’ career services, believes that a diverse MiF cohort prepares you well for this.
“You’ll have a broader perspective on the world, because you’ll have had that immense exposure to diverse working groups. It’s really important that when you start your job, you’re not just thinking as a 28-year-old finance person, you’re thinking as a global business person,” Christian says.
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4. Asset manager
While investment banking is on the ‘selling side’, asset management is on the ‘buying side’. Asset managers must seek out financial assets to invest money in on behalf of their clients’ portfolios.
Asset management is one of the leading providers of Masters in Finance jobs; at MIT Sloan School of Management, 9% of the most recent MiF cohort took roles in the sector. That includes jobs at companies like leading investment management firms BlackRock and the Vanguard Group.
Finding and investing in profitable assets requires a curiosity and creative thinking that you’ll learn during a Master in Finance. “For asset management, you need to be deep thinking, rigorous, and have tenacity to ask questions that other people don’t ask,” explains Christian from LBS.
“This helps you unearth opportunities that other people don’t see.”
5. Salesperson & Trader
High risk, high reward—sales and trading offer popular Masters in Finance jobs for ambitious graduates. Organizations like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have sales and trading arms that regularly recruit MiF graduates.
At MIT Sloan, 13% of MiF graduates go into sales and trading; at Imperial, the figure is around 7%. Average starting salaries for Imperial MiF graduates who go into sales and trading is just over $67k.
There’s no doubt that sales and trading is one of the most challenging, high pressure, and time intensive sectors in finance. To commit to this industry, graduates should know what they’re getting themselves in for.
ESSEC Business School’s Master in Finance has a specialized track dedicated to financial markets, sales, and trading; giving students not only the expert knowledge required, but also a chance to gain work experience in the sector.
Sridhar Arcot, from ESSEC’s MiF, says corporations look for this sort of knowledge and experience when hiring, as it means recruits know what they’re getting themselves in for, as well as what is expected of them. “They want employees who can hit the ground running.”
Masters in Finance jobs are plentiful and varied, whether you’re looking for global exposure, top salaries, or even a public sector role, there's something out there for you.
This article was updated on September 21st 2021.