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What are the best degrees for working in financial services? watch

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    (Original post by Rabadon)
    What are the IB/consulting target unis as of late?
    They haven't changed bro:

    IB Targets
    Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Imperial, Warwick and UCL

    IB Semi targets
    Durham, Bristol, Nottingham, Cass Business School, Bath

    (gap)

    Manchester, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Loughborough, Birmingham

    Consulting at the Big 4 is open to most top 20-30 unis

    MBB, second tier strategy firms, strategy arms of the big 4 targets:
    Oxford, Cambridge, LSE

    (gap)

    Imperial, Warwick, Bristol

    (gap)

    UCL (for BCG + some tier 2s)
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    Not really. If you managed to get a job at a large firm all of the training is done on site, these places hire people with degrees in all sorts of subjects.

    I mean, it'd give you a slight edge in grasping the concepts but on the whole it's kind of irrelevant - just study what you like the sound of more lol, it's not rocket science.
    Listen to this guy, he knows his ****, but yeah OP please don't confuse finance to be synonymous with financial services...
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    (Original post by KSIOlajideBT)
    accounting and finance or economics and finance?
    To work in finance you would be expected to hold a degree in science/ business.

    The most prestigious subjects are Maths, Economics and Physics.

    To do any business/ science degree at a top university, holding an A level in Maths is a non-negotiable prerequisite.

    Warwick in fact require an A level in Maths and Further Maths just for their Accounting and Finance programmes.

    Nevertheless, to go into say accountancy or business management possessing a degree in any (academic) subject may suffice. Many retail stores have graduate programmes and accountancy firms don't specify as to what degrees applicants must have.

    Personally, I'd say apply to do Geography at university.

    Good luck
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    (Original post by jake4198)
    To work in finance you would be expected to hold a degree in science/ business.

    The most prestigious subjects are Maths, Economics and Physics.

    To do any business/ science degree at a top university, holding an A level in Maths is a non-negotiable prerequisite.

    Warwick in fact require an A level in Maths and Further Maths just for their Accounting and Finance programmes.

    Nevertheless, to go into say accountancy or business management possessing a degree in any (academic) subject may suffice. Many retail stores have graduate programmes and accountancy firms don't specify as to what degrees applicants must have.

    Personally, I'd say apply to do Geography at university.

    Good luck
    Not true bro, in fact business isn't really seen as useful for most roles tbh. Any decent degree would be enough to get past a resume screen - assuming everything else stacks up.

    I know quite a few Music and History grads that work in trading.

    The latter of your post is correct, I'd extend that to MOST graduate schemes (60-70%) don't specify a degree.


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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    Not true bro, in fact business isn't really seen as useful for most roles tbh. Any decent degree would be enough to get past a resume screen - assuming everything else stacks up.

    I know quite a few Music and History grads that work in trading.

    The latter of your post is correct, I'd extend that to MOST graduate schemes (60-70%) don't specify a degree.


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    Many graduate schemes don't specify a degree however it's important to recognise many firms do discriminate anyhow.

    Investment banks for example don't specify a university degree, however the vast majority of people on their graduate schemes hold degrees in engineering, maths, physics and economics.

    More and more places, especially finance firms, are desiring graduates with strong numerical ability.

    I would only ever recommend 'music' or 'history' if it was at Oxford or Cambridge.
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    (Original post by jake4198)
    Many graduate schemes don't specify a degree however it's important to recognise many firms do discriminate anyhow.

    Investment banks for example don't specify a university degree, however the vast majority of people on their graduate schemes hold degrees in engineering, maths, physics and economics.

    More and more places, especially finance firms, are desiring graduates with strong numerical ability.

    I would only ever recommend 'music' or 'history' if it was at Oxford or Cambridge.
    They really don't. It's in their best interests to pool people from as many degree disciplines as possible because a diverse workforce is much more likely to be successful, due to the varying opinions, ideas and experiences that their employees put forward.

    Eh, you don't need anything more than GCSE maths for IBD nor do you need it for 'vanilla' trading or any form of sales for that matter. For quant desks and more complex or 'exotic' derivatives desks, sure a Maths/Physics/Computer Science degree is absolutely a requirement.

    The reason you see more of those grads in these schemes, I can guarantee you won't see them as much in IBD vs in Trading, is because these grads tend to perform the best in the numerical reasoning tests (again, below GCSE level stuff) than the other degrees on average. You're confusing needing a degree in those subjects, with the fact that people doing those subjects will have an easier time with numeracy tests.

    Case in point, a History grad with: decent numeracy skills (enough to perform well on psychometric tests), a degree from a target university, a diverse range of ECs and volunteering experience as well as interest and/or experience in finance/the markets will fair well.

    All these discussions begin because people confuse the difference between causation and correlation when assessing 'graduate prospects' (despise that phrase so much) of different degrees. It's just not that simple.
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    They really don't. It's in their best interests to pool people from as many degree disciplines as possible because a diverse workforce is much more likely to be successful, due to the varying opinions, ideas and experiences that their employees put forward.

    Eh, you don't need anything more than GCSE maths for IBD nor do you need it for 'vanilla' trading or any form of sales for that matter. For quant desks and more complex or 'exotic' derivatives desks, sure a Maths/Physics/Computer Science degree is absolutely a requirement.

    The reason you see more of those grads in these schemes, I can guarantee you won't see them as much in IBD vs in Trading, is because these grads tend to perform the best in the numerical reasoning tests (again, below GCSE level stuff) than the other degrees on average. You're confusing needing a degree in those subjects, with the fact that people doing those subjects will have an easier time with numeracy tests.

    Case in point, a History grad with: decent numeracy skills (enough to perform well on psychometric tests), a degree from a target university, a diverse range of ECs and volunteering experience as well as interest and/or experience in finance/the markets will fair well.

    All these discussions begin because people confuse the difference between causation and correlation when assessing 'graduate prospects' (despise that phrase so much) of different degrees. It's just not that simple.
    Investment Banks highly discriminate those with numerical degrees.

    I have went on placement days with HSBC and Morgan Stanley, and having spoken to the coordinators for the graduate programmes, they told me directly they prioritise people with degrees in economics, maths, engineering and physics - hence why I stated those subjects.

    I'm not for a second suggesting Investment Banking or Trading require complex mathematical knowledge, however being able to prove that anyhow is a huge advantage.

    Another example is EY. They don't specify what degrees they want, however an overwhelming percentage have degrees in maths, economics or accounting. In fact, they give bursaries to students who are studying A & F at Bath, Lancaster and Warwick if they then sign to join EY after their degree.

    However, if you finish with a degree in History from UCL or Cambridge, you are more desirable than someone with a degree in maths from Newcastle or Leeds.

    However, if you finish with a degree in History from UCL or Cambridge, you are less desirable than someone with a degree in maths from UCL or Cambridge.
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    (Original post by jake4198)
    Investment Banks highly discriminate those with numerical degrees.

    I have went on placement days with HSBC and Morgan Stanley, and having spoken to the coordinators for the graduate programmes, they told me directly they prioritise people with degrees in economics, maths, engineering and physics - hence why I stated those subjects.

    I'm not for a second suggesting Investment Banking or Trading require complex mathematical knowledge, however being able to prove that anyhow is a huge advantage.

    Another example is EY. They don't specify what degrees they want, however an overwhelming percentage have degrees in maths, economics or accounting. In fact, they give bursaries to students who are studying A & F at Bath, Lancaster and Warwick if they then sign to join EY after their degree.

    However, if you finish with a degree in History from UCL or Cambridge, you are more desirable than someone with a degree in maths from Newcastle or Leeds.

    However, if you finish with a degree in History from UCL or Cambridge, you are less desirable than someone with a degree in maths from UCL or Cambridge.
    Lol, 2 placement days man. I've spent time at a fair amount of banks, secured some SWs, have friends all over the spectrum within the industry, regularly speak with HR at these 'top' places I am telling you, the degree subject is not that important - it's quite literally a tick against one criterion.

    You don't seem to grasp this idea of causation =/= correlation, the example you've given with EY is yet another case of it.

    Fact of the matter is, more people doing the subjects you have specified would be interested in the sector in the first place - that coupled with a greater likelihood of performing well on numeracy tests leads to the phenomenon of them being 'over-represented' as it were.

    Let me explain it to you in simple terms: those who pursue maths, econ, finance degrees were already career focused and numerically able BEFORE they started their degrees, had they chosen to study a humanities/social science/science degree instead they STILL would have had these qualities. So, what I'm trying to get at here is that the PERSON not the degree is what gets people through the process for these jobs - doing one over the other makes very little difference.


    P.S. Your first line doesn't support your argument
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    Lol, 2 placement days man. I've spent time at a fair amount of banks, secured some SWs, have friends all over the spectrum within the industry, regularly speak with HR at these 'top' places I am telling you, the degree subject is not that important - it's quite literally a tick against one criterion.

    You don't seem to grasp this idea of causation =/= correlation, the example you've given with EY is yet another case of it.

    Fact of the matter is, more people doing the subjects you have specified would be interested in the sector in the first place - that coupled with a greater likelihood of performing well on numeracy tests leads to the phenomenon of them being 'over-represented' as it were.

    Let me explain it to you in simple terms: those who pursue maths, econ, finance degrees were already career focused and numerically able BEFORE they started their degrees, had they chosen to study a humanities/social science/science degree instead they STILL would have had these qualities. So, what I'm trying to get at here is that the PERSON not the degree is what gets people through the process for these jobs - doing one over the other makes very little difference.


    P.S. Your first line doesn't support your argument
    You sound proud of yourself. Good for you.

    Obviously people who go into numerically oriented degrees have an aspiration to pursue finance or banking more so than a history graduate.

    However my core argument is that a degree in economics/ maths is better than a history degree. Other factors are of course important, but the core of my argument is true.

    I say this to most people; people expect their university degree to get them a decent salary and a lucrative profession alone. In fact it doesn't. Pursuing work experience, speaking a second language, extra-curricular, your personality and your university degree are all just as important.
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    (Original post by jake4198)
    You sound proud of yourself. Good for you.

    Obviously people who go into numerically oriented degrees have an aspiration to pursue finance or banking more so than a history graduate.

    However my core argument is that a degree in economics/ maths is better than a history degree. Other factors are of course important, but the core of my argument is true.

    I say this to most people; people expect their university degree to get them a decent salary and a lucrative profession alone. In fact it doesn't. Pursuing work experience, speaking a second language, extra-curricular, your personality and your university degree are all just as important.
    Haha, I'm just backing up my side - sorry for the egotistical 'lol' at the beginning, shouldn't have said that. Congrats on getting those insight days man.

    I'd say they are of equal worth as long as both students pursue exactly what you've outlined in your last paragraph (which I completely agree with) the playing field is pretty even, obviously given the History grad has the numerical chops.

    T'was an interesting debate, however.



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