Investment Banker OR Doctor?

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Poll: Which is the harder career to break into?
Investment Banking (62)
73.81%
Doctor (22)
26.19%
orca92
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#1
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#1
Ok, this seems like the best place for this.

So for about 2 hours today, me and my friend have been arguing about which is the harder career choice to break into.

I personally would say Investment Banking. The reasoning being due to the rigorous application process for spring weeks, second year internships and then graduate applications. Added to this, if you don't do it the conventional way (ie: mostly a maths/economics based degree from a top uni) there is the added competition of getting onto an MSc Finance course that will give you a better shot at securing an interview and hopefully an offer of a job.

My friend on the other hand, says being a Doctor is harder. The A levels required, the UKCAT and BMAT; and the number of applicants; she say, makes it harder to break into than Investment Banking.

Just wondered what the thoughts of TSR are on this?
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NothingOnYou
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#2
Report 11 years ago
#2
(Original post by orca92)
Ok, this seems like the best place for this.

So for about 2 hours today, me and my friend have been arguing about which is the harder career choice to break into.

I personally would say Investment Banking. The reasoning being due to the rigorous application process for spring weeks, second year internships and then graduate applications. Added to this, if you don't do it the conventional way (ie: mostly a maths/economics based degree from a top uni) there is the added competition of getting onto an MSc Finance course that will give you a better shot at securing an interview and hopefully an offer of a job.

My friend on the other hand, says being a Doctor is harder. The A levels required, the UKCAT and BMAT; and the number of applicants; she say, makes it harder to break into than Investment Banking.

Just wondered what the thoughts of TSR are on this?
Apples and Oranges. Depends on the individual in question, and the skill-sets required can be vastly differing. Might sound like a diplomatic answer, but it's the only one.

Ultimately a pointless argument, I promise you.
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orca92
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#3
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#3
Yes i agree that it obviously depends a lot on the person. I guess i personally would've found it easier going for medicine, predicted AAA in Biology, Chemistry and Maths i could have got into the AAA and AAB unis. However, i want to go into investment banking and after having to settle outside the top 6 unis economics degrees, i'm finding it much harder to get in. Simply, you need much better grades to get onto a maths, economics, stats course at a top6 uni than a medicine degree at any uni; hence i think investment banking is harder to get into. I suppose it might be a better question if it was 'which would be harder for YOU to get into?'
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Kreuzuerk
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#4
Report 11 years ago
#4
why didn't you just get your ***** out?
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Dekota-XS
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#5
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#5
A doctor has a life in their hands.
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Comeheretellme
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#6
Report 11 years ago
#6
I'm not an expert, but I would say investment banking seems really hard to get into and it requires a lot of mathematical logic and economical reasoning. Plus it's quite an exclusive career and very competitive throughout.
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iPthreefifthteen
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#7
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#7
Your friend is correct
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shaz111
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#8
Report 11 years ago
#8
Front office at a bulge bracket is much much harder to enter than medicine. Everything else in banking at graduate level is probably marginally easier than getting into medicine.

Its all a matter of statistics, and Medicine is just not that statistically difficult to get into. Every year about 23000 people apply for 10000 seats, thats just over 1 in 2, the same cannot be said for front office at bulge brackets.

What is more comparable is getting a surgical post at one of the top 50 hospitals in the country.
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Cheesecakefactory
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#9
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#9
Luck plays a much bigger role when trying to get into Investment banking.
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orca92
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#10
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#10
Ok, i think i've not been quite specific enough. I'm talking about getting a job in the front office (in IBD, S&T, or Research) at a bulge bracket investment bank (this is what i want to do). My friend is talking about graduating from a medicine degree and getting a job as a doctor, by which i presume she means a GP.
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clad in armour
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#11
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#11
investment banking without a shadow of a doubt, its a million times less certain that medicine. Even when it comes down to the uni you went to, anything out of the top 4 goes in the bin with internships, whereas with medicine every course is regulated by the GMC, so you can go to an UK med school
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firestar101
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#12
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#12
It is much harder to get into medicine - medical school. All you need are the grades to get into a top uni for investment banking, but with medicine it is much more than that. Anyone that does not agree is an idiot.

But, I would say that it is harder to get a job in investment banking, as it is competitive.
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crazycake93
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#13
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#13
Aaaah, the troublesome question that every Asian will face.
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Hugbert
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#14
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#14
(Original post by crazycake93)
Aaaah, the troublesome question that every Asian will face.
hahahahaha
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orca92
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#15
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#15
(Original post by firestar101)
It is much harder to get into medicine - medical school. All you need are the grades to get into a top uni for investment banking, but with medicine it is much more than that. Anyone that does not agree is an idiot.

But, I would say that it is harder to get a job in investment banking, as it is competitive.
Then you need to get interviews at the banks, either for internships or graduate jobs. For this you likely need to be holding some decent work experience and extra-curriculars. Then you need to get through the interviews, for spring weeks people have been having 2 or 3 half hour ones; at intern or graduate level i'd guess it'd be worse, or even worse interviews perhaps. And you need to pass mathematical and logic tests to get into the interview stage usually.

And through all of this there's 3000+ other people in your year at the top unis studying the top courses in very much the same position as you. And you have to out compete most of them.
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KingofSpades
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#16
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#16
if we're being fastidious why don't we say front office or a private practice plastic surgeon
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orca92
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#17
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#17
(Original post by KingofSpades)
if we're being fastidious why don't we say front office or a private practice plastic surgeon
Sorry, i should have worded the question a better way in the first place. My reasons for this are (A) i want to work in the IBD which is front office and my friend wants to be a GP, and we were arguing which is the hardest, so it was kind of IBD vs GP between us. And (B) the most aimed for banking area is front office, and from my limited knowledge of what medical students want, being a GP seems to be very popular as well. So both seem to have their fair share of people hoping to secure a job in them.
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michael clayton
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#18
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#18
(Original post by orca92)
Sorry, i should have worded the question a better way in the first place. My reasons for this are (A) i want to work in the IBD which is front office and my friend wants to be a GP, and we were arguing which is the hardest, so it was kind of IBD vs GP between us. And (B) the most aimed for banking area is front office, and from my limited knowledge of what medical students want, being a GP seems to be very popular as well. So both seem to have their fair share of people hoping to secure a job in them.
Isn't getting into IB with a degree in Biology significantly more difficult than for someone with Economics/Engineering/Maths?
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orca92
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#19
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#19
(Original post by kbountra)
Isn't getting into IB with a degree in Biology significantly more difficult than for someone with Economics/Engineering/Maths?
Yes, unfortunately my grades weren't good enough to get into a decent uni for economics, maths, or stats. Basically, i could only get an A in maths A level, whereas Cambridge, UCL, LSE all require an A* in maths for economics; and this is just the requirements, actual economics students at UCL have far higher grades than me.

Fact is, i got AAABB is good enough for medicine (albeit one of the B's is chemistry, if i'd dropped geography i'm sure i'd have got an A; i was predicted an A in chemistry, but chose to carry on 5 A levels). Either way, these grades are NOT good enough for a better degree than biology to get into IBD of an Investment Bank.

I've gone for the best degree i could in order to get into IB. Yes, i held an offer from Imperial, but the fact is that the gulf between Imperial and UCL is not big enough to make a difference in my opinion.
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michael clayton
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#20
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#20
(Original post by orca92)
Yes, unfortunately my grades weren't good enough to get into a decent uni for economics, maths, or stats. Basically, i could only get an A in maths A level, whereas Cambridge, UCL, LSE all require an A* in maths for economics; and this is just the requirements, actual economics students at UCL have far higher grades than me.

Fact is, i got AAABB is good enough for medicine (albeit one of the B's is chemistry, if i'd dropped geography i'm sure i'd have got an A; i was predicted an A in chemistry, but chose to carry on 5 A levels). Either way, these grades are NOT good enough for a better degree than biology to get into IBD of an Investment Bank.

I've gone for the best degree i could in order to get into IB. Yes, i held an offer from Imperial, but the fact is that the gulf between Imperial and UCL is not big enough to make a difference in my opinion.
I applied this year to study Biochemistry and in future may be hoping to go into the financial sector. Do you think it would be more advantageous to go for Warwick or Sheffield? Warwick uni attracts a lot of employers at careers fairs and interestingly has a v. good success rate for IB due to government links. Sheffield on the other hand has one of the best departments in the country (3rd by the Times) but may not be as respected by employers. Not really looking at IB but what do you think would be the better university to go for?
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