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Hi,
I am currently applying to university and want to go into the finance industry post-grad or as an apprenticeship degree. I was wondering first for an undergrad. Would it be better to do pure economics, economics with finance or finance or finance with maths or mathematics with finance?
Original post by mwaseem
Hi,
I am currently applying to university and want to go into the finance industry post-grad or as an apprenticeship degree. I was wondering first for an undergrad. Would it be better to do pure economics, economics with finance or finance or finance with maths or mathematics with finance?


I'm confident that the subject of your undergrad will likely have approximately zero effect to get into the finance industry in the UK.

Finance is more of a people's industry, not an industry where you need an analytical degree with relevant material (funnily enough). Your people skills would matter more than your financial/economics knwoledge. If you graduate from a top university where you get to network with a lot of people with strong connections, so much the better. In other words, you can do a random degree from a top university and still likely get into the financial industry.

In fact, you can go into finance without needing a degree at all. The thing you would need to beware is having the appropriate qualification for the specific role that you want to go into. Usually the correct professional qualification would probably boost your application a lot more than the degree. If you know the specific role that you want to apply for, then I could narrow down the long winded list of qualifications that is available.

It would be ideal if you have relevant skills and experience, but you don't always get opportunities to have this. Internships are like gold dust.

If any particular skill or knowledge that would make you really stand out is having something in maths or a difficult and very quantiative degree with a lot of problem solving e.g. engineering, physics.

The apprenticeship degree would probably serve you better, but I would question whether you should be going in with an apprenticeship degree as opposed to going for the professional qualification, especially if it's at Level 3 or below. However, if you do manage to secure an apprenticeship with any finance firm, that would probably serve you a lot more in the long run.

Having said the above, there are only a handful of degree courses in the country that would provide exemptions and allow you to be qualified to certain offer financial services without further qualifications. However, these degrees aren't really in high demand.

I do recommend getting a second opinon on the above from those in the industry though.
Reply 2
Original post by MindMax2000
I'm confident that the subject of your undergrad will likely have approximately zero effect to get into the finance industry in the UK.

Finance is more of a people's industry, not an industry where you need an analytical degree with relevant material (funnily enough). Your people skills would matter more than your financial/economics knwoledge. If you graduate from a top university where you get to network with a lot of people with strong connections, so much the better. In other words, you can do a random degree from a top university and still likely get into the financial industry.

In fact, you can go into finance without needing a degree at all. The thing you would need to beware is having the appropriate qualification for the specific role that you want to go into. Usually the correct professional qualification would probably boost your application a lot more than the degree. If you know the specific role that you want to apply for, then I could narrow down the long winded list of qualifications that is available.

It would be ideal if you have relevant skills and experience, but you don't always get opportunities to have this. Internships are like gold dust.

If any particular skill or knowledge that would make you really stand out is having something in maths or a difficult and very quantiative degree with a lot of problem solving e.g. engineering, physics.

The apprenticeship degree would probably serve you better, but I would question whether you should be going in with an apprenticeship degree as opposed to going for the professional qualification, especially if it's at Level 3 or below. However, if you do manage to secure an apprenticeship with any finance firm, that would probably serve you a lot more in the long run.

Having said the above, there are only a handful of degree courses in the country that would provide exemptions and allow you to be qualified to certain offer financial services without further qualifications. However, these degrees aren't really in high demand.

I do recommend getting a second opinon on the above from those in the industry though.

The role that interests me the most is the trading side of IB, especially like the equity/stocks trading or even forex trading at a high level but in general more of a trading role than a analytical economist role?
Original post by mwaseem
The role that interests me the most is the trading side of IB, especially like the equity/stocks trading or even forex trading at a high level but in general more of a trading role than a analytical economist role?


Unless you're looking into a quants role, you're likely require exactly zero qualifications to get into the trading role.

You will get certain graduate schemes where you are asked to have a 2:1 degree in any subject, but a degree has zero effect on whether you would make any money or not. It's more about discipline, having a workable strategy, and employing risk management. See the following:
https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/job-descriptions/trader-job-description#:~:text=Traders%20are%20responsible%20for%20making,the%20benefit%20of%2C%20investment%20banks.
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/financial-trader
https://www.brightnetwork.co.uk/job-profiles/trader/
https://www.reed.co.uk/career-advice/how-to-become-a-day-trader/#:~:text=Typical%20duties%20for%20a%20Day,to%20complete%20trades%20and%20transactions (this mentions a role outside of IB)

Should you wish to go into quants and use some skills that you can learn at university, then I recommend going for the more mathematical degrees e.g. finance with maths, or maths with finance. You will ultimately be looking at programming and a lot of stats. Can you go into this role without a degree? Yes. As far as I know, employers care more about the skills you have than the number of degrees you have,
See the following: https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Career/quantitative-analyst-career_KO0,20.htm#:~:text=Quantitative%20analysts%20use%20quantitative%20methods,managers%2C%20and%20private%20equity%20firms.
https://uk.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/how-to-become-quantitative-analyst

I you want to go into quants, then I recommend the CQF, as that's my go to for quants certifications: https://www.cqf.com/about-cqf/program-structure/cqf-qualification Do note that it's pricey, although it's definitely cheaper than a degree.
Reply 4
Original post by MindMax2000
Unless you're looking into a quants role, you're likely require exactly zero qualifications to get into the trading role.

You will get certain graduate schemes where you are asked to have a 2:1 degree in any subject, but a degree has zero effect on whether you would make any money or not. It's more about discipline, having a workable strategy, and employing risk management. See the following:
https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/job-descriptions/trader-job-description#:~:text=Traders%20are%20responsible%20for%20making,the%20benefit%20of%2C%20investment%20banks.
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/financial-trader
https://www.brightnetwork.co.uk/job-profiles/trader/
https://www.reed.co.uk/career-advice/how-to-become-a-day-trader/#:~:text=Typical%20duties%20for%20a%20Day,to%20complete%20trades%20and%20transactions (this mentions a role outside of IB)

Should you wish to go into quants and use some skills that you can learn at university, then I recommend going for the more mathematical degrees e.g. finance with maths, or maths with finance. You will ultimately be looking at programming and a lot of stats. Can you go into this role without a degree? Yes. As far as I know, employers care more about the skills you have than the number of degrees you have,
See the following: https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Career/quantitative-analyst-career_KO0,20.htm#:~:text=Quantitative%20analysts%20use%20quantitative%20methods,managers%2C%20and%20private%20equity%20firms.
https://uk.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/how-to-become-quantitative-analyst

I you want to go into quants, then I recommend the CQF, as that's my go to for quants certifications: https://www.cqf.com/about-cqf/program-structure/cqf-qualification Do note that it's pricey, although it's definitely cheaper than a degree.

Thanks this was very useful
I also got an interview with JP Morgan for a degree apprenticeship for financial services, is this a good apprenticeship to go for or are there better options?
Original post by mwaseem
Thanks this was very useful
I also got an interview with JP Morgan for a degree apprenticeship for financial services, is this a good apprenticeship to go for or are there better options?


Unfortunately, I don't know enough about it. However, some of the threads on TSR have painted a less than a positive light on it.

Should you wish to go into financial services, it may be difficult to transition into trading (or at least from what I have heard). Also, you don't need much to go into financial services.

Each area of financial services will require their own specific qualification to meet regulatory requirements (not to specifically train you how to effectively do your job), but you can do these qualifications yourself usually at a cost of less than £1000 each if you shop around. If you study intensively, it is said that you can do these over the summer break i.e. 2-3 months.
A number of these qualifications also require next to nothing to study e.g. I don't need any prior qualifications to do a CeMAP to go into mortgage advisory, or do most entry level financial advisory qualifications, or an Investment Advice Diploma become a stockbroker. You definitely don't need to do a degree.

Having said that, the brand name of the investment bank would definitely get you in other places once you have spent a few years there. The connections you build are probably as invaluable.

However, I haven't done the degree apprenticeship, so I cannot comment on it. You would have a better answer from someone more qualified (i.e. been through it) to give an opinion on it.

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