Best Schools For High-Paying I-Bank Jobs

Attractive Business Man In Suit Throwing Money Into Air

Best Schools for High-Paying Banking Jobs


These days, it’s fashionable to say that investment banking has lost its luster with MBAs. Sure, MBAs are more interested in pursuing entrepreneurship than ever. And Silicon Valley has become the 21st century version of Wall Street, an American beacon where you build wealth and renown on your own terms. Heck, even consulting is making a comeback, with cultures that are more collaborative than cutthroat.

Make no mistake. If you’re looking to make big money – and you don’t mind working 14 hours a day (and weekends) to get it – Wall Street is still the place to be. Mind you, other sectors are starting to compete when it comes to starting pay. In fact, health, consulting, technology, and manufacturing companies have all raised their median salaries by a higher percentage than financials according to a 2014 study by GMAC. But when a Goldman Sachs or Blackstone makes an offer, you won’t find many b-school grads who say no.

Everyone has a price. For MBA grads, it comes in a bit over $100K to start, coupled with a $40K-$50K bonus. That’s what investment banks are paying according to data gathered by eFinancial Careers. After combing through the employment reports of the top tier schools globally, eFinancial Careers produced a listing of the top schools for investment banking.

When it comes to the school producing the most investment bankers, the honors go to New York University’s Stern School of Business. Just a subway (or cab) ride away from Wall Street, Stern sent nearly one-of-five of their 2014 graduates into investment banks. Mind you, this percentage is dropping for financials as a whole, according to Poets&Quants’ analysis of Stern’s latest employment report. Here, finance dropped from 42 percent of the class to 2013 to 35 percent last year, with consulting (+5 percent) picking up the slack. Overall, Stern, which benefits from a robust part-time MBA program, places the highest proportion of their students at Citi, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse according to research conducted by Poets&Quants.

The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business finished second in the percentage of grads who enter investment banking at 15.2 percent. Like Stern, Booth has placed a large number of grads across the various banks, with Citi, J.P. Morgan and Merrill employing a slightly higher number. Rounding out the top five are the Wharton School, Yale, and Columbia, which each placed 14 percent of their respective 2014 classes in investment banking according to eFinancial Careers. Surprisingly, only three international programs – the London Business School (12 percent), INSEAD (6 percent), and the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School (5 percent) – were listed among the top 19 programs.

When it comes to average starting salaries, the Stanford Graduate School of Business ranked number one, with grads making $130,600 to start (excluding bonuses). However, this number must be tempered against the class as a whole, where just four percent entered investment banking. Goldman Sachs employed the most Stanford grads, followed by Merrill, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Citi.

London Business School MBAs enjoyed the second highest starting salaries at $117,600. They were followed by UCLA Anderson ($108,200), a favored recruiting ground for Wells Fargo and Bank of America. MIT Sloan ($107,500) and Duke Fuqua ($107,100), and Northwestern Kellogg ($106,900) also drew big paychecks. Although Booth, Wharton, Harvard, and Columbia rank below these schools at $100K to start, those figures are based on medians.

2014 Yale grads were also big winners, pulling down median $60,000 sign on bonuses (to go along with their $100K median salaries). Stanford and London Business School MBAs also started pretty comfortably, making $40K and $38.8K bonuses to go along with their high starting salaries. In fact, Stanford MBAs pulled down whopping $73,300 average guaranteed bonuses. But even that number pales in comparison to graduates of Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, where MBAs are snagging guaranteed bonuses near the $90,000 range. As you’d expect, Goldman Sachs was the biggest Wall Street consumer of Tuck talent.

To see the salaries and bonuses of the top schools, go to the next page.


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