How to Become an Investment Banker

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you to become an investment banker depends on the industry and company you apply at.

Those looking for an entry position will likely need a bachelors degree in business or finance.  If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then a master’s degree in finance or an MBA with a specialty in finance or banking could be needed along with internship experience .

Start your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started as an investment banker.

How Much Does an Investment Banker Make? 
$71,720 (national median salary, to see salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:
+39,700 additional people employed

Specialization Options:
Securities, commodities, money markets, bonds, and stocks

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agent page) 

The Best Places to Become an Investment Banker

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following industries employed the most investment bankers:

  • Securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage – 40% of investment bankers employed
  • Depository credit intermediation – 23% of investment bankers employed
  • Other financial investment activities – 10% of investment bankers employed
  • Others (e.g. hedge funds) – 37% of investment bankers employed

Employment and Information Data for Investment Banking

Why Become an Investment Banker

Despite some consolidation in the finance industry in recent years, job growth for investment bankers is expected to grow by 14% from now until at least 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Investment bankers have traditionally been held in high esteem throughout society. After all, whoever is handling the money usually wields a great deal of power. However, in recent years this industry has taken a few hits, but as Wall Street, and the American economy  continues to rebound all will likely be forgiven. That’s because investment bankers have a vital role to play in the creation of wealth.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become an Investment Banker

  • Elements of Corporate Finance
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Components of an IPO
  • Investment Banking Fundamentals
  • Fundamentals of Equity Valuation
  • Financial Markets, Instruments, and Institutions
  • Introduction to Venture Capital
  • Debt and Other Financing Sources
  • Market Efficiency
  • Financial Markets Outside the U.S.

Degree Options for Investment Banking Careers

Investment banking is an incredibly complex process that involves understanding expertly global economic, financial and business conditions. This requires plenty of training and education. While most investment banker opportunities require having a Master’s in Business Administration, entry level support roles do not.

There are typically two types of certificate programs for financial management. The first is designed for professionals already underway with their careers, who would like to increase skills and become more efficient in their current roles. The other certificate program is designed for those without any finance background interested in exploring professional opportunities in the industry.

Bachelor’s Degree
The great thing about bachelor’s degrees is they allow for a lot of experimentation. The typical four-year program provides students with plenty of opportunity to see what type of courses and careers fit best. Business, finance, accounting, math, you-name-it major can sample financial management and investment courses. However, stick with a major that provides an analytical background (aforementioned majors) if you’re planning to eventually make the move to investment banking.

Many investment bankers have previous work experience as well as a Master’s in Business Administration. These programs prepare students for the rigors (and pressure) that come with working in the high profile investment banking industry.