Investment bankers are financial professionals that help governments and business organizations raise money by issuing bonds, stocks and other financial products. Both bachelor's and MBA degree programs can equip students for careers in investment banking and related fields.These programs often provide classroom and practical experience, such as real-world scenarios or internships. They may be specialized in accounting, finance, marketing, management and information management, among others.
Prerequisites for bachelor's degree programs include a high school diploma or GED and satisfactory SAT or ACT scores. For MBA programs incoming students need a bachelor's degree, work experience, satisfactory GRE or GMAT scores and letters of recommendation.
Bachelor's Degree in Finance
Students in a four-year bachelor's degree in finance are trained in the processes and instruments used in finance and business functions. The curriculum includes core classes in investment, financial management, risk management and personal finance. Students are also trained in economic reasoning and financial reporting. Typical classes may include:
- International finance
- Financial statement analysis
- Bank management
- Real estate investments
- Financial engineering
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Master of Business Administration
A two-year Master of Business Administration (MBA) program teaches candidates the skills required to manage corporations, negotiate initial public stock offerings and appraise various forms of capital. The program typically emphasizes leadership and teamwork.
Prospective investment bankers may be able to tailor their curriculum toward professional, executive and international business pursuits. Topics covered include:
- Marketing management
- Business analysis
- Managerial economics
- Organizational management
Popular Career Options
In addition to an investment banker, an undergraduate finance degree might lead to positions such as:
- Sales manager
- Account executive
- Credit consultant
- Financial planner
- Inventory control specialist
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), securities, commodities and financial services sales agents, including investment bankers, earned a median annual wage of $71,550 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS projected a 10% increase in jobs for securities, commodities and financial services sales agents (including investment bankers) from 2014-2024.
Continuing Education Information
After graduation, students can pursue master's degrees and doctorates in finance or associated fields, such as economics, operations management and accounting. A graduate degree in finance can provide the advanced strategic and reasoning skills needed for upper-level management positions, as well as academic and research positions.
Students who want to work in careers where they help governments, business and other organizations issue bonds, stocks and other financial products, will need to earn either a bachelor's degree in finance or a MBA, if they want to play a more administrative role.