How to Become an Investment Banker

An investment banker is a banker who is skilled at making deals, investments, and gaining securities on behalf of a company or corporation. They handle the issuance of bonds and securities, and often are at the forefront of merger proceedings with other companies. They are always on the look out for financial deals which would increase the success or financial future of a company.

Requirements/Qualifications

An M.B.A. in Business or Finance is usually required to gain respect in this field. However, some entry jobs in investment banking may be granted to new college graduates who wish to get a start in the field.

Typical Education

How to Become an Investment Banker

The typical education required is an M.B.A.

The typical education required is an M.B.A. A Bachelor’s degree would suffice to get started in the field, but two years beyond the college degree in usually considered the norm for an investment banker. Investment bankers should have a strong background in economics and finance, and should be highly skilled at being able to advise a business on what course to take to most benefit their financial situation.

An Alternate Route

As mentioned before, while an upper level degree is normally required, some levels of this career, such as a financial analyst, may be obtained by having a two or four-year degree. But an M.B.A. is usually required in order to advance as an investment banker.

Steps to Becoming an Investment Banker

If you think you have the skills necessary to help big companies make their investment decisions, here are some steps you could take to star the process of becoming an investment banker.

1) Get an M.B.A. in Business Administration from an accredited institution.

$70,190
Bachelor's Degree
None
Moderate-term
312,200
15%
47,500
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Unlike some of the other jobs in business and finance, an investment banker has such a responsibility toward a company to make wise decisions, that a Master’s degree is normally required. Not only do they have to be able to do the math, but also have the higher level analytical skills in high finance and decision-making that can generally only come with an advanced degree. It is wise not to try to short-cut this, since you will only reach a certain level without this degree.

2) Gain experience in financial institutions making decisions with money. Banking experience is essential to becoming an investment banker. You could also work in other financial institutions such as annuities companies, insurance, or work as a financial planner. But the banking expertise is what will be most valuable as a future investment banker.

3) Work on your own portfolio. It is important to show how you have been able to increase your own financial security, so that you can help others to do the same. So start your own financial portfolio and work on increasing your wealth with smart investments.

4) Get experience in trading and financial analyzing. A good entry point for a job as an investment banker is that of a financial analyst. It is generally believed that, if you can analyze financial situations correctly and turn a profit from your decisions, you would be able to do the higher level duties of an investment banker. However, you must obtain an M.B.A. in most cases in order to advance to this level.

5) Make connections with big companies. The more you can understand the way big business works, the better you will be as an investment banker. Connect with big corporations to gain valuable knowledge in how things work so that you can advise businesses better when you land a position. Having these connections also puts you in a good position to start negotiations with them if you work for a company later who wants to make a deal with them.

Being an investment banker is a long process that may start with a job as a financial analyst and move up as you prove yourself. So you have to be motivated to gain the experience and the respect it takes to obtain this highly coveted position. It helps to have a lot of money too, so that you are also seen somewhat as a venture capitalist as well. There are stereotypes about investment bankers, that they are unfeeling selfish money magnets. But actually the good investment banker should not only be skilled at making money but also at interpersonal skills, due to the nature of the job. They often have to negotiate with high level officials within big corporations, so any people skills they can gain along the way would surely be beneficial. If you are someone who aspires to make it big in the world of high finance, and have the resources to make it work, choose a career as an investment banker. Start with a degree in Business from an accredited college.

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