Money matters need experts who understand how money matters.
And an MBA that trains in financial wizardry is one of the most competitive, lucrative and in-demand MBA specializations on both sides of the interview table – MBA in Finance applicants and the employers waiting to snatch them at graduation.
According to the annual GMAC Corporate Recruiters Surveys, Finance and Accounting consistently show up among the top charters in the industries looking to hire MBA grads.
Here’s a snippet of what those demands look like, objectively.
Except for a slight dip in 2016, the number of recruits in the Finance/Accounting industry has been on a rise.
The data is based on responses from around 1,000 employers, each year.
The basic requirements for an MBA degree, whether Finance or any other major, is essentially the same.
However, the subtle difference that sets Finance guys apart is their keenness on all things math.
Sharp quantitative and analytical skills are a must to survive and make sense of a future career which primarily deals in numbers.
– Economics/Mathematics/Commerce or some quantitative major
– Work experience in the banking or some version of accounting sector
– A strong GMAT/GRE quantitative score. Typical finance guys applying to some of the popular B-Schools have about 700 total score and quant scores in the high percentiles.
If you don’t have one those and yet can justify strong analytical skills through your work experience, you may still keep MBA in Finance on your cards.
A common enough behavioural question often revolves around why MBA.
If you have determined finance specialization to be your calling, adcoms may also ask you why finance.
More specifically, why MBA in Finance.
This question needs a two-fold preparation.
You will not only have to justify your motivation for choosing the specialization but also what in particular an MBA can give you as against other finance Master’s specialty degrees like MFin, MiF, MSF.
Though it is a significant boon to have an MBA degree in Finance in terms of salaries and other monetary perks, this should not be the only motivation to pursue it.
At least that certainly should not be your response to the why MBA in Finance interview question.
The love of a financial gain cannot be the only reason driving your choice to study finance.
Think about what draws you to the quantitative and analytical challenges posed by the field.
Think about how “finance” itself is an integral part of any organization and doesn’t exist in a silo by itself.
Think about how you can prepare yourself to be versatile and worthwhile enough, having this degree to back you, to join virtually any sector if you so desire.
And why MBA and not any other Master’s? Try combining the skills any MBA program gives – hands on practical as compared to just theoretical training in communication, management, strategy, and all those goodies that the corporate world thrives on – on top of the financial courses.
Spend some time thinking about a believable response to this interview question as it is bound to come up in some shape or form somewhere along your application.
In fact, instead of focusing on how to convince the adcoms, begin with convincing yourself about your decision. The rest will follow.
According to Wharton’s description of their MBA degree with a Finance major, the aim of the program is to develop the analytical foundation and tools, using techniques of economic analysis, mathematics, and statistics. Typical courses, thus, involve:
– Corporate Finance: Studying the financial structure of businesses, how money is managed and decisions are made for budgeting, investments, cash flow, etc.
– Macroeconomics: Studying how the global economy functions. National economic policies, income accounting, international relations, employment, etc. form a part of this course.
– Financial Derivatives: Understand derivative securities, financial trading, asset portfolios, corporate decision making, investments, etc. These courses are aimed at training students to develop skills on pricing and hedging securities and using them for investment and risk management, according to Wharton’s course description.
– International Financial Markets: Understanding foreign exchange rates, international money markets, currency, international stock and portfolios, etc.
Other popular courses include, International Banking, Capital Markets, Fixed Income Securities, Microeconomics, Financial Statement Analysis, Insurance, Investment and Portfolio Management, Marketing and Strategy, Venture Capital, Buyouts and Acquisitions, Business Strategy, Equity, Fintech, Financial Engineering, and more.
Here are some of the top B-Schools for a stellar future career in finance.
|University of Pennsylvania, Wharton||20 months||$81,400/first year|
|Columbia University||2 years||$77,400/year|
|Stanford Graduate School of Business||2 years||$77,000/year|
|Duke University, Fuqua||2 years||$74,800/year|
|Yale School of Management||2 years||$72,400/year|
|MIT, Sloan||2 years||$77,200/year|
|Harvard Business School||2 years||$73,400/year|
|University of Chicago, Booth||2.5 – 3 years||Minimum $144,000 total|
|New York University, Stern||2 years||$74,200/year|
|Cornell University, Johnson||2 years||$69,500/year|
|University of Virginia, Darden||2 years||$70,700/year|
|UCLA, Anderson||2 years||$65,000/year|
|University of Toronto, Rotman||2 years||$97,500|
|McGill University, Desautels||2 years||$70,700|
|York University, Schulich||2 years||$78,300|
|Western University, Ivey||2 years||$84,200|
|Queen’s University, Smith||2 years||$71,600|
|Frankfurt School of Finance & Management||12 months||$40,900|
|Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad||2 years||$32,400|
|Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta||2 years||$32,000|
|Xaviers Labour Research Institute Jamshedpur||2 years||$33,000|
|Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore||2 years||$29,500|
|Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi||2 years||$300|
|JBIMS Mumbai||2 years||$8,500|
|London Business School||15-21 months||$102,700|
|University of Cambridge, Judge||12 months||$71,400|
|Warwick University||12 months||$50,600|
|University of Oxford, Said||12 months||$74,500|
|Imperial College Business School||12 months||$65,000|
|National University of Singapore||17 months||$45,000|
|National Technological University, Singapore||12 months||$45,000|
|Deakin University||2 years||$40,000|
|University of South Australia||1.5 years||$27,400|
|Bond University||12-16 months||$22,000|
|Queensland University of Technology||1.5 years||$48,000|
|University of Technology Sydney||2 years||$55,000|
|La Trobe University||1.5 years||$42,000|
|University of Western Sydney||2 years||$21,000|
Graduates with an MBA in finance find positions that cover both financial and non-financial institutions, partaking in their finance department.
Many find mid-level positions at management consulting firms, not-for-profit entities, etc.
While others secure jobs at investment banks, brokerage firms, commercial banks, etc.
Typical job roles include financial manager, financial analyst, risk analyst, insurance manager, credit analyst, etc.
According to the QS TopMBA Jobs and Salary Trends Report, from 2018, Finance is one of the top few specializations in demand by employers worldwide, following innovation and leadership skills.
Also, according to 2017 data, the hiring percentage for MBAs in Finance graduates (39%) was the second highest among all specializations, that year.
Current predictions show either buoyant levels of growth in recruitment from the previous years as in Western Europe and Asia, or even a dip as in USA and Canada.
However, those are mostly driven by either political situations or international uncertainties like the likelihood of EU exit shake-ups in the major powers in those regions.
Latin America did, and still does, see a significant growth in finance MBA jobs.
On an average, the consulting industry tends to give the highest MBA salaries at about $131,000.
But Financial Services follow at $119,000, according to US News data.
Financial Analysts make anywhere between $50,000 to over $350,000 depending upon the experience level.
Finance Managers make about $120,000, Portfolio Managers about $110,000, and generally all other salaries fall well within a happy range of $100,000.
Top employers like JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Morgan Stanley pay somewhere in that similar range.
Finance careers tend to be quite demanding if you opt for the more lucrative Investment Banking roles.
A study by Transparent Career shows an almost 90 hour work week for Goldman Sachs employees.
While JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are not far less worse at about 70 hours a week.
Relatively comfortable hours are logged in by Private Equity and other financial service fellows.
Some manage to venture out of the jet-set, yet lucrative, life for simpler roles within the financial industry or otherwise.
Overall though, MBAs, including Finance folks, report a happy outcome in their future career as well as personal well-being.
Apart from raising their financial situation, Finance MBAs are trained to have skills that are highly versatile in various other industries as well.
Their analytical and quantitative powers are acclaimed enough to garner them opportunities anywhere else if they so choose.
Personally, a balance of work and life has become an important enough focus for corporates in recent times to help these qualified employees to reduce stress and enjoy their work and life simultaneously.
MBA in Finance has been and will remain one of the most sought-after specialities.
If you possess the right prerequisite background and skills, as well as the inclination to pursue a Finance major, explore your options in the MBAverse.
There are many excellent possibilities available.
Send us an email if you’d like professional help at info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com.