Traditionally, finance (and especially investment banking) has captured the cream of the fresh MBA graduate population.
As much as even a decade ago, according to what can be perceived from GMAC’s corporate recruiter surveys published each year, consulting and finance shared the most hires with information technology somewhere in the lower mix.
But with changing economic tides, be it the meltdown of 2009 or even the ongoing recent pandemic affected world, big tech has surpassed all in the largest percentage of MBA recruits.
Tech companies top choice for tech savvy MBA grads
MBAs graduate with skills that are highly valued in any industry. But tech firms, especially, like the way these skills can be capitalized in its fast evolving framework.
MBAs with a precious STEM or computation background have the business acumen, strategic thinking training, problem solving capacity, data analysis proficiency, apart from the marketing and finance knowledge that can make them excellent managers.
And with GMAC’s 2021 recruiter survey, it is clear that more recruiters in the tech industry are looking at overall growth and recruitment as compared to others with a lot of potential for increased MBA recruitment.
Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and the likes, not only pay excellent salaries that can match (and surpass) the Wall Street compensations. In addition, they also offer better working conditions with lesser stress, better work-life balance and a much more relaxed environment as compared to the high stress buttoned up Investment Banker jobs that have ruled in the past.
No wonder so many MBA graduates flock to the tech sector.
However, not everyone is enamored by the technology industry. There’s a huge demand from other industries (including finance) for MBA grads with technology experience
For MBA grads who are inclined towards a career in pure finance (as opposed to technology), the distinction is easy. Join an investment bank in a finance role.
But there are also technology roles on offer within the finance industry, especially in investment banking, that offer a relatively better balance between the salaries and work life balance.
What do Technologists do at Investment Banks?
Technologists work with data for research, they build platforms for client interaction and transactions, they build tools to detect risk factors, secure deals within the high stakes financial world, and in general help in integrating the information flow within the organization.
So even though the accolades are reserved for the money makers – the bankers – the technology services of the software engineers help keep the lights on.
While the bankers take charge of the front office, the technology professionals provide the support structure in the middle and back offices of investment banks. [Read more: Front office vs middle office vs back office jobs in investment banking]
Banks hire MBA grads with a tech orientation and skills in project and product management roles. Read more about product management careers.
Why do Investment Banks hire MBA grads in technology roles?
There are multiple tech roles within investment banks. You can think of them as the core tech group that carries out the meat of the IT work like design, coding, maintenance, etc.
A large number of technology professionals working in I-banks have a computer/information technology (IT) related qualification such as an engineering degree. But banks also recruit MBA grads in their tech departments for management jobs.
These technology managers coordinate between the two departments – the hardcore tech teams (programmers, testers, user interface designers et al) and the front office bankers.
These managers require skills that
- Blend into the tech and business roles, providing the management and supportive roles to integrate the core banking with the technological interfaces.
- Analyze business and technological needs of end-users.
- Provide strategic thinking to help make decisions with big money at stake.
- Understand data warehousing needs and other functional support.
- Manage risks, application problems, operational setbacks and delays that can lead to financial problems.
- Provide communication through reports, presentations, and other documentations for cross departmental interpretation within the organization.
Top skills for technology jobs in investment banks
What skills are investment banks looking for in technology professionals that they hire?
For some insights on this, MBA Crystal Ball reached out to Jay Ritter, Cordell Eminent Scholar at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business.
Investment banks use technology in many ways. Some investment banks include commercial banking (Citigroup, JP Morgan, etc.) where credit cards are a big part of their business, and reducing fraud is a big part of cost control.
Other investment banks are more boutique-like, concentrating mainly or exclusively on advisory business (Allen & Co., Lazard).
Advisors to tech companies gain an advantage if these employees understand the technology of the companies. Employees who use technology to do things efficiently can give a firm a leg up on the competition.
There is a wide variety of jobs, with different skill sets required, in investment banks. Some jobs are pure IT positions, where coding ability or knowledge of hardware is of paramount importance.
Others involve more client-focused work, jobs for which not only technical knowledge is important, but also require “people skills” that include being physically attractive and articulate. Some of these jobs require more knowledge of finance than others do.
Some of the jobs require greater creativity, and others require more attention to detail. Individuals can affect their job opportunities by both understanding what their strengths and weaknesses are, and applying to appropriate jobs, and also by augmenting their skills.
Investment banks and consulting firms frequently ask about a student’s GPA, because they have found that students with good grades are likely to be willing to work long hours and get things right the first time, rather than being good at excuses for why things didn’t get done in time.
Not all jobs at investment banking firms involve long hours, however. And someone needs to manage the tech staff, creating jobs for MBAs who are capable of managing people and have the respect of these people because the boss understands what they are doing.
Salaries for technology managers in investment banks
Here are some typical Technical Manager salaries at some of the top investment banks.
|Company Name||Role||Salary (mid-career)|
|JP Morgan Chase||Technical Manager (India)||INR 31.5 lakhs|
|Morgan Stanley||Technical Manager (India)||INR 20.8 lakhs|
|Goldman Sachs||Technical Manager (India)||INR 7.5 lakhs|
|BNY Mellon||Technical Manager (India)||INR 21.4 lakhs|
|Macquarie Group||Technical Manager (India)||INR 25 lakhs|
|Religare Finvest||Technical Manager (India)||INR 6 lakhs|
|Morgan Stanley||Software Manager (USA)||$164,000|
|Fiserv||Software Manager (USA)||$170,000|
|J.P.Morgan||Software Engineering Manager (USA)||$190,000|
|Citi||Software Development Manager (USA)||$147,000|
|Goldman Sachs||Software Development Manager (USA)||$200,000|
|Merrill Lynch||Software Development Manager (USA)||$200,000|
Source: Ambitionbox and Glassdoor
Read How much do Investment Bankers make around the world?
For comparison, here are some of the typical software/technology manager salaries in big tech firms.
|Company Name||Role||Salary (mid-career)|
|Amazon||Software Development Manager (USA)||$193,000|
|Software Engineering Manager (USA)||$235,000|
|Meta||Software Engineering Manager (USA)||$245,000|
|IBM||Software Engineering Manager (USA)||$125,000|
|Oracle||Software Engineering Manager (USA)||$150,000|
|Capgemini||Technical Manager (India)||INR 18 lakhs|
|Mindtree||Technical Manager (India)||INR 18 lakhs|
|IBM||Technical Manager (India)||INR 18 lakhs|
|Accenture||Technical Manager (India)||INR 25 lakhs|
|Siemens||Technical Manager (India)||INR 21 lakhs|
|Infosys||Technical Manager (India)||INR 18 lakhs|
MBA graduates have more than one pot to dip their fingers in the world of investment banking.
Whether you choose mainstream finance or you choose to make a mark in the technology side that supports the finance machinery, there’s plenty to look forward to – in addition to the high salaries.
We can help you get into the top MBA programs that open the doors to technology and finance careers in the top companies.
Explore the options and contact us at info[dot]mbacrystalball[dot]com for professional admissions consulting help.
For further insight on technology specialization and roles/salaroes after MBA, check out these related articles.
– Why are MBA salaries so high?
– Investment banking salary in USA, UK, Canada, India: How much do investment bankers make?
– Average MBA salaries in USA & Canada after 10 – 20 years
– Best MBA in Technology Management and Information Systems
– How to get into the tech industry?
– Technology Consulting vs Management Consulting
– More articles on Investment Banking