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Are Investment Banking Aspirations Raised Too High?

17 Dec 2008

Are Investment Banking Aspirations Raised Too High? Are you currently looking for graduate jobs in London and considering a career in investment banking? If so, then it may be wise to gauge your expectations against those of 2,065 other European students in a recent survey.

Onrec.com news has reported findings, carried out by eFinancialCareers, which suggest that those seeking graduate jobs may have unrealistic ideas of what a future in investment banking may hold – especially in the current climate.

Over half (58%) of the students surveyed in the UK admitted that the current global financial crisis had actually made them stop and think about following a route into investment banking. However, on balance they seem to have been undeterred, since only a third of them expected to be made redundant at any point in their future banking career.

The perceived promise of would-be riches seems to be a major drawing factor, with almost 7 in 10 saying that money was one of the main attractions of working in the sector. Around a third of UK students expected that within 5 years of starting a graduate job, they would be achieving earnings of over £90,000 a year. Only 1 in 5 of those surveyed thought that they would be earning £50,000 or less.

And it isn’t just with regards to financial rewards that some may be raising their hopes a little too high – many could also be underestimating the level of competition they may face in actually getting graduate jobs in banking in the first place. 60% of those from the UK gauged their chances of getting such graduate jobs at 50% or over.

Onrec quoted John Benson (eFinancialCareers founder and CEO) as saying, “Despite their optimism, applications to the industry regularly exceed 30:1 for graduate positions. For students planning to pursue careers in the financial sector, there is a real need for them to understand the importance of flexibility both in terms of geographic location and range of disciplines to consider in order to land that coveted spot.”

So, if you are hoping to get a London graduate job in the financial sector, then we think the advice to take away from these findings is that, as long as you do your research and are realistic about your expectations, then investment banking can still be a highly rewarding sector to get into.

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