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How to Become an Investment Banker without a Degree


Is it possible to become an investment banker without a degree is the question that many people ask me.

There are some good jobs that people love to get but they don’t have the related degrees and education.

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On the other hand, it is time consuming and expensive to get the related degrees.

So, let’s see if it is possible to become an investment banker without a degree or not 🙂

Well, the moment you think about how to become an investment banker, the first question that might come to your mind if you can even dream of this career without a degree from college?

Well, the direct answer is that academic qualification, especially a background in finance and mathematics is important to become an investment banker.

While there can be many options for individuals who want to know about how to become an investment banker in finance, there is absolutely no way you can become an investment banker without any college degree.

In fact not just as an investment banker, a financial degree is a prerequisite for most leading financial jobs.

While it is not impossible for you to get one without a degree in finance, the fact is you have to put in a relatively higher amount of effort and persevere longer to get through.

Though a financial degree does provide you with skills like appropriate analysis, strong financial modeling and the like, the fact is that these are only a few skills that employers look at.

What they want more importantly is overall:

  • Excellence in Commitment
  • Absolutely motivated
  • Gritty
  • Persevering
  • Resourceful
  • Pleasant disposition

The good news is these are a person’s intrinsic nature and with or without a degree you will either have them or won’t have them at all.

In your quest to how to become an investment banker, while a finance degree is recommended but even someone with a different degree can look at acquiring proficiency in this field.

If you are smart, communicative, have the ability to troubleshoot and keen about investment degree, you must look at ways to demonstrate these skills to your employer.

Is it really possible to become an investment banker without a degree?

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How to Become an Investment Banker without a Degree in Finance?

While if you want to become an investment banker without a degree, it is not possible.

But there are many ways to address the situation if you have a bachelor’s degree in some other subjects.

To bring back the emphasis on finance and rechart your orientation, you must start looking at special courses geared towards enhancing your training in this field.

While at the undergraduate level, you could look at taking up additional courses in economics or accounts to remedy the situation, the MBA is the easiest alternative for most postgraduates.

Not only does it acknowledge you with a strong financial know how, it also creates a level playing field between financial and non-financial graduates with aspirations of excelling as investment bankers.

In case you think that the stiff cost involved in getting an MBA degree makes it out of reach for you, you can even look at getting an equivalent degree which might be slightly less expensive.

Some easy options include pursuing a CFA degree and then going ahead with the usual job search schedule that you might have lined out.

This kind of post grad qualification gives you the same leverage as those with a financial degree.

Important to Learn the Popular Trading Language

One key aspect in your pursuit of how to become an investment banker is to master the prevalent lingo.

By this, I mean pay close attention and learn the terms that are commonly used across Wall Street.

These include the likes of dilution or dividend or even equity, NAV and the like.

Not only would these terms help you connect better with prospective clients.

But even when you are speaking to potential employers they would be more comfortable considering you despite the absence of a finance degree.

Remember the investment banker is someone who plays the role of facilitator and helps corporate and multinational companies raise fund they require to grow their businesses.

They underwrite, find potential buyers/funding sources and help manage your wealth efficiently.

Thereby it is very important that you master the trick of how to impress your clients with your in depth understanding of the trade.

Remember once you get the job, the client does not check your degree.

What they assess is your understanding and efficacy of your advice. In this context, mastering the language of the trade is crucial.

Look at Ways to Expand the Scope of Your Understanding

In your tryst to understand how to become an investment banker without an appropriate degree, you must understand the true purpose of a degree is to expand your knowledge base.

You can do that in many different ways.

Inculcate voracious reading habits and try reading all available books that can enhance your financial knowledge.

If possible, enroll in a local library, or you could even look at reading books online where it is possible to get them at a much cheaper rate as well.

This continuous updating of knowledge also creates long-term benefits for you.

Another easy way to expand your knowledge base is to sign for financial boot camps or special workshops on finance.

They help you gain expertise in select areas in a short duration and plug the gaps that you might have in your overall financial understanding.

It helps you to also gain long-term advantage despite the high cost of pursuing these courses spanning over a few days.

But before you take on these courses, you must prep up your basic knowledge as these are quite intensive.

With just a limited duration, these courses are designed to sharpen your existing knowledge base.

Conclusion

So if you ask me how to become an investment banker without a degree in finance, I would say it is quite simple.

You just need to work extra on your financial knowhow to make your mark and create a level playing field with all other peers who have a financial degree.

The pursuit of how to become an investment banker is a lot more about grit and perseverance and relatively much less about superior finance knowledge.

You can easily expand your financial knowledge base through special courses, continuous reading and regular updating of knowledge.

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