Top MBA Programs
Wharton's Finance major is designed for MBA students who want to work in investment banking, investment management, hedge funds, private equity, corporate treasury, investment banking and consumer banking. Wharton finance majors often end up working in management consulting and finance positions in other industries outside of finance including the energy sector and mergers and acquisitions.
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
The Booth School of Business offers a finance concentration and several co-curricular activities that allow Booth students to explore financial operations in a real-world setting. The Investment Banking Group, Booth's largest student organization, seeks to give their members an extensive understanding of the investment banking industry and lead them toward investment banking careers. Other co-curricular activities for finance MBA students include the Financial Analysis and Treasury Group, Bank Week, the Hedge Fund Group and the National IPO challenge. 44.5% of Booth graduates work in finance, mostly in investment banking and diversified financial services, according to Booth's 2011 employment report.
NYU Stern School of Business
Stern's finance specialization is designed for those who seek careers in finance and real estate including asset management, corporate finance, equity and fixed income research, international sales/emerging markets, investment banking, private client services, real estate finance and sales and trading. Stern finance MBAs go on to work at companies such as American Express, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, the Federal Reserve Bank of NY, HSBC, MetLife, Standard & Poor's, and UBS.
Stanford Graduate School of Business
Stanford offers several finance electives. According to Stanford's Employment Report (PDF), 36% of 2011 Stanford MBA graduates work in finance, mainly in private equity (14%), venture capital (7%) and hedge funds (6%). Finance companies that hire Stanford MBA graudates include American Express, Banc of America Securities, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and UBS.
Columbia Business School's finance curriculum is designed for students who want to work in consulting, corporate finance, capital markets, sales and trading, investment management, and private equity. The Economics and Finance Division offers nearly half of the courses at Columbia Business School and over half of Columbia MBAs work in finance-related jobs.
MBA Finance Jobs
All major banks actively recruit MBAs. Most top banks look to recruit MBAs into global markets, asset management, structured finance, corporate finance, and hedge funds. There are also many back office positions in risk such as financial control and technology.
Banks aren't the only companies that hire MBA graduates into financial service positions. GE Capital is now one of the world's biggest MBA recruiters. American Express is also becoming a major MBA recruiter. Insurance companies also hire MBAs on regular basis. AIG, Travelers, CIGNA, and Liberty Mutual are among the US insurance companies that hire 10 or more MBAs each year.
Hedge funds, private equity and venture capital houses are also hiring significant numbers of recent MBA graduates. While these companies used to recruit from networks of experienced companies, they are realizing that they need to recruit younger MBA graduates to meet growing market opportunities.
While the credit crunch resulted in hiring freezes at for experienced bankers, entry-level recruitment has remained steady at most companies. Citigroup and Bank of America were among the companies with the largest hiring freezes.
Financial Services Industry Growth
Most MBA financial services jobs have been created in emerging markets. Banks that do business in Asia, Russia and Brazil contrinue to do well.
There is much less MBA hiring happening in developed economies due to the threat of banking reforms and sovereign debt issues. Once those two issues are overcome or clarified, however, banks will probably increase their MBA hiring significantly in order to make up for five years of cautious recruiting. That means that there could be an MBA hiring boom as early as 2013 or 2014.
The areas of the finance industry that were hit the hardest during the economic crisis of 2008-09 are now making a strong comeback. These areas include private equity and asset management. Market risk and compliance departments may be hiring MBAs as banks seek greater security and control of risky investment classes.
For more information on financial services industry growth and MBA hiring trends, check out the QS Jobs & Salary Trends Report 2011/12.