Investment Banking Career Information

Investment Banking Career Information

Nature of the Work

An investment banking professional helps a corporation raise funds on global securities exchanges to finance short-term operating activities and long-term initiatives. Financing methods include issuance of stocks and bonds as well as sales of convertible bonds and preferred shares. She also advises a company on merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions. An investment banking professional involved in private banking activities advises an individual or an organization on asset-selection strategies.

Education and Training

A four-year college degree in a finance-related field is usually necessary for an investment banking role, although most employers require junior or entry-level investment bankers to have master’s degrees in finance or investment analysis. The master of business administration (MBA) degree is popular among investment banking professionals. Some senior investment banking professionals have certifications such as chartered financial analyst (CFA) or certified financial manager (CFM).


An investment banker’s total compensation depends on the industry, the company’s size and regulatory requirements. Individual factors such as the employee’s professional certifications or academic credentials also affect his remuneration. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that professionals in the investment banking industry earned median wages of $68,680 in 2008, excluding annual stock and cash bonuses, with the middle half of the profession earning from $40,480 to $122,270. BLS data also indicates that median annual wages for investment banking junior analysts were $73,150 in 2008, with the lowest 10 percent of the occupation earning less than $43,440 and the highest 10 percent earning more than $141,070.

Career Development
An investment banking professional can improve her career growth opportunities by performing well and attending regular training sessions. She also can seek an advanced degree, such as a doctorate in economics, to increase her promotion chances. Within a few years, a proficient and competent junior investment banker can advance to a higher position, such as investment associate, lead investment banker or senior corporate banker.

Working Conditions
An investment banking professional works normal business hours, although operating conditions may require longer stays at the office. For instance, an investment banker working on a corporate M&A transaction can work late nights, early mornings and on weekends to complete the deal. A senior investment banker who has supervisory duties may have a regular 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. schedule.

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