This is the second part of our two-part blog series on the top MS in Finance programs in the world, as ranked by The Financial Times. To read the first part, click here.

Applying to an MS in Finance Program

Courses aimed at established financial professionals often require prospective students to have at least two years’ work experience in the finance sector, or in a finance-related profession. However, many Masters in Finance degrees are open to applicants who have come straight from completing an undergraduate degree – either in finance or a related subject, such as business, economics or mathematics. Some Masters in Finance programmes require completion of pre-enrolment courses, such as Introduction to Mathematics / Finance / Accounting. Typical application requirements include:

  1. Your GMAT/GRE test scores
  2. Your IELTS/TOEFL iBT test scores
  3. A transcript from each university you have attended
  4. A CV/Resume
  5. Application Essays (centering around themes such as career goals, accomplishments, leadership instances, teamwork instances, failures, the diversity you bring to the program etc)
  6. Two recommendation letters
  7. Application Form

Careers following an MS in Finance Program

The most popular careers following an MS in Finance Programme include:

  1. Financial Consulting: Financial Consulting careers are broadly used to describe a wide range of roles, based on providing advice for clients (individuals or companies) in financial matters. This typically involves assessing the client’s financial situation, developing and presenting strategies and solutions, and then monitoring changes and recommending any further steps as required. Financial consultants typically spend time gathering as much financial information as you can on your client, looking at factors such as investments, asset allocation, savings, tax planning, retirement planning and estate planning. Related roles include financial analyst, financial adviser, financial planner, stockbroker, financial counsellor and retirement counsellor.
  2. Quant Specialists: Quant specialist careers are based on analysing statistics and market trends using high-end mathematics to determine appropriate levels of risk management and derivative pricing. The primary goal as a quant specialist is to create models that will be presented to clients along with your recommendations for future investment decisions. Many quant specialist careers are available in corporate treasury and finance departments of general manufacturing and service firms, and there is also demand for quant specialists across a wide range of industries – from hospitality and tourism to retail and construction. Quant specialists typically work for banks, hedge fund or investment funds.
  3. Investment Banking: Careers in Investment Banking involve analysing markets and investment opportunities carefully, again in order to provide advice to clients. The work involves gathering and interpreting complex data sets, assessing and predicting financial risks and returns, preparing legal documents and liaising with accountants, lawyers and other financial experts. Investment fund managers do a similar job, but usually requiring less hands-on data analysis, focused on making investment decisions.
  4. Corporate Finance: Careers in Corporate Finance involve  increasing the value of firms through risk management, loss management, resource allocation, capital budgeting, investment analysis and calculating return on investment. Corporate Finance professionals spend time dealing with tasks such as structuring and negotiating deals terms, helping to prepare business plans, issuing shares/bonds and conducting due diligence analysis on business proposals.
  5. Finance Managers: Finance managers are in charge of carrying out various tasks relating to the financial matters of an organisation. They are responsible for everything, from assisting with the monthly budget, preparing monthly financial reports (such as operating costs reports, variance analysis, balance sheets, client statements), controlling and maintaining the nominal ledger, checking payments, carrying out payments, issuing checks, investigating any suspicious account activity, maintaining financial files and records and ensuring security across all financial areas.

MS in Finance (pre-experience): Salary Trends

An analysis of the top 55 pre-experience MS in Finance programmes showcases the following salary statistics:

  1. Median Base Salary: £71,568/ $111,804
  2. Median Sign-on Bonus: £28,199/ $44,052

Top recruiters

The top 20 recruiters across the top 55 Masters in Finance (pre-experience) programs are as follows:

  1. HSBC
  2.  Citi
  3.  Credit Suisse
  4.  Goldman Sachs
  5.  Banco de Mexico
  6. Bank of China
  7. Bank of America
  8. Barclays
  9. CDC Group
  10. Cederberg Capital
  11.  Itaú Unibanco
  12.  Kraft Heinz
  13.  LNG Capital LLP
  14. Monetary Authority of Singapore
  15.  Morgan Stanley
  16.  Nomura
  17. Partners Group
  18.  PIMCO
  19.  PwC

MS in Finance (post-experience): Salary Trends

An analysis of the 5 post-experience MS in Finance programs showcases the following salary statistics:

  1. Median Base Salary: £110,500/ $172,623
  2. Median Sign-on Bonus: £20,000/ $31,244

Top recruiters

Top recruitment partners across the top 5 post-experience MS in Finance programs include:

  1. A.T. Kearney
  2. AIG
  3. Allen & Company
  4. Altman Vilandrie & Company
  5. American Growth Capital Partners
  6. Analysis Group
  7. Anbang Group
  8. Applied Predictive Technologies
  9. Bain & Company
  10. Bank of China
  11. Barclays
  12. Bessemer Trust
  13. BlackRock
  14. Boston Trust and Investment Management Company
  15. China Southern Asset Management
  16. Citi
  17. Communications Media Advisors
  18. Consolidated Trading
  19. Cornerstone Research
  20. Credigy Solutions
  21. Deloitte Consulting
  22. Epic Systems Corporation
  23. Fidelity Investments
  24. General Motors
  25. Goldman Sachs Group
  26. Kraft Heinz Company
  27. McKinsey & Company
  28. Moody’s Corporation
  29. Oliver Wyman Group
  30. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants
  31. Schlumberger Business Consulting
  32. UBS
  33. Volant Trading

We hope this series on the MS in Finance has given you comprehensive information on the program!

Which are the best MS in Finance programs in the world? Why should you opt for a career in Finance? To know more, click here to check out the first part of this blog.

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