How To Get Into Banking Jobs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Many students want to break into investment banking, but have no finance experience and come from non-target schools. They often ask, “How do I get a finance job when they all require prior experience – which I don’t have?” It’s a chicken-or-egg issue, and students in this situation are often unable to stand out and land stellar jobs.

To get into investment banking without prior finance experience, there are a couple of ground rules:

Instead, change the game so that it plays out in your favor – bring something new to the table that catches the hiring manager’s eye while showing your initiative and interest.

But how? Below are two methods that you can use to disrupt the investment banking hiring process to land a job even with a non-traditional background.

How To Get Into Investment Banking in 5 Steps

Why work in a banking job?

Banking is a demanding yet highly rewarding industry to work in. The reasons people decide to work in a banking job include:

If you work hard in a banking job, you have the opportunity to advance quickly in your career, earn a large salary and save for retirement.

What is a banking job?

A banking job is any position in the finance industry. Banking professionals manage individuals and companies money, loans and investments. The sector of the industry that works for individuals and small businesses is retail or consumer banking, and the sector that serves large corporations is commercial banking.

Banking jobs exist for all skill and experience levels. Types of banking jobs include:

How to pursue a banking career

Banking professionals have a wide variety of educational backgrounds, experience levels and skill sets. Follow these steps if you want to pursue a banking career:

1. Complete high school

The minimum education requirement for some entry-level banking jobs is a high school diploma or GED. After graduating high school, you can apply for jobs such as bank teller, loan officer or accounting clerk.

2. Earn a bachelors degree

Many banking jobs require candidates to have a bachelors degree. While any degree can help prepare you for a banking career, consider studying fields such as finance, accounting, economics and business. Courses in mathematics, information technology, corporate law and international business can also provide you with valuable knowledge for a banking job.

3. Develop the right skills

Develop hard and soft skills for banking that you can list on your resume and describe during job interviews. Skills for banking jobs include:

To improve your skills, consider taking online or in-person courses, and practice using these skills in your everyday life.

4. Choose a banking specialty

While earning your degree, you might determine you are most skilled and interested in a specific area of banking. If you enjoy interacting with people and have strong customer service skills, for example, you might decide to pursue a career as a financial advisor or a bank human resources manager. If you like problem-solving and analysis, you might seek a career as a bank systems analyst or investment banker. If you are motivated by numbers and organization, consider a career as an accountant or an auditor.

Enroll in college courses that can give you a foundation for the type of banking career you plan to pursue.

5. Meet with a career advisor

Schedule a meeting with an advisor at your universitys career center to learn how to prepare for a banking job and find internship or entry-level job opportunities. Career centers often have many resources and connections they can use to help you get a banking job. They can also connect you with alumni in the industry and review your resume to recommend ways you can strengthen it.

6. Get an internship

Pursue a paid or an unpaid internship with a bank or financial institution during or after graduating from college. These opportunities can give you a wide range of experience in various bank departments and help you choose what type of banking job you want to pursue. Or, if you already know your specialty, apply for internships in that area. If you perform well in your internship, it might even lead to an entry-level job offer with that company.

7. Network

Make connections with as many people who work in the banking industry as you can. The benefits of networking include:

Networking opportunities might include:

Remember to be professional, polite and respectful when approaching professionals and asking them for advice.

8. Enroll in training programs

You can find a variety of financial training courses online that can help you develop your banking knowledge, particularly if you have no banking experience or did not receive a banking-related degree. If you want to work in investments or analysis, for example, consider taking a financial analyst training program that can teach you about financial modeling and forecasting. Also look for educational opportunities, webinars and training through organizations such as the American Bankers Association.

9. Follow the market

Prepare for a banking job and show employers your determination to succeed in the industry by learning banking terminology and methods. Read finance articles and blogs, and monitor the markets and news for trends and events. Use online stock trading simulators to learn how investments and the market work. You might impress hiring managers with your banking knowledge in your resume and cover letter and during interviews.

10. Create a website or blog

Demonstrate your banking knowledge and establish yourself as a voice in the industry by starting a finance blog or website. Write posts and commentaries about banking news, your market observations or investment ideas. You can include the link to your website on your resume, and potential employers can see that you understand the industry and its concepts. This step is particularly useful if you have strong writing skills.

11. Earn a masters degree

Consider pursuing a masters degree if you:

Masters programs typically take two years to complete. Programs that can help you get into banking jobs include a masters in business administration, finance, financial engineering or legal studies.

FAQ

How do I get a job in banking?

How to pursue a banking career
  1. Complete high school. The minimum education requirement for some entry-level banking jobs is a high school diploma or GED. …
  2. Earn a bachelor’s degree. …
  3. Develop the right skills. …
  4. Choose a banking specialty. …
  5. Meet with a career advisor. …
  6. Get an internship. …
  7. Network. …
  8. Enroll in training programs.

How do I get into banking with no experience?

The minimum qualification needed for a job in Banking is a bachelor’s degree in Commerce or Management-related specialisation. Further for banking jobs, you will have to study quantitative aptitude, general awareness, reasoning, English and basic computer skills to ace bank exams!

What qualifications are required for banking?

Banking is a profession that offers a huge variety of opportunities, as well as the possibility of rapid career progression, all with good pay and benefits. For those willing to accept the challenge, the rewards can be great. Wide range of job roles—not just in finance!

Is banking a good career to get into?

Banking is a profession that offers a huge variety of opportunities, as well as the possibility of rapid career progression, all with good pay and benefits. For those willing to accept the challenge, the rewards can be great. Wide range of job roles—not just in finance!

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