The Top 5 Skills you Need to Land a Job in Investment Banking in 2021

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Looking to bag a job with one of the investment banking behemoths –  Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse – or even the more specialised boutique investment banks? It’s time you buckle up to accelerate your skills enhancement.

Though it is next to impossible to have a finite list of skills that are guaranteed to land you a investment banking job, there are a few skills that would stand out more than the rest to help you on your quest to enter this lucrative but work-intensive career path. Though this field of banking is usually a choice for those with a degree in finance, accounting or commerce, it’s definitely not restricted to the three! There are several job-hunters who have landed an entry level job in investment banking from varying educational backgrounds solely because they had developed the right skills and were passionate about pursuing a career in this exciting field.

What is Investment Banking?

Before we dive into the aspects of the job that could make you a winning candidate for the role, let’s briefly look at what exactly an ‘Investment Banker’ does to require the listed prowesses. 

Investment bankers are responsible for raising funds for organisations and governments too – a process achieved by structuring the issuance of securities like stocks and bonds. They are also responsible for facilitating Mergers and Acquisitions with detailed financial modelling. This role naturally requires you to have a flair for numbers along with a dash of hard work, tenacity and exceptional people skills. So let’s get down to what are the top skills that would make you an attractive candidate for one of the most prestigious roles on wall street.

What are the top skills to get a job in investment banking?

An image displaying the top 5 skills to land a job in investment banking

1. Analytical skills

Being ‘analytical’ is a skill that is ideal to leverage on in the world of investment banking that is sprawling with complex investment problems waiting to be solved. This encompasses mastering skills that fall at the ‘soft’ end of the dexterity spectrum.

Have you ever encountered a situation where you were drowning in a pool of information but had to pick out only the facts that really mattered to drive a decision successfully? That’s exactly what an analytical mind is capable of doing. Your ability to work with complex pieces of information by effectively understanding it and applying it to your work, is the kind of agility and intellectual curiosity that is involved in handling a project or liaising with a client in the realm of investment banking.

2. Technical Proficiency

While looking at the other end of the spectrum, another massive advantage is having a more ‘technical’ analytical skill set that underpins today’s digitally enhanced world of investment banking. The avenue of investment banking deals with scads of complex financial tasks that call for  speedier and more efficient ways of achieving goals. This requires a level of expertise in data analytics, AI and machine learning, that include building up expertise in quantitative analytics, statistics, and data processing – aspects quintessential while dealing with big data in banking. Understanding the tools, applications and demonstrating the capability to apply these concepts in work can be a real career launcher.

3. Entrepreneurial Skills

Though for some the world of banking would be associated with rigid structures and heaps of bureaucracy, top banks in reality wholeheartedly embrace innovation and creative thinking. Being able to think differently about how to pioneer new products and services has a hefty benefit attached to it in the eyes of a potential investment banking recruiter.

4. Resilience 

Though investment banking is a highly coveted career in banking by virtue of its status as being one of the most financially rewarding, it is a pathway that is also characterised by a high-pressure working environment, tight deadlines and long hours. To thrive in this challenging financial domain one needs to muster up bucket loads of resilience and adaptability. Having the capability to demonstrate that you have the potential to bounce back and effectively manage your personal and professional priorities is what will grasp the attention of recruiters. 

5. Communication skills

It doesn’t matter what the nitty-gritties of your role in investment banking is, you need to have the profound gift of effective communication. The trick of the trade in Investment banking is being able to explain complex financial terms or information to those who may not share an equal passion or intellect for the subject. Thus, strong communication skills are inherent to successful investment bankers who can break down the complexities of IPOs and stocks to every kind of audience. 

Wrapping it Up

With a list of the highly demanded skills in investment banking in the palm of your hand, you’re already one step ahead of the game. What it comes down to now, is building up your dexterity in these avenues which could be learned through short courses online, readings or even experience from previous roles or internships. Once these skills are mastered, make sure these skills reflect on your resume and shine through your interview as well. Being able to effectively demonstrate your skills will also prove key to landing your dream role.

The ball is now in your court, how are you going to get that winning shot to launch your investment banking career?


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The Centre for Finance, Technology & Entrepreneurship (CFTE) is a global education platform that aims to equip financial professionals and organisations with the necessary skills to remain competitive in a rapidly changing industry. Our leading training programmes, curated by global industry experts, help talent build skills to join the digital revolution in finance. CFTE’s courses are globally recognised with accreditations from ACT, IBF, CPD, SkillsFuture and ABS.

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