How To Become Investment Banker (With Steps Guide)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 18 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Investment bankers are professionals who often have a thorough understanding of the financial market and banking regulations. They assist businesses and other organisations in raising funds for investment and growth. Understanding the necessary skills and educational requirements can help you become a successful investment banker. In this article, we discuss how to become an investment banker, explore their daily duties, list the helpful skills and answer commonly asked questions about this career.

Related: What Is an Investment Banker?

How to become an investment banker

An investment banker helps clients raise funds for investments by providing financial services. These professionals assist organisations in underwriting or finding clients for assets such as bonds or shares to raise their funds. The following steps can help you learn how to become an investment banker:

1. Acquire a bachelor's degree

If you want to work in the financial markets, enrolling and attending university is the initial step toward future employment in investment banking. Hiring managers may typically look for candidates with a bachelor's degree in subjects like business, accounting, economics or mathematics. These degrees can help you develop an understanding of the stock markets.

2. Apply for an internship

A work placement can help you apply the knowledge you have learned at university into real-life practice. Some roles may also ask you to have obtained experience before applying.

If you want to work in investment banking, you could begin as an analyst intern and work your way up to an investment banking role. You may operate and improve your talents under the supervision of an established banker. You may also enhance your early career by gaining skills and experience beyond university.

3. Acquire a master's degree

A Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) from an accredited university can help you advance in your career to more senior positions. This degree typically takes two to three years to earn. Some companies may encourage employees to obtain a master's. In some situations, an organisation may financially support your studies.

4. Network with relevant people

Networking is one of the most efficient ways to make yourself and your abilities visible to industry members. Consider attending industry events, conferences and webinars, as they help you meet professionals from diverse companies. Making new connections can also help you learn of new exciting opportunities.

If you're at the beginning of your career or university, you might consider reaching out to junior-level bankers and analysts that work at a desirable company. You can ask them for tips on entering this role or any valuable resources to develop your technical skills. Communicating with people in your ideal career can help you appear enthusiastic and may allow you to access opportunities.

5. Acquire employment in the financial area

Once you have obtained the relevant qualifications, have some experience in the field or completed an internship and made some good connections, you can start applying for investment bankers roles. Some firms offer full-time employment to candidates that have completed an internship with them. You can also consider entry-level positions, such as a financial analyst.

Before applying for these positions, ensure you have developed an excellent resume and cover letter. Try to highlight your technical skills, achievements and previous experience.

What does an investment banker do?

An investment banker's duties may include:

  • completing profit forecasting and risk assessment

  • performing the underwriting of deals

  • handling the acquisition and selling of securities

  • making sure that the company followed government regulations when raising funds

  • performing the agreement and evaluation processes of financing

Skills needed to become an investment banker

Investment bankers use a diverse skill set daily. It is essential to develop both technical and soft skills to succeed in this role. Soft skills refer to your attributes, which you can develop through experience. Technical skills refer to specialised abilities you may learn through education and completing tasks specific to that career. Investment bankers may use the following skills

Confidence

The ability to sell relates to personal attributes such as persistence and confidence. Investment bankers may use confidence to adapt their sales strategy towards diverse clients and maximise profits. They may also use this ability to negotiate and handle multiple transactions of varying sizes regularly.

Communication skills

Investment bankers spend most of their time working in a team. They also communicate with clients verbally and in writing. They might use this skill to give compelling presentations and marketing strategies that persuade clients to make a purchase.

Leadership

Leadership skills can help investment bankers progress in their careers. They may lead project teams to deliver on the client's expectations. Over time, these may turn to leaders of organisations, their institution branches or departments.

Related: 14 Leadership Qualities That Are Found In Great Leaders

Computer literacy

An investment banker may use computers to communicate with clients and colleagues or researching markets. They can apply these skills to use advanced software like Microsoft Excel, coding macros and use pivot tables. They might also use knowledge of Microsoft Keynote and PowerPoint for creating presentations. Other technological skills may help them understand how to use artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency.

Analytical and interpretive skills

An investment banker is an analytical thinker who can assess business and markets to determine the best way to help a client increase their earning. Challenges may arise in the process prompting them to analyse the situation and find the best solution. They can also understand complex concepts quickly.

Financial knowledge

Financial knowledge or literacy helps investment bankers have an understanding of how they can help clients. Therefore investment bankers may grasp fundamental economic systems and concepts. They might also use their knowledge of relevant regulations, such as the Australian stock exchange regulatory framework.

Related: What Does a Financial Analyst Do? (With Skills)

Salary of an investment banker

Like other employees, investment bankers earn a yearly salary. Investment bankers earn an average of $88,902 per year. In addition to this, they may also earn performance-based bonuses. Some of the factor that may determine the salary of an investment banker includes:

  • Location: States in Australia may differ in average salaries for investment bankers. For instance, cities reflect a higher income since the cost of living is higher compared to other more rural places.

  • Experience: As an investment banker, your level of experience can affect your salary. Investment bankers with advanced experience may earn more than entry-level professionals with minimal experience.

  • Academic qualification: Investment bankers who have a postgraduate qualification, such as a master's degree, may earn more than those with just a bachelor's. Subsequently, those with a doctorate may earn more than those with a master's.

Frequently asked questions about investment bankers

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about a career as an investment banker:

How can investment bankers advance?

Investment bankers frequently begin their professions as analysts and progress to associate roles with competence and more schooling. Some join the sector as associates after completing a master's degree and operate in another company. Associates may advance to vice presidents at their institutions as they gain expertise, overseeing analysts and associates and working more closely with customers.

Investment bankers may also advance to directors or principals at their financial institution after some experience as vice presidents, allowing them to concentrate even more on building rapport with current and prospective customers. The managing director is among the top roles an investment banker may hold and at this rank, they focus nearly entirely on attracting a new client. Investment bankers' starting salaries usually rise as they go up the corporate ranks, but their possibility for additional income rises even faster.

What is the work environment of an investment banker?

Investment bankers work in an office environment, but some may visit client offices. Jobs for investment bankers may also require them to work on their laptops whenever they're travelling in order to deliver before deadlines. Working remotely on their laptops and mobile phones means they can work from anywhere, even from the comfort of their homes.

Investment bankers may work extra hours in a day. You may also require good financial and business knowledge and up-to-date knowledge of current events. Competent investment bankers typically have a solid mathematical education, great bargaining abilities and the capacity to operate under pressure.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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