Here is a step-by-step guide to consider if you’d like to work as a personal, commercial or investment banker:
1. Obtain a high-school diploma
The first step to take for any career in banking is to obtain a high-school diploma or a similar qualification, such as a GED. Completing courses in subjects such as accounting, mathematics and personal finance can teach you the practical understanding necessary to be a banker. You’ll likely need a college degree for commercial or investment banking, but some personal banking institutions hire candidates with high school diplomas.
2. Earn a degree
Relevant college degrees for working in banking include business, finance and economics. Some universities also offer business or finance degrees with a banking concentration. These programs include courses like risk management, accounting, corporate financing, compliance and financial regulations.
3. Obtain an advanced degree
Although it’s often not a prerequisite, candidates who want to work as bankers can boost their chances of gaining employment and advancing their careers by obtaining a master’s degree. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a popular and valuable degree that provides both theoretical and practical training in the fields of business or investment management. You can also opt for other programs, such as a master’s in banking and finance or a master’s in global central banking and financial regulation.
4. Complete an internship
Completing an internship is beneficial because many banks require entry-level candidates to have work experience before applying. Internship programs typically last from three months to two years, depending on the organization and the specific role. Interns gain useful knowledge and experience during these programs, including exposure to banking culture and the opportunity to network with professionals in the industry.