Top Skills Needed for a Successful Career in Investment Banking with a Non-Business Degree

Discover the top skills required to excel in investment banking with a non-business degree.

Posted May 11, 2023

Investment banking is a highly competitive and demanding industry that is known for attracting top talent from some of the best business schools in the world. However, you don't necessarily need a degree in business to launch a successful career in investment banking. In fact, having a non-business degree can actually be an asset, as it brings a diverse set of skills and perspectives to the table. In this article, we will explore the key skills that are necessary for a non-business major to succeed in investment banking.

Why a non-business degree can be an asset in investment banking

While a background in finance or business can certainly be an advantage in investment banking, don't discount the value of a non-business degree. Many investment banks are looking for people with diverse backgrounds who can bring a fresh perspective to the industry. For example, if you have a degree in engineering, you may be able to apply your analytical and critical thinking skills to investment analysis. Similarly, if you studied a foreign language, you might be able to help facilitate deals with international clients. The key is to identify the unique skills and experiences that you bring to the table.

Moreover, having a non-business degree can also demonstrate your ability to learn and adapt quickly. Investment banking requires individuals who can think on their feet and handle complex situations with ease. If you have a degree in a completely different field, it shows that you were able to learn and excel in a subject matter that was not your primary focus. This can be a valuable asset in a fast-paced and constantly evolving industry like investment banking.

How to leverage your non-business degree in investment banking

If you have a non-business degree and want to break into investment banking, it's important to understand how to leverage your existing skills to make yourself a strong candidate. Start by doing research on the types of positions available in investment banking, and identify the ones that align most closely with your interests and strengths. Then, highlight the transferable skills that you bring to the table, such as analytical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills.

Another way to leverage your non-business degree in investment banking is to showcase your ability to learn quickly and adapt to new situations. Investment banking is a fast-paced industry that requires individuals to be able to think on their feet and make decisions quickly. Your non-business degree may have provided you with a unique perspective and skill set that can be applied to investment banking. Additionally, consider obtaining relevant certifications or taking courses to demonstrate your commitment to the field and enhance your knowledge and skills.

The importance of networking in investment banking with a non-business degree

Networking is a crucial part of breaking into any industry, but it is especially important in investment banking, where competition for jobs is fierce. If you have a non-business degree, it may be even more important to build relationships with people in the industry who can vouch for your skills and help you make connections. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and reach out to alumni or other people in your network who work in the industry. The more people you know, the better your chances of landing a job in investment banking.

Another way to build your network in investment banking is to participate in informational interviews. These interviews allow you to learn more about the industry and specific roles within it, while also making connections with professionals who may be able to help you in the future. Be sure to come prepared with thoughtful questions and a clear understanding of your own career goals.

It's also important to remember that networking is not just about getting a job. Building relationships with people in the industry can also provide valuable insights and advice as you navigate your career. Don't be afraid to ask for guidance or mentorship from those you meet through networking, as they may be able to offer valuable insights and support as you grow in your career.

Transferable skills from your non-business degree to investment banking

While you may not have a degree in finance, there are many transferable skills that you can bring to the table in investment banking. For example, if you studied psychology, you might be able to apply your knowledge of human behavior to understand the motivations and decision-making processes of investors. If you have a background in art, you might be able to apply your creativity to marketing and branding initiatives. It's important to identify your unique strengths and highlight them to potential employers.

Additionally, if you have a degree in a foreign language, you may be able to use your language skills to communicate with international clients and expand the firm's global reach. If you studied engineering, you may have a strong analytical and problem-solving mindset that can be applied to financial modeling and risk analysis. Don't underestimate the value of your non-business degree and the skills you have developed through your education and experiences.

How to gain relevant experience in investment banking with a non-business degree

One of the biggest challenges for non-business majors looking to break into investment banking is gaining relevant experience. To overcome this challenge, consider taking on internships or entry-level positions in related fields such as consulting or finance. You can also look for opportunities to participate in case competitions or financial modeling competitions, which will allow you to showcase your skills to potential employers.

Another way to gain relevant experience is to network with professionals in the industry. Attend career fairs, industry events, and informational interviews to learn more about the field and make connections. You can also join investment banking clubs or organizations on your campus or in your community to gain exposure to the industry and build your skills. Additionally, consider pursuing certifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, which can demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to the field.

Understanding the role of an investment banker with a non-business degree

To succeed in investment banking with a non-business degree, it's important to have a strong understanding of the role that investment bankers play in the industry. Investment bankers are responsible for helping companies and governments raise capital by underwriting and selling securities. They also provide advice and guidance on mergers and acquisitions, financial restructuring, and other strategic initiatives. Understanding the ins and outs of this complex industry is crucial for non-business majors who want to make a name for themselves in investment banking.

One way for non-business majors to gain a better understanding of investment banking is to pursue internships or entry-level positions in the industry. This can provide valuable hands-on experience and exposure to the day-to-day operations of investment banks. Additionally, networking with professionals in the field and attending industry events can help non-business majors build relationships and gain insights into the industry.

It's also important for non-business majors to develop strong analytical and quantitative skills, as these are essential for success in investment banking. Taking courses in finance, accounting, and economics can help build a foundation in these areas. Non-business majors should also consider pursuing additional certifications, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to the field.

Key technical skills required for investment banking with a non-business degree

While soft skills such as critical thinking and communication are important in investment banking, there are also many technical skills that are required for success. These include proficiency in Excel and other financial modeling software, knowledge of accounting principles and financial statements, and an understanding of valuation methodologies. If you have a non-business degree, it may take some extra effort to acquire these technical skills, but they are essential for success in the industry.

One way to acquire these technical skills is to take online courses or attend workshops that focus on financial modeling, accounting, and valuation. Another option is to seek out internships or entry-level positions in the finance industry, where you can gain hands-on experience and learn from experienced professionals. It's also important to stay up-to-date with industry trends and developments, as the field of investment banking is constantly evolving. By continuously improving your technical skills and knowledge, you can increase your chances of success in this competitive industry.

Overcoming the challenges of breaking into investment banking with a non-business degree

Breaking into investment banking with a non-business degree can be challenging, but it's not impossible. One of the keys to success is perseverance – keep applying for positions, attending networking events, and building relationships in the industry. You may need to start in a lower-level position and work your way up, but with hard work and dedication, you can achieve your goals.

Another important factor to consider is gaining relevant experience and skills. Look for internships or entry-level positions in related fields such as finance, accounting, or economics. This will not only give you valuable experience but also help you build a network of contacts in the industry. Additionally, consider pursuing certifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, which can demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to the field.

Tips for crafting a compelling resume and cover letter as a non-business major applying for an investment banking role

When crafting your resume and cover letter as a non-business major applying for an investment banking role, it's important to highlight your unique skills and experiences. Focus on the transferable skills that you bring to the table, such as analytical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. Highlight any relevant internships, competitions, or other experiences that demonstrate your interest in the industry and your ability to succeed in the role.

In conclusion, a non-business degree does not have to be a barrier to success in investment banking. By leveraging your unique skills and experiences, building strong relationships in the industry, and acquiring the technical skills necessary for success, you can achieve your goals and launch a successful career in this competitive field.

One way to acquire the technical skills necessary for success in investment banking is to pursue additional education or certifications. Consider taking courses in finance, accounting, or economics to gain a deeper understanding of the industry. Additionally, obtaining certifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation can demonstrate your commitment to the field and enhance your credibility with potential employers.

Another important aspect to consider when applying for an investment banking role is networking. Attend industry events, connect with alumni from your university who work in the field, and reach out to professionals on LinkedIn. Building strong relationships in the industry can help you learn about job opportunities, gain valuable insights, and potentially secure a referral or recommendation.

Browse hundreds of expert coaches

Leland coaches have helped thousands of people achieve their goals. A dedicated mentor can make all the difference.

Browse Related Articles