How to become an Investment Banker Without a Degree(8 Tips)

How to become an Investment Banker Without a Degree?

How to become an Investment Banker Without a Degree: Investment banking is a really profitable industry. In the United States, the fees they earn are worth a huge amount of money – 42.54 billion USD! And if you start at an entry-level job, you can make a lot of money too, maybe even six figures! So, imagine the good things that can come with experience and moving up in your job. But remember, getting to the top in this field means you have to work really hard.

It’s not just about working hard; you also need a mix of luck, skills, education, ambition, and experience. So, if you want a career in investment banking, be ready to put in effort and learn a lot along the way.

Also read: How to Become a Project Manager Without a Degree(7 steps)

Can You Become an Investment Banker Without a Degree?

How to become an Investment Banker Without a Degree?

It’s technically possible to be an investment banker without a degree, but it’s not common. This is because the job is highly competitive, and you need to know a lot about finance. Usually, you’ll need a degree in finance, economics, or something related to get into this field.

How to become an Investment Banker Without a Degree?

You can follow these tips to become an investment banker without a degree:

  1. Internships
  2. Networking
  3. Certifications
  4. Join an online course
  5. create your own blog
  6. Use a Trading Simulator
  7. Improve a skills
  8. Discover what recruiters are looking for

1. Internships

To start a career in investment banking, having the right skills and knowledge is important. But what stands out on your resume is your experience. Internships are super helpful for that. They give you hands-on experience and make your skills even better. [How to become an Investment Banker Without a Degree]

In a complicated field like investment banking, practical experience is crucial. If you do one or more internships while you’re in college, you’ll have a good understanding of how things work in the business. This helps you find entry-level jobs in investment banking that match what you’re looking for.

The best way to get a good finance job is by doing a summer internship. For many MBA students at top business schools, around one-third to half of them end up working for the same place where they did their summer internship. If you didn’t study finance, it might be hard to find a paid finance job. So, you could try volunteering or doing an unpaid internship with a broker to get started.

Also read: How to Become a Financial Advisor Without a Degree (6 steps)

2. Networking

You know, there are lots of investment banks out there. So, it’s really important to grow your professional network if you want a great job after you finish school. Going to networking events and doing internships is a good way to do this, especially if you’re a recent grad or a college student. Going to recruitment events is super helpful too because you get to talk to recruiters in person.

Another smart way to grow your network is by reaching out to people who used to go to your university. This is a common way to make connections, especially in finance. [How to become an Investment Banker Without a Degree]

3. Certifications

Getting certifications like Financial Risk Manager (FRM) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) can make your resume better, but they can’t take the place of having a degree. A degree is still really important.

4. Join an online course

If you want to keep learning, you can take more classes on websites like Skillshare, edX, and Udemy. Besides that, it’s important to know about things like how transactions work, M&A (mergers and acquisitions), LBOs (leveraged buyouts), financial modeling, how to value things, and understanding financial statements.

You can also watch this video

5. create your blog

If you have a blog, you can show that you know a lot about a certain topic. Nowadays, when recruiters find and talk to potential hires on places like GitHub and LinkedIn, having an online presence is helpful.

6. Use a Trading Simulator

Now, you should create portfolios. You can make pretend portfolios using trading simulators on various websites. This helps you keep track of what’s happening in the market. It’s also a great way to grab an employer’s attention.

7. Improve a skills

When you’re looking for a job, some other candidates might have more education than you. Even if you don’t have a degree, it’s important to know your stuff. Read e-books, articles, dissertations, blog posts, and other things to get informed. [How to become an Investment Banker Without a Degree]

8. Discover what recruiters are looking for

Investment banks mostly looked for students from top-tier universities studying business and finance. But things have changed, and now they consider applicants from different majors and colleges.

So, if you want to apply, you should show a strong interest in financial services and understand the industry well. Your experiences or classes should relate to the job you’re applying for.

Benefits of Choosing Investment Banking Without a Degree

Getting Into Work Faster: If you skip college, you can start working sooner.

Saving Money: Not paying for tuition can save you a lot of money.

Hands-On Learning: Apprenticeships and on-the-job training give you real-life experience.

Key Skills for an Investment Banker

Thinking Skills: It’s important to analyze financial information and make smart decisions.

Communication skills: Good communication is key when talking to clients and coworkers.

Being Careful: Paying close attention to details matters, as even small mistakes can cause big financial problems.

Being Flexible: Being able to adapt is important, especially in the always-changing financial world.

Role of Investment Bankers

Investment bankers help people with money-related things like IPOs (when a company starts selling its stocks to the public), mergers (when companies join together), acquisitions (when one company buys another), and financial advice. They look at assets, check out how the market is doing, and give smart money advice. [How to become an Investment Banker Without a Degree]

Is a Degree Necessary for Investment Banking?

In investment banking, having a degree is usually preferred, but if you know a lot about the industry, have certifications, and have a good professional network, you can still do well.

Other ways to get into investment banking without a degree

Even if you don’t have a formal degree, you can still increase your chances of getting an investment banking job. Connect with people, get certifications, create a portfolio of projects that relate to the job, and get experience through internships.

Requirements for an Investment Banking Career

To have a successful career in investment banking, it’s helpful to have a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field. You also need good analytical skills, knowledge about financial markets, done some internships, and built a network of connections.

Self-Education for Investment Banking Roles

Read books, take online courses, and use materials that focus on finance and investment banking for self-study. To get better, find someone to guide you (a mentor) and try to get real-world experience.

Becoming an Investment Banker Without Formal Education

To have a job in investment banking, you need to teach yourself, get certificates that the industry respects, work in real finance jobs, and make good connections in the finance world. [How to become an Investment Banker Without a Degree]

No Degree Investment Banking Jobs

You can start entry-level jobs in investment banking, like a financial analyst or administrative role, without a degree if you focus on gaining experience, skills, and industry knowledge.


Investment banking is a business that makes a lot of money, especially in the US where they collect billions of dollars in fees every year. If you start at a beginner’s job, you can earn a lot, maybe even close to six figures. But to do well in this tough job, you need to work hard and have a mix of determination, luck, skills, knowledge, ambition, and experience.


Can I work as an investment banker without any formal education?

While it’s possible, it’s tough. Having a degree can open more doors in the highly competitive world of investment banking.

Can certifications like CFA make up for not having a degree?

While certifications can enhance your qualifications, employers might see them as an addition to having a degree.

How hard is it to become an investment banker?

Getting a job as an investment banker can be hard because many people want it, and you usually need a good education.

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