A-Levels & Investment Banking

Investment banking is a highly competitive industry but also offers very high reward. Starting to look into investment banking as a career option whilst studying your A-Levels can often make applying and receiving jobs easier in the future. Edgbaston College offers its students a unique Investment Banking Pathway Programme. It is run by the principal, Owais Ahmed, who used to work at UBS & J.P. Morgan. 

What is investment banking?

Investment banking is a term often used to describe a range of financial services provided by Investment Banks. Within investment banks, the most coveted roles tend to be those that are client-facing (revenue generating). These include: 

  • Advisory/Corporate finance/Investment banking (all different names for the same thing!)
  • Sales & Trading
  • Research
  • Asset management/Wealth management

There are also smaller boutique firms that can offer many of these roles; many of whom are just as reputable as large investment banks. 

What subjects should I pick and what grades do I need at A-Level?

Investment banks rarely specify what subjects you need or what grades are required at A-Level. However, there are two key things to remember here: 

  1. Investment Banking and finance in general is highly competitive. As a result, banks are very selective despite not requiring specific grades, will still expect you to do well at A-Level. You should aim for a minimum of AAB. 
  2. There are no subject requirements for investment banking. Many students pick subjects like Mathematics and Economics due to their interest in finance, but these are by no means necessary. It's best to do subjects you will perform strongly at. 

Which university course should I apply to?

For more technical roles like sales/trading/research, it can be helpful to do quantitative degrees, but there is no exact requirement on which subject you should do at university. For more qualitative roles like advisory and parts of asset management, it really does not matter which subject you do at degree-level. 

What is far more important is which university you attend. Investment banks tend to be highly selective on which universities they recruit from. In the UK, the majority of candidates are recruited from the following universities: 

  • Oxford
  • Cambridge
  • Warwick
  • LSE
  • Imperial
  • UCL

It's important to note that while these universities are known for producing a high number of investment banking professionals, they are not the only options for students interested in this field. Many top investment banks recruit from a wide range of universities, and a strong academic record and relevant experience are often more important than the specific institution you attended. If you're considering a career in investment banking, it's important to focus on building your skills and experiences, and to keep an open mind about the various paths you might take to get there.

How can Edgbaston College help students get into investment banking?

No college can directly help you enter investment banking. However, as you can see from this article, it is vital for students to start career planning as early as possible. At Edgbaston College, we offer the following support to students interested in a career in finance: 

  • One-to-one advice on choosing the right university and subject depending on each student's skill-set and circumstance
  • One-to-one help with your UCAS application and personal statement, which applying to these competitive universities
  • Networking sessions with finance professionals 
  • Advice, support and interview preparation for gaining relevant pre-university work experience 

The banking & consulting programme is run by principal Owais Ahmed, who used to work in investment banking prior to founding the college. 

Contact Us

For more information about our college and the investment banking programme, you can call us or fill out the online enquiry form and we will get in touch as soon as possible. Please also feel free to email us at enquiries@edgbastoncollege.co.uk

0121 306 0182

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