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The second-tier universities that banks love

You want to get into investment banking, but your grades aren’t great, and you won’t be able to go to a top tier university. Now what?

Fear not. Although it definitely helps to go to a top university to maximise your chances of getting into banking, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get in to one. Because there are some universities that banks like – even without them topping global charts.

A word of warning, however. A true list of second-tier universities would be, for all intents and purposes, impossible. A lot of them are regional – for example, NUS is a great university in Singapore, but it’s “just good” outside of APAC. Prestige for most universities doesn’t stretch around the world in quite the same way that a top tier institution’s, such as Oxford, Cambridge, or Harvard, does.

That means that, for most of the developed world, the “second-tier universities that banks love” are the best local ones. You’re always best off going to LSE or Wharton, regardless of where you want to be a banker, basically.

The methodology used was cross-referencing publicly-avilable data on investment banking analyst intakes with relative the sizes of each university's intake.

With all that in mind, here are the best (international) universities to go to if you didn’t make the cut at your first choice:

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Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: Zeno.Toulon@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance.

Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

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AUTHORZeno Toulon
  • Ai
    Airborne
    30 April 2023

    Your list is completely stupid. U Of Chicago, Duke , Dartmouth, UVA and U of Michigan are all top tier Schools , and are heavily recruited by all the Wall Street Firms.

    Second tier Colleges with strong Wall Street Ties would include Notre Dame, Cornell, SMU (Cox School) Rice, Indiana (Kelly School) USC, UCLA, Carleton, Trinity, Bowdoin, UNC, U Texas.

  • UC
    UCGrad
    30 April 2023

    Your ranking system is not the smartest. You have University of Chicago in the top tier and in the second tier.

  • JP
    J Plop
    28 April 2023

    That's right it was published. Dartmouth is a second tier school, contrary to what they believe

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