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Q: Education Choice ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Education Choice
Category: Reference, Education and News > Education
Asked by: freroht-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 03 Sep 2006 13:12 PDT
Expires: 03 Oct 2006 13:12 PDT
Question ID: 761911
I am a student in a Community College, I will transfer to Boston
College next spring, my GPA so far is 3.90. My goal is to be an
Investment Banker. I want to know if a Law Degree is better
that an MBA to succeed in the profession.
Subject: Re: Education Choice
Answered By: politicalguru-ga on 14 Sep 2006 14:09 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Dear Freroht, 

In general, an investment banker could benefit from an MBA and this is
almost a prerequisite for this career (see:

Career:  Investment Banker / Princeton Review

Investment Banking

However, it is not easy at all getting into investment banking, and
having gone to community college (and not to Boston College) is not an
advantage, when competing against those who went to top universities
for their first degrees.

So, what can help to lend you in the job? 

* Internships: if you just can, try to get yourself interships in
investment banks and similar institutes (during the summer, but also
during the year). This is, in itself, not an easy task, but is very
important in the process of finding employment in the field.

Professional Internships at Boston College

Get the Internship You Want

 Internships for Investment Banking

The Vault: Investment Banking
<> -
including a job list, and an internship list

Internships are considered to be **more important** than MBAs: "If you
have an MBA or other advanced business certification, you'll be paid
more for a position than someone with a fresh BA. But those with prior
experience always get first shot, so be sure to get an internship.
Industry expertise and prior corporate finance work can also be a way
in, but you'll have to be patient.

If your degree isn't in business, take heart in the knowledge that
banks are increasingly encouraging applications from candidates with
specialized resumes in order to better appeal to a growing client
base. " (SOURCE:, "Investment Banking",

* Connections: I know that this sounds like an empty advice, but it
would have been great to know people in the business. The best way to
do it, except for internships, is to go to events or conferences.

* Education: Despite what I've said about business education as being
"almost a prerequisite", people *can* along without it, and as the
WetFeet guide says, banks are acutally looking for people with wide
analytical skills and solid general education. You were talking about
legal education. The question is why you'd like to have legal
education - as a safety net (to try to be a lawyer, for example in
corporate law, if investment banking doesn't work out for you)? Or
because you'd really like to have an advantage on other candidates for
the investment banker vacancy?

A strong scientific background that enables you to understand reports
filed to the FDA might prove more useful, for example, for a bank
looking for someone who will be able to deal with the biotech market.
I know a guy who's an investment banker with Goldmann Sachs with an
MBA, combined with a masters in International Relations. His first
degree, by the way, was in Political Science and Philosophy. God works
in myseterious ways.

A combined masters degree is not a half-bad idea. It usually means
that your MBA - if you take JM Morris' comment here to heart - is not
"just" an MBA. It is an MBA combined with another field, and there
are, by the way, joint MBAs with JD, which covers you from the angle
of having legal eduaction, as well as giving you the solid MBA needed
to work in the field.


Further Reading

* Careers in Investment Banking, 2006 Edition: WetFeet Insider Guide 
Available on the Wetfeet site ( and on Amazon

* Vault Career Guide to Investment Banking, by Tom Lott - available
from The Vault is another good source for banking career

* The Economist is a good source to train yourself in analytical
thinking, knowing about the impact different currents (political,
scientific) have on the economy: 

I hope this answers your question. Please contact me if you need any
clarification on this answer before you rate it.

Request for Answer Clarification by freroht-ga on 04 Oct 2006 18:48 PDT
Thanks for your help...but the fact that i went to a community college
before will hurt my chances to have a good position in the industry?
I talked about Laww Degree because I think I could be better off than
those who have an MBA, will it be easier for me to be considered for
an investment Banking job?

Clarification of Answer by politicalguru-ga on 05 Oct 2006 00:19 PDT
Dear Freroht, 

Going to community college *could* hurt your chances, because this is
a very competstive profession, and for some, even the fact that you
didn't go to an Ivy League college could hurt you. But in any case,
because of the need to go to graduate school, there are so many

The best for you cold be to take an intergrated JD +MBA (as I've
shown, there are programmes like that): you'll have both degrees and
even if you decide in 5-6 years from now (after graduation) that this
is not for you, you'd still have a very good eduation that enables you
to do many other things.

Good luck!
freroht-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Education Choice
From: jmmorris-ga on 13 Sep 2006 21:56 PDT
Worth having more than an MBA to stand on e.g. proven successful
business experience, a law degree or something else solid. MBAs which
extend expertise you already have and allow you to take already proven
skills to a higher level are valuable. Trouble is a lot of people went
straight through school into an MBA and wern't very attractive to the
business world: no proven real world skill or experience. They often
wern't very effective in the business world. Worth looking into what
the Economist ( says about MBAs.

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