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The only reason students want to work for investment banks

Universum, the branding consultancy, has released a new report with a shocking revelation about what students really think about working for investment banks: the pay is fantastic, the hours are dreadful, and the work might not be that exciting.

Universum’s report tackled the perceptions of a variety of industries by 185,000 business, engineering, and IT graduates across the world. 

It found that young people do still want to make money - but they also have a growing preference for flexible working and a healthy work-life balance. One student who reported to the survey said: “knowing I won’t be working 85-hour weeks is absolutely wonderful.”

The banks that students most wanted to work for were JPMorgan and Goldman SachsHowever, they were less popular than FAANG companies, especially Apple, Google, and Microsoft. 

High salaries were banks' key differentiator, with Goldman Sachs ranking first and UBS second, for money compared to technology companies. Apple was ranked 16th for compensation, Google 11th, and Microsoft 18th.

Google was ranked highest for both flexible work and work-life balance. Goldman ranked 70th and 72nd respectively.  

There was evidence that banks still have trouble attracting engineering students, who overwhelmingly preferred tech companies or manufacturers - BMW, Mercedes, and Volkswagen were all in their top ten.

The good news, perhaps, is that banks aren't the only ones battling a negative image. The Big Four accounting firms were also less popular than last year. They, too, appear to have been tarnished with the notion that they expect recruits to work long hours. 

Juniors at Goldman Sachs complained last year that they were regularly working over 100 hours a week. For many young people, training programs in banks have become a temporary pit stop before moving on to something else. Florian Koelliker, a junior banker who wrote a doctoral thesis on the issue, said last year that young people want “work-life balance, regular and structured feedback, meaningful influence on essentials decisions, access to technology that increases efficiency and ongoing training from their employers.”

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AUTHORZeno Toulon
  • J
    3 November 2022

    Groundbreaking journalism...
    Graduates want to work at Investment Banks for the money.

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