Scramble for places on Masters in Finance courses

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Previous yr was a fantastic time to be in total-time training — to acquire new skills even though keeping away from an unsure employment market. And the world’s foremost companies of postgraduate finance degrees have not squandered a disaster.

This was specifically genuine for those people featuring the masters in finance degree, the place the emphasis on facts science, accounting, coding and company make graduates among the the most sought-soon after by huge multinational companies.

Two out of a few specialist company masters programmes past yr reported development in applications, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), the company college entrance test administrator. And 78 for every cent of educational facilities worldwide, growing to ninety for every cent of educational facilities in Europe, reported increasing need for their masters in finance classes.

“Demand is specifically strong for masters in finance programmes simply because of the underlying fundamentals of these classes, which are clearly aligned with what is changing the economy, these kinds of as machine mastering and fintech,” claims Rahul Choudaha, director of sector insights and research communications at GMAC.

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In the US, a big offering issue for masters in finance classes is their standing as science, engineering, engineering and arithmetic (Stem) skills. Educational institutions that get their programmes Stem-selected can offer non-US college students a distinctive visa standing. This permits them to continue to be and get the job done in the country for a few yrs soon after graduation on their scholar visa. “That is a big offering issue for worldwide college students,” Choudaha explains.

But it is European educational facilities that have typically dominated the market for college students taking a masters in finance quickly soon after an undergraduate course. The Covid-19 pandemic has only exacerbated that development, with quite a few younger people today choosing it would be much better to maintain off for a yr than to test starting off a career for the duration of the financial turmoil, programme heads say.

At Belgium’s Vlerick Small business College, 2021 was a document yr for MSc finance applications. Desire was so powerful and the high-quality of candidates so significant that the college established up a waiting around record — in spite of growing its ingestion from 70 to eighty college students.

Vlerick Business School
Vlerick Small business College

Vlerick positive aspects from its reputation as a secure route to worthwhile jobs in different sectors, but specifically in financial investment banking, venture capital and administration consultancy, according to Wouter De Maeseneire, professor of corporate finance at the college.

“Masters of finance classes will usually be powerful supplied that they give college students a fantastic skillset for a wide variety of jobs,” he claims — adding that almost all of this year’s course experienced work offers in advance of graduation.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has lowered the proportion of applications from outside the house Belgium, De Maeseneire claims. At the end of May possibly 2020, barely a third of candidates were being from outside the house the country. In the previous, most candidates arrived from abroad. De Maeseneire is hopeful that this will be a non permanent development, nevertheless, adding that the proportion of non-Belgian candidates this yr was forty six for every cent of the complete. “We are returning to a a lot more ordinary problem,” he claims.

HEC Paris been given 2,523 applications for its MSc finance programme this yr, up somewhat on the 2,421 it experienced in 2020. This continued development enabled the college to be a lot more selective, enrolling just 4.28 for every cent of those people candidates vs . 4.forty two for every cent the yr in advance of.

Olivier Bossard, professor of finance and executive director of the MSc Finance at HEC, claims coronavirus has not impacted need in the similar way as past financial disruption, these kinds of as the 2008 banking sector disaster.

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“Although we are facing a massive disaster submit-pandemic, this disaster is ‘only’ a disaster of the actual economy,” he claims. “It is not a disaster of the financial system like the just one we faced in 2008-2011. The banking companies are in a much much better form: a lot more liquidity, much better capital adequacy, challenges a lot more under handle. It is almost a company-as-usual problem for our potential companies.”

Just one problem has been to sustain the high-quality of classroom educating when lessons have experienced to be conducted on the web instead than in man or woman due to campus closures. The trick has been to make a advantage of these kinds of limitations, Bossard claims.

“We have all embraced digital innovation by means of a wide variety of techniques: on the web educating, flipped classroom experiments, and blended mastering formats. And we can assume much a lot more digital innovation to disrupt our programmes in the coming yrs.”

At Aalto University College of Small business in Finland, need for the masters programme in finance is at document levels, with a hundred and five college students starting off this yr, up from eighty in 2020. The course has been beneficial for the women who acquire it, aided by efforts by quite a few companies to increase gender equilibrium in finance roles, according to Elias Rantapuska, professor of finance and head of that department at Aalto. “All firms want to employ the service of female finance graduates. We cannot satisfy the need,” he claims.

Regionally, college students have progressively located get the job done in non-public equity, as the sector has grown on the back of Finland’s tech begin-up successes.

“Some yrs ago, only incredibly elite college students with many yrs of appropriate working experience submit-graduation would enter PE money,” Rantapuska claims. “Now there is an growing quantity of graduates supplied a placement at a PE fund straight soon after graduation.”

In spite of all this need for financial training, course companies nevertheless contend difficult to bring in the most effective college students, claims Sami Attaoui, head of the finance department at Neoma Small business College in France. “The market for MScs in finance is extensive and is pretty competitive, [so] the problem is twofold: to bring in the most effective college students and give them cutting-edge training that offers them skills for a range of roles,” he claims.