In the US the finance department has become a battleground for business school supremacy. With the high profile of Wall Street amongst MBA recruiters, finance is one of the most eminent disciplines.
Finance is such an intricate and diverse industry that many schools have large sectors dedicated to the subject. Most of the world’s investment banks are staffed primarily by MBA graduates from schools with a strong background in finance. After several quiet years, demand for MBAs within one of the most popular sectors for business school graduates – investment banking – is back with a vengeance. According to the 2005 Top MBA.com Recruiter and Salary Survey, which canvasses opinions from recruiters in 30 countries around the world, demand is up by 20%, taking it to a level not witnessed since the bursting of the dotcom bubble at the beginning of the millennium.
For the go-getting MBA, whatever his or her gender or racial background, it means that investment banking is rapidly becoming an aspired field. Banks realize that they need to emulate the diversity and experience of their clients and are making great efforts to achieve this through, recruitment, retention and development. Background and potential, however, are just the commencement and it’s consequently no surprise that investment banks are some of the biggest per capita spenders on training and development of all MBA recruiters.
London Business School has long had a dominant finance faculty, which has only been enhanced since it developed the highly successful one year Masters in Finance (MiF) in the mid-1990s. Yet Janet Dobson, Director of the MiF, endorses the view that: “a specialist Masters like the MiF is very different from our generalist two year MBA. It is proposed for finance junkies…76% of our MiF class already have an MBA or management degree.”