Investment banking can be a complex field. It can involve mergers and acquisitions, raising capital, and offering general financial guidance to a corporation or government. It can be a very exciting, fruitful position to be in.

So if you are considering investment banking as a career, here are some things you should know about the industry.

1. Not Just For Finance Majors

Although it is very important that people in this field have financial prowess, a degree in finance is not always required in investment banking. More and more, banks are seeking people who focused their studies on computer science or have experience with coding. As the industry begins to rely even more on technology, this will become increasingly common.

2. Prepare For a Quantitative Interview

The quantitative interview – or quant interview – is meant to test a candidate’s skills and abilities. For an investment banking position, a candidate will likely have to pass a quantitative test of some kind to prove their qualifications. You could be asked to evaluate a financial statement, or you could be asked a seemingly irrelevant question meant to test your problem solving skills in a high-pressure situation.

No matter what form a quant interview takes, an excellent investment banking candidate will be prepared for it. Brush up on your basic functions and skills, and practice talking through your though process. You should also use online resources to prepare. For some brain teaser questions, the manner in which you answer and apply logic can be more important than the answer itself, so remember to remain calm and speak thoughtfully.

3. The Best Time to Look is Q4

Banks normally hire in January or February, which means that candidates should be researching firms, sending out their resume, and networking in November and December. This will put you ahead of the pack and hopefully give you time to build a connection with the bank you hope to work for. However, if you still do not find the right opportunity, continue searching. Persistence is key in this industry.

4. The Industry is Growing

Investment banking is recovering strongly from the financial crisis of the late 2000’s. Though the market still has some ways to go, it is definitely in the best position it has been in years. While it is headed in the right direction, it is a great time to get on board and continue to grow with it.

5. It’s a Resilient Industry

If there is anything that the aforementioned financial crisis taught us, it is that the investment banking industry is a staple of our economy. Despite setbacks, investment banking does not crumble. It is a field that has been around for a long while, and it will continue to thrive as the years go on. So while it will have ups and downs, like any other industry, it is a safe bet that the investment banking industry will continue to provide opportunities throughout our lifetime.

6. There’s Plenty of International Opportunity

While every country and culture may have a different currency, money and spending are something we all have in common. Countries will continue to trade with and invest in each other, making investment banking a global market. So if you enjoy travel and foreign relations, this could be the right industry for you.

7. Consolidation is Prominent

It is important that those entering this market are aware of what is going on within it. In recent years, banks have seen a lot of consolidation. Because of this, banks have had to adjust their structures. While these changes are not always easy for any business to go through, they can offer many opportunities for entry-level candidates and other who are starting a new chapter in their career.

8. Bad Behavior’s Getting Regulated

Hollywood has often painted Wall Street and financial institutions in a poor light. While the corruption and unethical behavior are often exaggerated, there used to be a kernel of truth there. Now, investment banking is determined to change that. Many banks are operating with a zero tolerance policy when it comes to this kind of behavior, creating a much better work environment.

9. Loyalty is Valued

Job hopping does not make you a popular candidate in the investment banking industry. Firms like to see that a candidate is loyal and hardworking, so finding the right first job is very important. If you can find the right fit and gain some years of experience in one place, it will make it much easier to make a move down the line.

So if you want help finding the right fit for you, Michael Page can help you through that process. Browse our job postings, and if you choose to apply one of our expert recruitment consultants will be in touch with relevant opportunities.