Even at my undergrad business school there is a lot more interest in consulting than in investment banking. The Economist article explains why.

Banks? No, thanks!

“AN INVESTMENT banker was a breed apart, a member of a master race of dealmakers. He possessed vast, almost unimaginable talent and ambition.” So wrote Michael Lewis in his 1989 book, “Liar’s Poker”. Mr Lewis charted the ascent into investment banking of the most talented graduates in the 1980s, a situation that still held true as the financial crisis struck in 2007. Then, 44% of Harvard’s MBAs landed a job in finance; 12% became investment bankers. Yet in the class of 2013 only 27% chose finance and a meagre 5% became members of Mr Lewis’s master race.

The trend is the same at other elite business schools. In 2007, 46% of London Business School’s MBA graduates got a job in financial services; in 2013 just 28% did, with investment banking taking a lower share even of that diminished figure. At the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, the percentage of students going for jobs in investment banking has fallen from 30% in 2007 to 16% this year.

Since the crisis, investment banks have culled the recruitment schemes through which they once hired swathes of associates straight from business schools. Instead, they rely more on recruiting the brightest undergraduates, in the belief that it is more productive—and better value—to develop cohorts of junior analysts in-house, rather than those with fixed ideas honed on expensive MBA programmes.

It is not just that the supply of investment-banking jobs has diminished; so has MBAs’ enthusiasm for them. Once, they wanted nothing more than to climb a bank’s greasy pole, with the vast riches this promised. But regulation has stunted bankers’ bonuses and, perhaps as important, MBAs increasingly seek the flexibility to switch careers within a few years. Investment banks expect long-term loyalty, notes an MBA who did a spell in banking, whereas students see them as “a stepping stone into private equity or a hedge fund”.

Read the original article:
Banks? No, thanks! (The Economist)