Most Wanted: Banking

News News

According to data collected by, Banking is the third most popular career choice for graduates.

A recent study by has discovered Banking is one of the most popular sectors amongst graduates. Looking at data collected from registered users between 2011 and 2016, has revealed that Banking is chosen by 24% of graduates-putting it in third spot behind Management (29%) and Marketing (28%).

Tom Snowden began his career in Banking when he joined KPMG in September 2012. Tom believes the popularity of the sector stems from the variety of opportunities available.

"A common misconception is that bankers all trade stocks on a vast trading floor on Wall Street," he says.

"There are so many different types of careers in banking which would interest a plethora of personalities, whether it's working in the marketing team for a new banking app, or liaising with multinational firms as part of a mergers and acquisitions deal."

"I genuinely think there is something within the Banking sector for everyone," he says.

The opportunities available in Banking mean the sector attracts a large variety of people. Tom is one of many who does not come from a financial background.

"Often your degree is just a stepping stone into the financial sector," he says. "I studied Law at university, therefore my degree was not directly related to my current job in the financial sector. However, the skillset it helped me acquire in terms of being able to analyse, interpret and apply information has been transferable."

Tom says graduates from non-financial backgrounds often bring something else of value to their roles.

"Typically, we have students from an economics or numerical background, although this is not a prerequisite. Graduates from other degrees are often suitable candidates and are able to offer a different perspective to our clients."

While Banking presents a wide range of opportunities to graduates, Tom says university-leavers looking for positions in the sector should pay close attention to the type of firm they would like to work for.

"Firms have different cultures, working styles and demands and it is important you understand these before applying for a particular institution or role," he says.

"Picking the type of banking institution that you wish to work for will significantly impact the working style and culture that you experience."

Tom recommends graduates put time into researching firms so they can understand the subtle differences.

"It is worth speaking to people in the industry, university alumni and any contacts a graduate might have to try to establish what type of work and professional culture they would enjoy. This will help when it comes to aligning their ambitions with a firm-and providing the most suitable combination for their career."

According to the High Fliers' The Graduate Market in 2016 report, Banking offers the best starting salaries to university-leavers. The report says graduates in Investment Banking can expect to earn a median salary of £47,000.

With high rewards come high stakes, and recent Hollywood depictions of the sector-such as The Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short-may have given Banking an unappealing reputation. Tom says he has learned first-hand how the industry has changed since the financial crash in 2008 and warns graduates not to believe what they see at the cinema.

"There has been a great increase in pressure and scrutiny from the regulator which has significantly changed the banking landscape," he says.

"And having actually worked on Wall Street, on a secondment with KPMG, I can safely say I have no idea where Leonardo DiCaprio was working."

The findings released by prove graduates are keen on pursuing careers in Banking as the sector enters a more regulated and responsible era.

Image Credit: Anthony Correia/