Canadian degree for U.K. investment banking

I'm a dual Canadian/U.K. citizen although I live in the U.K., I want to go into IB as a career and i've been thinking of going to Canada for uni because of the lower fees

Apparently to get into IB in Canada you need a BComm degree which is something not offered in the U.K.

My plan is really to move back to the U.K. to pursue IB but i may stay in Canada.

Would a BComm degree be good for U.K. IB or should i do something more traditional like Maths & Econ? I don't want to limit myself so i have to spend the rest of my life in Canada but i also want the option to work there.

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Comments (10)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 21, 2021 - 9:34am

You didn't specify which uni in Canada and which in U.K. are your options, but as someone who graduated from McGill and broke into IB, I'm going to be quite frank with you: GO TO THE U.K. IF YOU WANT TO BREAK INTO THE U.K. BANKING SCENE. Unfortunately, there is not a very strong alumni presence in London for Canadian universities, and given that there won't be any "on-campus recruitment", networking will be extremely important to get your foot through the door. Maybe if you provide your specific options in both Canada and the U.K., I can give better guidance.

Apr 21, 2021 - 9:38am

I'm aiming for LSE or Warwick in the U.K. and somewhere like Mcgill or UofT in Canada but they're not set in stone. Do you know if it's easier for Canadian students to break into US banking? I've heard there is issues with visas so employers don't want to sponsor them. Also do i need a BCom degree for Canadian IB?

Apr 21, 2021 - 10:04am

If you're planning on going to Canada to get a Bcomm, do not go to UofT or McGill. Ivey and Queens are the best Bcomm programs in Canada by a material margin as evidenced by the average job statistics out of school (and number of placements in high finance). Although going to the US is more challenging that it was historically, Ivey and Queens still send many students to banks and other high-finance firms across the US.

Apr 21, 2021 - 10:07am

Would a degree like Maths & Econ be ok for IB in Canada/USA like it is in the U.K.? I don't know how well a BCom would go down in the UK and don't want to limit myself. I've been looking at Queens but is it as good for majors other than business?

Apr 21, 2021 - 10:14am

If you are insistent on a math / econ degree you can pursue that for 2 years at Ivey and the business portion starts in years 3+4 (but you need to apply for the AEO program). You can also get a dual degree at Ivey by taking an additional year and have a math / econ degree + a Bcomm. But if attending queens, I would advise against that. The main reason being that the business schools have access to the career portal, on-campus recruiting and much better resources than the math / econ departments. If you receive an offer from Queens, accept the Bcom program but just take a heavy load on math / econ and make it your minor. I think you are placing too much emphasis on a "math / econ" degree.

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Apr 21, 2021 - 10:43am

in North America you pretty much need a BComm for IB - don't know if I know anyone who has broken into the space with just Math or Econ. Ivey or Queens are absolutely the schools to go to for that (Ivey dual degree student here). Like LP_Man also said, having access to the BComm career portal is a huge game changer as is the benefits of networking with people who have the same degree as you. It's tough to compare the ability for Canadian students to break into the US vs the UK - getting into the US is incredibly hard because of visa issues, but not a ton of people try to get themselves to the UK so I think it is a little easier but just less common.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 21, 2021 - 6:17pm

Yes you need a BCom degree for Canadian IB. You probably won't be able to break into Wall Street from McGill (only a handful have done it in the recent years, many of which have went to LionTree -- a TMT focused boutique that does on-campus recruiting at McGill). UofT -> Wall Street is straight out impossible lol. I'm not an expert on UK, but LSE is top-notch after Oxbridge.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Ind
Apr 21, 2021 - 11:37am

McGill has a lot of alumni in London, the Bcomm program gets a fair amount of euros (mainly french) so quite a few end up in London. If you're looking to do Econ, UofT and McGill do well and can place you well for MAs in the UK (I had one friend in McGill econ who went to Oxford, another who went to Cambridge). If you're looking for straight Bcomm, then yeah Queens or Ivey has a better pipeline but also less name recognition outside of North America. If you're well connected you can swing a Canadian school to UK IB but probably a safer bet to attend a British uni. On the other hand, here's your chance to take a chance, explore a new country, maybe change your life in ways you can't see yet.

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