St. Gallen vs. Zurich Universities

db20's picture
Rank: Chimp | 13

Hello All!

I'm interested in doing a Master's Program in Switzerland and wanted to get some info/advice on the different universities they have available. I'm from Australia so my knowledge of the European system, especially the German part is not so great so any form of feedback would be appreciated.

I recently completed my bachelor's degree in civil engineering and after working in consulting, I found myself to be interested more in the financial aspect of things and how these come together with engineering. Therefore I am interested in doing a program in 'banking and finance' so I can further strengthen my understanding in this area.

My aim after completing this is to have a wide range of options in terms of industries and not just investment banks in particular. I would like to eventually work in Europe if there are opportunities available. After finishing the degree, I am interested in pursuing roles such as:

-being an infrastructure analyst (looking at resources,energy,construction and other civil engineering related industries) in investment banks,
-working at the world bank as an engineer/analyst,
-engineering project manager,
-engineering risk consultant or other related fields that might be possible.

After some research it seems like University of St.Gallen and University of Zurich are well known for these areas.
St. Gallen is highly ranked in this particular course but the university is not very well known in the English speaking world. I think I will be the only Australian person there and will have a hard time adjusting due to the strong German-speaking-country-applicant intake. I am skeptical of rankings and I feel like it does not represent the bigger picture when it comes to education quality. I went to the best engineering school in Australia (top ranked) and therefore think that there are more things to a university than just ranking. I would like to go to a university that has approachable and helpful professors rather than snobby ones, more emphasis given on practical side of the course rather than theory, and its links to the industry as well as exchange partner institutions are things that I value.

I feel like the University of Zurich would be better suited for me as it is more established and international,being in Zurich there would be more opportunities to make friends,explore new things, it would be closer to businesses,banks headquarters so more variety of internship, student work opportunities. Also, if I couldn't get a job in Switzerland/Europe, back home no one would even know where St. Gallen would be located. While on the other hand I feel like going to the University of Zurich would be better as a back up plan and if I decided to go home.

The admission process for the University of Zurich is still competitive. As I have an engineering background, I will have to score a minimum 680 on GMAT and do all this other paperwork in regards to my degree. And even then admission is not guarantee..

I was wanting to get some info in regards to the University of Zurich and its economics department. How is its reputation in Europe? I recently read that UBS invested some money in their finance/economics departments and that they have strong industry connections. Where can I find more information about their teaching quality and graduate profiles?

Thanks in advance for all your help!! :)


Comments (8)

Jan 24, 2015

does anyone have any updates concerning the uzh banking and finance course? I am interested as well!

Jan 25, 2015

From what a Swiss friend told me, you are not at much disadvantage if you are recruiting for Swiss jobs and you went to UZH instead of HSG. Outside Switzerland it's a complete different story and UZH has no brand value.

As a non Swiss, you should only consider HSG but every non german speaking guy I know who attended HSG has been very disappointed with recruiting. You are not even eligible to do an internship as non EU because the internship should be mandatory as part of curriculum, which it is not, at least at HSG.

Jun 14, 2016

I have offers from RSM finance and investments and UZH banking and finance. I want to work in Switzerland and practice my German (B1 level currently), but Zurich will cost me 3 times as much as RSM. what's your suggestion?

Jun 14, 2016

All depends on whether you are an EU citizen. it's tricky for non-EU citizens to get even get an internship work permit in CH, working full time is probably impossible

Jun 15, 2016

I am an EU citizen. I realized that RSM is not only cheaper, but I also like more its curriculum. Then I can go the third semester an exchange in St. Gallen or somewhere else in Europe and then I have one more semester for an internship. So in 2 years I will have far better experiences than studying 2 whole years in Zurich and spending a ton of money.

Jan 25, 2015

Maybe you should also take a look at the eth uzh quant finance program, it seems quite solid and well balanced.

Jun 14, 2016

I live in Zrh and as fours mentioned above, if you stay in CH then either is OK but if you decide to leave CH, HSG will have a much stronger brand name. But in your situation, the main thing to consider is whether you think you will be fluent in German (fluent in business German, not just be able to get by) by the time you graduate (if you plan to stay in CH). If you are not, HSG wont be of much help in the German speaking world as you will be at a significant disadvantage. If you plan to use the degree to go elsewhere (London etc), then you should only consider HSG. And if you are considering going to London etc, then I would focus my applications on schools in the UK (or wherever you want to go after graduation) instead.

Jun 14, 2016