Will a Postgraduate Qualification Improve My Career Chances?

There are a large amount of graduate schemes designed to transform you into a financial professional and set you up for rising through the ranks. There are many of them that won’t ask a qualification above a minimum of a 2:1 degree.

Here are a few examples of the types of roles you could take on within the industry with a bachelor’s degree:

  • Trainee accountant
  • Trainee trader
  • HR professional
  • Investment analyst
  • Trainee consultant (analyst)
  • Retail banking roles (e.g. personal or private banker)
  • Trainee financial planner
  • Trainee insurance broker
  • Asset management analyst
  • Graduate-level actuary (in insurance, pensions, investment)
  • Pension administrator
  • Technology analyst.

In the finance industry, you’ll find that the sought-after qualifications aside from a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent are mostly professional qualifications. Professional qualifications demonstrate that an individual has met a benchmark in industry skills and standards. And in an industry that’s really working on changes in regulation and conduct, this makes these qualifications pretty important!

Advantages of a postgraduate qualification for a finance career

The advantages of having a postgraduate qualification if you’re planning on heading into a finance career will partly depend on what subject it’s in.

There are a select number of graduate roles, or even more senior roles, which require some very specific high levels of knowledge and skill. You’ll usually find these in areas such as quantitative analysis, certain areas of technology, or in senior research roles. Some roles may even require PhD level knowledge. So if you do have qualifications at this level, there will be a niche, often high-earning selection of jobs in the finance industry that open out to you.


There are a lot of opinions flying around about how whether an MBA is worth considering to aid your career progression. It’s known to be a fairly ubiquitous qualification in boardroom members in some of the world’s biggest companies, and there are certainly advantages in terms of a salary boost when you’ve obtained the qualification. It could open up a few more doors to you.

However, an MBA is also notoriously expensive, and career progression opportunities are very good so long as you work hard in the finance industry as it is. It’s also the industry which provides the highest graduate salaries, and bonuses and salary packages can be very high even without a postgraduate qualification. Think about your ultimate goal and whether you’d really need an MBA to reach it.