How to become an investment banker without college

Updated February 21, 2017

Investment banking is a highly lucrative field that many people aspire to. The work can be difficult and the hours long, but those who excel are likely to reap financial rewards. Investment banking is typically geared toward the college professional with experience in finance, business or accounting. Certain positions may even require an advanced degree. If you are looking to break into the investment banking field without attending college, you may find it more challenging. But you may also find it completely possible.

Apply for an internship. If you do not plan to attend college for the training needed as an investment banker, your best bet might be to start out as an intern or even as an investment trainee. Many financial organisations cooperate with colleges for internship programs, and some will also hire people who are not enrolled in college. Training will be provided as you work with the company and learn about the financial field.

Look for lower-level positions in investment banking. If you are unable to find an investment trainee slot, try applying for another type of position within an investment firm or bank. Even work as an administrative assistant will offer a candidate extensive exposure and background training for the investment field. A position in an investment institution will give you valuable experience that might lead to a promotion or another position where you can begin training as an investment banker.

Work on obtaining your investment and securities licenses. People involved in investment banking are highly regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and are required to be licensed to offer financial advice or make stock trades. Often those who work at an investment firm, even in an administrative capacity, will be asked to obtain a series 6 or series 7 license to allow them to place trades for clients according to the banker's request. Obtaining your series 6, 63 and 7 licenses will make you a highly attractive candidate for entry-level investment banker positions.

Start out as a financial adviser. Financial adviser positions are widely available at many institutions, even for those without experience or a degree. Although a degree or college courses will make a candidate more attractive for enrolment, many training programs are geared toward those without experience. Training will encompass support for all appropriate licensing, as well as on-the-job training. You will then be able to continue study and seek promotion toward becoming an investment banker.

Things You'll Need

  • Classifieds
  • Computer access
  • Series 6, 63 or 7 license
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About the Author

Sara Melone is a mother of three and a graduate of UNH. With prior careers in insurance and finance, photography, as well as certifications in fitness and nutrition, Melone draws directly from past experience and varying interests. She contributes with equal passion to birth journals, investment blogs, and self-help websites.