The Ivy League Still Rules

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A study by The Wall Street Journal indicates the days of an Ivy league degree being the key to success everywhere may be over. But not on Wall Street.

Ivy Leaguers remain perched atop the pecking order. Jobs in investment banking, for example, are still dominated by those from elite academic institutions. A Harvard MBA or a degree from Wharton remain the best way to gain entry into firms like Goldman Sachs.

Investment banks like Goldman and J.P. Morgan still recruit the cream of the crop from schools such as Harvard, Penn and Columbia. Same goes for businesses such as private wealth management and asset management firms.

Banks are drawn both to the smarts these students have as well as the strong personalities that often lead to the level of achievement required to succeed. And, banks depend not only on these skills, but the relationships students make that result in strong networks that can grow business for the bank.

Sure, roles in trading, sales and marketing traditionally look outside the Ivy League. In fact, historically, it wasn't unusual for a trader to not have a college degree.

But saying that getting into Harvard isn't easy is an understatement. The acceptance rate for the class of 2014 fell to a record low of 6.9 percent. That alone helps a student develop the thick skin and competitiveness required on Wall Street .

While it may be easier to land a job if you aren't an Ivy League grad, elite firms show no sign of letting go of their penchant for these students to fill out their investment banking businesses.