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The Ivy League Still Rules

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.

AUTHORScott Krady Insider Comment
  • As
    Ashish Nigam
    4 October 2010

    Gordon Gekko is back with yet another resounding quote adding truth to its erstwhile brilliant quote called "Greed is good" making it so pertinent by saying now that "Greed is good and now it seems legal". This is Ivy League

  • Ca
    4 October 2010

    So what is the purpose of going to just a good school, but not an Ivy league. I mean I did an internship with JP Morgan, did a pretty good job for the person that I was working for, but Before starting the internship, the lady told me " you will do the job that i assign you, but don't even think about that we will retain you when you finish, This firm is very hard to get in. If you want to get into the investment banking business, unless you go to Harvard, Wharton and the other ivy league schools you are wasting your time.

  • Er
    4 October 2010

    I would say not anymore, there are people who didn't graduate from Ivy but are smarter than those from Ivy.

  • Da
    4 October 2010

    So the whole of America is bitter at Wall St. But we all knew that. Ivy League is only an indication of education, and having a high level of education doesn't hurt going into any industry. Criticizing Wall St. does not have to be inclusive of the Ivies. Well-educated people will continue to make better decisions than less-educated people. Look at George W. Bush (Yale) and Obama (Columbia + Harvard). If you think Ivy students suck at making decisions, which matter a lot more when you are the president than when you just execute some financial deals, hopefully you didn't vote for either of them.

  • Ba
    21 September 2010

    Typical...Credentials over talent. That way there is no accountability when things go bad...

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