What Are the Best Investment Banking Courses?

investment banking courses

When it comes to investment banking courses, we’ll let you into a secret — we can’t tell you which course is best for you. Only you are able to assess that because only you know your specific needs and goals. 

But what we can do is propose solid criteria that will help you decide which course you should follow if you want to break into the financial industry or improve your work as an investment banker.

How do I choose an investment banking course?

There are several factors to take into account when choosing your investment banking training programs. A few of these criteria — such as budget and format — will be important to some people, but not so much so to others. This is why we’re not presenting these criteria in any specific order of importance. In this case too, only you know which ones are most important to you.

If you’d like to skip the criteria part and proceed to the selection of the best investment banking courses, welcome to the next section of this article presenting just that. There you’ll find some of the best training programs on investment banking we hand-picked for you:

  1. Financial Markets from Yale University
  2. Private Equity and Venture Capital from Bocconi University
  3. Understanding Financial Markets by University of Geneva
  4. Meeting Investor’s Goals by University of Geneva
  5. Portfolio and Risk Management by University of Geneva
  6. Securing Investor’s Returns (University of Geneva)
  7. Planning Your Client’s Wealth over a 5-year Horizon (University of Geneva)
  8. Advanced Valuation and Strategy by Erasmus University Rotterdam
  9. Fundamentals of Funding from Goldman Sachs
  10. The Investment Banker by Financial Edge

Now, let’s continue with the selection criteria.

Purpose

What is your aim in following this course? You want to learn investment banking, that much is clear. But if you are a junior professional — or haven’t broken into investment banking yet – you probably want to build your CV as well. 

If that is the case, you have to consider whether your course is the kind that will set your CV apart from those of other candidates, and impress your potential employer during an investment banking interview. This will mean favoring courses from famous, well-established institutions, over courses that may be equally instructive but which do not have a prestigious, instantly-recognizable name.

Relevance

If you are already an investment banker, you can probably skip this section — choosing a relevant course is a given to you. If you are only getting started though, we suggest you ask yourself what area of investment banking is relevant to you. This is a vast subject, and there are courses on investment banking that cover only very specific areas of it.

What course will help you most on your way to your next professional goal? A complete investment banking course that gives you a solid overview of this subject, or courses that specialize in particular areas —  such as financial modeling, private equity, capital budgeting, asset management, and capital markets? 

You can also find courses that besides covering the more technical subjects, also teach essential career skills for investment bankers.

In short, know exactly what subjects are most relevant to you, and you will avoid wasting time and money on courses that don’t answer your present needs.

Level

As you would expect, there are investment banking courses for all knowledge levels. So if you already have some experience working in investment banks, you should probably be looking for intermediate and advanced courses. 

If on the other hand, you are just setting out on your career, look for beginner courses — with such a complex subject as investment banking, it’s wise to follow a linear learning progression and not try to skip basic stages.

Timing

When do you need this certification for? If you are looking to up your CV so you can land a job in the investment banking industry as soon as possible — well, you should obviously steer clear of courses that will take years to complete. 

If however, you are working on a long-term professional improvement plan — acquiring knowledge that will help you move on to higher positions in your investment bank — then you can pick long-duration courses as well as shorter ones.

Also, a complete investment banking course may offer students the option of picking only specific modules, which will take considerably less time to complete. So if your boss asked you to take a course on financial statement analysis, don’t immediately rule out a three-year investment banking course from a recognized institution — just check whether you can follow only that specific module.

Format

Another factor to take into account when comparing different courses is whether they are online or face-to-face. In most cases, online courses will be a better option, since they don’t require that you travel or commute. If they are not live, online courses also allow you to follow your own schedule.

On the other hand, if you do have the opportunity to physically attend an investment banking course, you should probably take it. It’s more normal — and less demanding, psychologically and emotionally — to be physically present in a classroom than it is to attend online lectures or watch recorded video lessons.

Budget

For some people, this is not a relevant criterion. If however you must consider the price of courses when comparing them, it’s important to note that some paid courses offer you the option to view classes and read course content for free — and will charge you in case you want access to other course materials and a completion certificate.

Also, a word of advice — consider the price, but don’t let it be your only criterion. Make sure you are not buying a course in investment banking only because it’s cheaper — but also, remember a more expensive course is not necessarily better.

Instructors

If price is not necessarily synonymous with quality, how do you assess how good a course is? One way to do so is to check who the tutors, teachers and speakers are. Check their names, look them up on LinkedIn, verify their track record in the industry. If a course involves top-level professionals, it’s probably high-quality.

User reviews

Another way to learn more about the quality of an investment banking course is to check authentic reviews from people who took it. Find user testimonials on third-party, independent websites, and you will have real-life insights into how organized and comprehensive a course is.

Top 10 investment banking courses

If you want to start doing your research right now, here are a few options of highly-rated investment banking courses, with their basic information. 

1. Financial Markets

This course shows students how the finance, banking, and securities industries function, and how they can be used to contribute to a better society.

ProviderYale University
InstructorRobert Shiller
Rating4.8 stars from 22,603 ratings
Best forPeople looking to start a career in investment banking; investment banking professionals who want to get career benefits
FormatOnline
DurationUnder 35 hours
LevelBeginner
Language:English, with subtitles available in 10 languages

2. Private Equity and Venture Capital

With this course, students learn about the different stages of a company’s life cycle, and how it can get financial support from venture capital investment. While reviews are mostly favorable, some students find the English hard to understand, and others wish there were more real-life examples.

ProviderBocconi University
InstructorStefano Caselli
Rating4.77 stars from 1,685 ratings
Best forPeople who have studied finance and want an introduction to venture capital and private equity; people looking to refresh their knowledge of both subjects
FormatOnline
DurationUnder 15 hours
LevelIntermediate
Language:English, with subtitles in 9 languages

3. Understanding Financial Markets

This is Course 1 in the Investment Management Specialization offered by the University of Geneva. It teaches the workings of financial markets and how they are linked to the economy. A highlight of this course — and the other courses in this specialization – are the lectures by executives from the UBS bank, who show students how the concepts they are learning apply in real life.

ProviderUniversity of Geneva
InstructorsMichel Girardin, Ines Chaieb, and 15 other professors at the University of Geneva and guest lecturers from the UBS bank
Rating4.8 stars from 5,280 ratings
Best forPeople looking for an introduction to financial markets; accounting and finance professionals who want to refresh their knowledge
FormatOnline
DurationUnder 15 hours
LevelBeginner
Language:English, with subtitles in 9 languages

4. Meeting Investor’s Goals

The second course in the Investment Management Specialization offered by the University of Geneva teaches how the rational and irrational behaviors of human beings impact investment and presents portfolio construction methodologies and investment styles.

ProviderUniversity of Geneva
InstructorsMichel Girardin, Ines Chaieb, and 15 other professors at the University of Geneva and guest lecturers from the UBS bank
Rating4.8 stars from 1,409 ratings
Best forInvestment bankers and private investors looking to learn about investment management
FormatOnline
DurationUnder 10 hours
LevelBeginner
Language:English, with subtitles in 9 languages

5. Portfolio and Risk Management

The third course in the Investment Management Specialization offered by the University of Geneva teaches how to build investment portfolios and manage their risk. Reviews are mostly favorable, but some users found the mathematics poorly explained and difficult to follow.

ProviderUniversity of Geneva
InstructorsMichel Girardin, Ines Chaieb, and 15 other professors at the University of Geneva and guest lecturers from the UBS bank
Rating4.7 stars from 2,234 ratings
Best forStudents of finance who want an introduction to the subject; people interested in investments
FormatOnline
DurationUnder 10 hours
LevelBeginner
Language:English, with subtitles in 9 languages

6. Securing Investment Returns in the Long Run

The fourth course in the Investment Management Specialization offered by the University of Geneva teaches about active and passive investing, investment performance, and trends in the investment industry.

ProviderUniversity of Geneva
InstructorsMichel Girardin, Ines Chaieb, and 15 other professors at the University of Geneva and guest lecturers from the UBS bank
Rating4.8 stars from 1,106 ratings
Best forPeople who have some knowledge of finance; investment bankers and private investors
FormatOnline
DurationUnder 10 hours
LevelBeginner
Language:English, with subtitles in 9 languages

7. Planning Your Client’s Wealth over a 5-year Horizon

The fifth course in the Investment Management Specialization offered by the University of Geneva leads students through a practical project, in which they draw a 5-year asset management plan.

ProviderUniversity of Geneva
InstructorsMichel Girardin, Ines Chaieb, and 15 other professors at the University of Geneva and guest lecturers from the UBS bank
Rating4.7 stars from 367 ratings
Best forProfessionals working in investment banks and private investors interested in wealth management
FormatOnline
DurationUnder 15 hours
LevelBeginner
Language:English, with subtitles in 9 languages

8. Advanced Valuation and Strategy: M&A, Private Equity, and Venture Capital

This course teaches analysis and decision-making techniques.

ProviderErasmus University Rotterdam
InstructorsHan Smit, Dyaran Bansraj, Nishad Matawlie, Renée Spigt, Yashvir Gangaram
Rating4.6 from 1,043 ratings
Best forExecutives who want to learn financial strategy; students who already have a basis in private equity; investment bankers; investors interested in equity capital markets
FormatOnline
DurationUnder 20 hours
LevelAdvanced
Language:English, with subtitles in 9 languages

9. Fundamentals of Funding

Description: This course helps entrepreneurs understand the possibilities of funding for their businesses, including grants and loans, and teaches them to conduct an evaluation of their businesses financial profile.

ProviderGoldman Sachs
InstructorsEdward David, Michael Fetters, Mori Taheripour, Geetha Krishan, Anne Donnellon
Rating4.6 from 161 ratings
Best forEntrepreneurs interested in corporate finance
FormatOnline
DurationUnder 5 hours
LevelBeginner
Language:English, with subtitles in 4 languages

10. The Investment Banker

Financial Edge is responsible for giving financial training to newly-hired people at the world’s top investment banks. This comprehensive course includes four modules: accounting, financial modeling, valuation, and dealmaking.

ProviderFinancial Edge
InstructorsN/A
Rating4.5 from 1,107 ratings
Best forGraduates who want a job in the investment banking industry; professionals who want to prepare for new roles
FormatOnline
DurationUnder 50 hours
LevelIntermediate
Language:English and Mandarin