The Masters in Finance (MIF) qualification is slowly starting to gain traction in Singapore – a city where mid-career banking professionals have traditionally preferred taking MBAs.
But where should you study if you want a MIF that will help you boost your finance career in Singapore?
We searched our CV database for financial professionals in the Republic who already have a Masters in Finance to their name, and we found out which business school they attended.
We then ranked each college by the percentage of Singapore-based MIF graduates who studied there to produce the table below.
Because the MIF has only very recently emerged as a popular qualification in Singapore, the data set isn’t yet large enough to examine the business function of graduates or the type of organisation they work for (but you can click here for our global list of top MIF schools for getting front-office jobs at leading investment banks).
However, our numbers do show that spending tens of thousands of dollars on an elite overseas MIF course may well be worth the effort.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of people with Masters in Finance degrees who have now got jobs in Singapore’s finance sector actually studied outside the country.
And the top-three most popular foreign-based courses were in the same city: London. Imperial College, London School of Economics, and London Business School all boast more than 6% of MIF grads in Singapore.
“Singaporeans who want to break into finance for the first time or make a major career change typically look to these top-tier UK courses to give them an edge,” says a finance recruiter in the Singapore.
Unsurprisingly, the three main locally based Masters in Finance programmes – at SMU, INSEAD and University College Dublin/Kaplan (the latter two have Singapore campuses) – are all towards the top of our table and account for a third of MIF alumni between them.
The rest of the MIF popularity list is dominated by UK and European schools, although the University of Hong Kong ranks in 10th position.
China’s nascent MIF sector isn’t making much of an impact in Singapore – the Guanghua School of Management and the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance both have low percentages.
“With so many competing international options and with local courses taking off, I can’t see many people looking to China unless they have a career ambition to work in or cover that market,” says the recruiter.
Not many Singaporeans have studied a MIF in the US, a country where the MBA still trounces it in popularity. Only Washington University’s Olin Business School can muster a sizable share of MIF grads in Singapore.