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Emolument's UK and North American University League Tables


23.11.15: Salary benchmarking site, Emolument has analysed data for universities in UK & Ireland and North America to find the best university for finance careers and finance gender pay gap.

Best Universities for Careers in Finance
Emolument compared the salaries of graduates going into finance for analysts and associates from different universities. The average salary for these titles across all universities is £62,000 for the UK & Ireland and $130,000 for the US. Below is a list of academic institutions whose students have the best chances of landing jobs with the most prestigious (and highest-paying) finance firms.

UK & Ireland Universities:

Best Universities for Banking Careers (Salaries for Analysts & Associates)Salary + Bonus
Cambridge University£91,000
Oxford University£85,000
Edinburgh University£84,000
Imperial College London£80,000
London School of Economics£79,000
Bristol University£74,000
Warwick University£73,000
Bath University£72,000
University College London£72,000
Trinity College£70,000

US & Canada Universities:

Best Universities for Banking Careers (Salaries for Analysts and Associates)Salary + Bonus
Yale University$194,000
Harvard University$190,000
University of Pennsylvania$187,000
Stanford University$185,000
University of Chicago$182,000
Boston College$176,000
Northeastern University$176,000
New York University$162,000
Georgetown University$161,000

Alice Leguay from said: “Counterintuitively, the top universities for finance are not necessarily the ones with a reputation for being business-focussed, but historical red brick institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge. It seems UK recruiters are less concerned about vocational course content giving more weight to a university’s reputation and prestige. Over the years, though, as finance has become more complex and required a higher proportion of employees to be versed in IT, financial engineering and economics, vocational technical and scientific degrees have climbed up in the return on investment charts (Imperial College is a good example). We expect to see this trend intensify in the coming years.”

Best Universities for Finance Gender Pay Gap
The average pay gap for finance professionals with less than five years' experience is 27% in the UK and 21% in the US. Emolument has compiled a list of the universities whose female graduates are most likely to buck the trend.

UK & Ireland Universities

University% Pay Gap
Kingston University3%
Manchester University5%
Liverpool University6%
Newcastle University9%
Kent University11%
Brunel University12%
King's College London13%
Oxford University14%
Royal Holloway14%
Birmingham University15%

US & Canada Universities

University% Pay Gap
Columbia University0%
Johns Hopkins University0%
Miami University0%
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill0%
Georgetown University4%
Harvard University8%
University of Virginia11%
Princeton University12%
Carnegie Mellon University12%
McGill University13%

Alice Leguay from said: “Choosing a university goes far beyond a simple degree topic: will my investment pay off? Is Cambridge University more likely to lead a student to the career path that they are thinking of following than LSE? Our new analysis aims to answer these questions.”

“It is striking to see how many top academic institutions such as Cambridge University struggle to make the list for smallest gender gap, whilst Kingston and Manchester University come up trumps with 3% and 5% respectively. North America is clearly ahead of the UK when it comes to managing the gap, with four universities in the table showing no gap. In pure financial terms, they are also miles ahead of the UK with top universities yielding 30% more when it comes to post degree earnings. American graduates are under more pressure to earn as much as possible to repay larger loans due to higher tuition costs.”

“When it comes to universities in the UK, if you're a woman who wants the smallest pay gap but the highest earnings then Oxford University is the best place for you. As for US and Canada, women who want a smaller pay gap could go to Georgetown University where they could earn a high pay with total compensation of USD161,000 in the first five years. If it’s all about the money then the traditional Ivy League options of Yale, Harvard and University of Penn are the best options.”

Data for this study is based on 2,700 graduates from universities in US & Canada as well as 11,000 graduates from UK & Ireland. This data focusses on undergraduate degrees, ignoring MBAs and other post-graduate degrees.

For more information, contact or call Alice Leguay/Hugo Ostyn on +44 20 7183 1744.

NOTE: if using the data below, it is essential that you refer to as ‘salary benchmarking site’ and use hyperlinks to