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Those about to receive their A’  level results might be interested in the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) latest member survey on the best way to enter a career in financial services.

The CISI survey asked the question: “The typical cost for a student to attend university is now 17,000 a year, including accommodation, tuition and living costs. With this in mind, what do you believe to be the best way to enter a career in financial services?”-

With responses currently standing at 483 (you can follow the survey’s progress, including respondents’ comments, at cisi.org) 36% of respondents say a degree is the best route but only if it is a 2.1 and above, with 23% preferring work experience or an internship and 22% preferring a school leaver programme or apprenticeship.
The complete CISI survey results to date are:

  • A degree (16%)
  • A degree, but only if it is a 2.1 and above (36%)
  • A school leaver programme or apprenticeship (22%)
  • Work experience or internship (23%)
  • Other (3%)

Responses received : 483

For those who have received their A level results the CISI is here to help whether you achieved the results you were hoping for or didn’t receive the results you wanted.

If you are going to University, now is a good time to think about choosing one of the UK universities which have partnered with the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) as it means they are offering programmes that are already focussing on good jobs after university .

The CISI is the professional body for those working in, or thinking of starting a career in, the capital markets and wealth management industry. The CISI has over 40,000 global members and has developed a suite of qualifications geared towards client facing and operations roles within firms and banks, aimed at every stage of an individual’s career.

For some job roles it is a regulatory requirement to have a specific professional qualification and students looking to identify a finance related degree which is likely to give them the very best chance of getting a job in the industry on graduation should consider choosing a university which has links with the CISI.

Those universities with finance related degrees in place offering access to CISI professional qualifications are:

  • Aston University
  • University of Birmingham
  • BPP Law School
  • Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Cass Business School
  • Coventry University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Exeter
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • University of Greenwich
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • ICMA Centre, University of Reading
  • Imperial College London
  • Liverpool Hope University
  • Queen Mary, University of London
  • University of Portsmouth
  • Regents College
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • University College London
  • University of Ulster
  • University of the West of England
  • University of Westminster

For those who are not going to university there are plenty of options available, you may for example want to take a Gap Year and apply to university next year, having gained some valuable work experience.

Another alternative is to seek permanent work with a firm that can offer structured training such as Apprenticeships. Many firms in financial services are now offering school leaver programmes and apprenticeships which also include CISI qualifications, particularly in investment operations.

Further information on qualifications and links to employer vacancies can be found on the following websites:





Ruth Martin, CISI Managing Director said: “In these challenging times a professional qualification, undertaken either as part of a prestigious undergraduate programme or within a firm and especially as part of an Apprenticeship, can ensure a student gains a competitive edge in the jobs market. The CISI is committed to helping the financial services sector attract talented recruits. We congratulate all young people who have now received their A’level results and are preparing for the next stage. We hope we can help them on their way.’