People who work in banking deal with financial transactions, and conduct financial data analysis and forecasting. They are typically employed as analysts, they work in many different environments, including investment banks, savings and loan banks, community banks and financial accounting firms. Prospective bankers and investment bankers have to complete undergraduate courses and graduate with a bachelor’s degree. This degree, however, does not have to be in business, investment banking or finance.

Undergraduate Degree

People who are interested in pursuing a career in banking must have a bachelor's degree. Most universities offer students different degree options, including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Business Administration. These programs typically require students to take 120 units of coursework and take about four years to complete. Many students interested in pursuing entry-level positions in banking choose majors in quantitative fields such as mathematics, economics and finance. However, these majors are not required, and many large investment banks recruit students for internships and entry-level positions from liberal arts majors like English, comparative literature and history.

Probability and Statistics 1

Probability and statistics 1, also known as introduction to probability or introduction to statistics, is an important class for anyone interested in pursuing a career in banking. This course teaches students about compiling and analyzing different types of data, using different mathematical tools such as SPSS software. Prospective bankers who want to take at least one mathematics class in college should take a class in probability and statistics. The types of topics that probability and statistics covers vary across programs and departments, but most teach students about samples, distributions, correlations and linear regressions. Many probability and statistics courses also cover statistical inference, and introduce students to advanced computational techniques in SPSS.


Students who do not major in more quantitative fields, but still want to be prepared for the mathematical expectations that a bank might have of them as entry-level employees, often take two courses in addition to probability and statistics. The first course is pre-calculus, a preparatory class for the more advanced course in calculus. Pre-calculus reviews a lot of the material covered in college algebra, including integers, radicals, linear equations and inequalities, and covers additional topics such as complex numbers, graphing and radicals. Students who have taken this course in high school and do well on the mathematics placement exam often go straight into calculus 1.

Calculus 1

Prospective banking employees who major in mathematics, economics or finance typically take three or four semesters of calculus, typically called calculus 1, 2, 3 and advanced or multivariable calculus. Liberal arts majors who want to pursue banking after graduation and want to get more experience in more advanced areas mathematics often take calculus 1. Calculus teaches students about limits, derivatives and integrals, and how to differentiate and integrate different functions.