Home France Masters in Finance in France – Benefits, Top Institutes, Career Prospects, Scholarships
Master’s in Finance in France - Benefits, Career prospects, Scholarships

Masters in Finance in France – Benefits, Top Institutes, Career Prospects, Scholarships

by Nabeel Ahmed

Home to some of the most remarkable universities and business schools in the world, France has become the fourth most sought-after study destination in the world. For a Master’s in Finance degree, the country offers enrollment in highly reputed institutes, famed for their course structures and teaching methods. A Master’s in Finance is a postgraduate course that prepares students for a career in finance. This programme typically requires 12-18 months that includes internships and thesis writing (if required by the institute). Known by various names in different parts of the world such as M.Fin, MiF, Master of Science in Finance or MSF (in North America), Master of Applied Finance or MAppFin (In Australia) and MSc in Finance (in Europe), the program is positioned as a professional degree. 

As per a research by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the number of accredited schools offering this course has seen an increase of 27% over the past four years. In addition, enrollment for the course has increased by 24% while 46% companies in the finance industry plan to hire MiF graduates in the coming years. According to CEBR (Centre for Economics and Business Research), troubles in the UK financial scenario due to Brexit has helped France leapfrog and become Europe’s second largest economy. This development is expected to open many new avenues for fresh graduates with a degree in Finance in France. 

In this article, we will talk about the benefits of pursuing a Master’s in Finance, the top institutes in France offering the course, the reasons that make France one of the top picks for students looking to pursue MiF and the future prospects for MiF graduates. Study Abroad

Masters in Finance in France – Benefits of pursuing a degree in MiF

Specialisation in Finance – An MiF degree helps students achieve specialisation in finance. This, when compared with the broad course structure of an MBA, gives students an edge for a career in the financial districts across the world. 

Work experience is not mandatory – Most of the students looking to pursue a MiF are recent graduates with little to no work experience. An early start enables MiF students to work towards career building at a younger age compared to their peers pursuing an MBA. 

Increases employability – With most employers looking for recruits with a specialisation, a degree in MiF becomes a better option for young graduates looking to work in the financial sector. Specialisation in finance allows them to stand out amongst the crowd of MBA graduates. 

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Masters in Finance in France – Factors that make France a preferred destination to pursue a Master’s in Finance

Home to Top-ranked Finance Institutes – Amongst the top 10 institutes across the globe renowned for offering a master’s course in Finance, France in 2018 was home to 5 (according to Financial Times). These were – 

  • HEC Paris
  • ESCP Europe 
  • EMLyon
  • EDHEC Europe 
  • SKEMA Business School

Listed below are the top Business Schools of 2020 in France, their QS Business Master’s Rankings (Finance 2020), their tuition costs and the most sought after Master’s in Finance course they offer. Do keep in mind that Master in Finance is called ‘MSc in Finance’ in France. 

  TOP BUSINESS SCHOOLS FOR FINANCE IN FRANCE 2020

Institute and Courses QS Business Master’s Rankings – Finance 2020 Tuition cost
HEC Paris

(Master in International Finance)

3 €33,625
ESSEC

(Master in Finance)

6 €23,000
EMLyon

(MSc Finance)

15 €24,500
EDHEC

(MSc in Corporate Finance and Banking)

24 €24,900
SKEMA

(MSc in Financial Markets and Investments)

27 €21,500
Audencia Business School

(Master in Financial Technology, Risk and Control)

46 €22,000
KEDGE

(MSc Corporate and Sustainable Finance)

54 Find information here
Grenoble Ecole de (Management

MSc in Finance)

56 €23,450
NEOMA Business School

(MSc Finance)

56 €16,900

Close Links to the Finance Industry – The proficiency and rankings attributed to French institutes offering MiF degrees were not achieved overnight. The success of French B-Schools is closely dependent on their close links to the finance sector in the country. It not only helps in keeping tuition costs low but also ensures that the course structure reflects the demands of the industry. 

Low Tuition Fees – The close relationship of French institutes with the financial sector means that fees in business schools in France are competitively priced. These, when compared to fee structures of business institutes in the UK and the USA, tend to be lower. Tuition costs for an MiF programme at ESCP Europe costs around €25,000 ($27,720) compared to €35,900 ($39,806) for MSc in Finance at Imperial College Business School in London and €70,345 ($78,000) at MIT Sloan School of Management in USA, making France a much more desirable location for students. 

Lower Cost of Living – Although rent in Paris is way more expensive than that in other French cities, the cost of living in France when compared to the cost of living in other financial hubs is lower. Especially when we look at cities like London, New York, Tokyo or Dublin, the cost of living in France as per the ‘Mercer Cost of Living Report’ is more affordable.

Fluency in Native Language is not Essential – Contrary to popular belief, fluency in French is not an essential requirement for students looking to pursue a Master’s in Finance. Many, if not most institutes in France, offer courses with English as the medium of education. For Indian students especially this becomes a very important reason for choosing France as their study destination  

Scholarships for Indian Students in France– Every year, the French Embassy in India along with French companies render scholarships to more than 500 meritorious young Indian students looking to pursue their higher education in the country. Scholarships offered by top 4 institutes offering MiF in France are- 

  • HEC Paris – HEC Foundation Excellence Scholarships are offered to all candidates with a non-French Diploma (bachelor’s or master’s Degree) admitted to one of their master’s programs. This scholarship is open to all meritorious Indian students opting for a Master’s in Finance. 
  • ESSEC Paris – The university offers scholarships that can cover upto 50% of all tuition costs. The scholarship is open to all applicants and is awarded on the basis of the overall quality of their application. 
  • EMLyon – The institute offers a limited number of scholarships to all the applicants. The criteria and selection process for the awarding of these scholarships are laid down by the institute every year. For more information visit here 
  • EDHEC – For Indian students, the EDHEC offers the Charpak Scholarships of Excellence and the French Learning Assistance Scholarship. 

Post-Study Work Permit – According to statistics by HEC Paris, 67% of MiF graduates find work outside their home country. For Indian students, the post-study work in France thus becomes very important. France is currently offering a 24-month post-study work permit. This allows MiF graduates to work in the finance industry in the country presenting them with the opportunity to kick start their careers. Study Abroad

Career prospects after Masters in Finance

As per statistics provided by HEC Paris, 99% MiF graduates are able to find jobs in the industry within 3 months of completion of their course with an average yearly starting salary of €63,000. MiF graduates also have access to good advancement opportunities and on average are able to earn €136,000, 3 years after graduating. 

Some of the common jobs secured by MiF graduates include – 

  • Asset Management 
  • Equity Research 
  • M&A Private Equity
  • Sales 
  • Strategic Consulting 
  • Structured Finance and 
  • Trading.

Some of the key recruiters for MiF graduates are –  

  • Barclays 
  • Deloitte
  • KPMG
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Blackrock
  • EY (Ernst & Young)
  • Rothschild & co
  • UBS
  • Societe Generale
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch 
  • Deutsche Bank 
  • JP Morgan 
  • Morgan Stanley

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Masters in Finance in France – FAQs

Q. Is pursuing an MiF better than pursuing a CFA?

While the field of work for both the courses is the same, a Master’s in Finance is not the same as a CFA. The CFA certification (level 3) is a good addition to the resume but does not necessarily ensure a holistic understanding of the financial markets, and as such does not necessarily increase employability. On the other hand, graduates with a Master’s in Finance have a high employability rate and good career mobility. 

Q. What are the benefits of a Master’s in Finance from France?

A Master’s in Finance ensures that students have an in-depth understanding of the financial markets. The course structure of the program ensures employability of graduates and helps them gain jobs in the highly competitive financial districts across the world. The cost of living in France for finance students is also less when compared to the big cities in the UK and USA. 

Reasons to Study in France

Q. Is an MBA and a Master’s in Finance the same ?

No, an MBA and a Master’s in Finance are not the same thing. MBA students are required to have work experience ensuring that they understand the overall managerial requirements of business. A Master’s in Finance program, on the other hand, depends more on a theoretical understanding of the financial sector and prepares students for jobs in the financial districts. 

Q. Which country is best for Master’s in Finance?

Amongst the financial hubs across the world, France is home to some of the most highly ranked and reputed institutes that offer a Master’s in Management. These are HEC Paris, ESCP Europe, 

EMLyon, EDHEC Europe and SKEMA Business School to name a few. 

Q. What is the duration of a Master’s in Finance?

A Master’s in Finance typically requires 12-18 months. These include internships and thesis writing (if required by the institute).

Q. Is a thesis necessary for a Master’s in Finance Degree?

Along with the regular course work, students may have to write a research paper or a thesis. These requirements for the completion of a Master’s degree in Finance may vary from institute to institute. 

Q. How much money can you make after a Master’s in Finance?

The average starting salaries of graduates with a Master’s in Finance, according to HEC Paris, hovers around €63,000, and after 3 years in the industry they can make upto €136,000. 

Q. What are some of the entry level jobs after a Master’s in Finance?

Some of the entry level jobs open to graduates with a Master’s in Finance include 

Asset Management, Equity Research, M&A Private Equity, Sales, Strategic Consulting, Structured Finance and Trading.Study Abroad

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