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The recent rash of financial scandals has not dented enthusiasm for entering the world of finance. FT data show there is still no shortage of applicants for masters in finance degrees.

Yet despite the obvious attraction of increasing their earning potential, graduates from the MiF class of 2012 claim that salary bumps are less important than learning about finance, advancing their career and gaining a general education.

The majority are still relatively young, the data reveal. Students were, on average, 24 years old when they started their programme. Eighty-four per cent had none or less than two years of professional experience.

Three years after graduation, virtually all students have achieved their goals in terms of financial and general education, but about 10 per cent have yet to achieve that hoped for salary improvement or promotion.

Most graduates — 88 per cent — currently work in finance or banking. Consultancy and asset management as well as investment banking and mergers and acquisitions combined are the top three sectors, each employing about 10 per cent of all graduates. Private equity and venture capital offer the best remuneration at $89,000 on average. Those working in credit reported the lowest salaries at $49,000.

Out of those who do not work in finance or banking, approximately 30 per cent work as consultants and have an average salary of about $79,000 three years after graduation.

Although 17 British business schools feature in the ranking of the top 50 MiF programmes, only 3 per cent of respondents are from the UK. The largest numbers are from China (15 per cent), France (11 per cent) and Germany (7 per cent). However, three years after graduation, nearly two out of five (19 per cent) finance graduates work in the UK.

The salary of those working in the UK is above average at $75,000. However, those principally motivated by potential earnings should consider the United Arab Emirates ($105,000), Hong Kong ($95,000) or the US ($93,000).

Globally, the average salary of female graduates is significantly lower than their male counterparts — $57,000 compared with $72,000. Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland are among the few countries in which remuneration is almost balanced between genders.

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