Career Spotlight: Corporate Finance

Corporate finance covers a wide range of financial roles and many different responsibilities within these roles, but the ultimate goal of corporate finance is to maximize shareholder value. The responsibilities and skills required in corporate finance are similar to those of many other financial roles. What sets corporate finance apart is that it handles the financial management of a company both regarding the day-to-day and the long term. In contrast, many other roles in finance handle only one short-term aspect of a company’s finances or only longer-term financial management.

Corporate Finance Roles

Corporations typically have a finance department, and most corporate finance roles are positions within this department. The finance department of a corporation is in charge of the oversight of all financial activities and decisions of the company. Specifically, the finance department handles investment decisions, financing, and capital structuring. Essentially, those in the finance department are the money managers of the corporation.

Corporate Finance Responsibilities

Those in corporate finance are responsible for overseeing the finances of a company, which includes viewing the finances of the company both holistically and in respect to specific short-term situations. The corporate finance department also handles the management of the current assets, current liabilities, and inventory of a company. An example of a decision that the corporate finance department would be involved in, is whether or not the company should pay out dividends to shareholders. One of the highest stakes aspects of corporate finance is making capital investments. If an investment is majorly over or underfunded the entire financial position of the company could be jeopardized.

Career Path

There are many potential career paths within corporate finance, but the path will often vary by firm. The one role that all companies have in common is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), which is the highest role in corporate finance. the CFO is the head of the finance department. Not surprisingly then, the CFO position is typically the most lucrative corporate finance position within a company.


Since there are many different roles and levels of positions within corporate finance, there’s a broad range of possible salaries. An entry-level analyst will almost certainly make considerably less than a CFO. That being said, according to Glassdoor, the average annual base salary for a position in corporate finance is $72,219 with an additional $6986 in additional compensation. The total average annual compensation is, therefore, $79,205. Though other financial careers may have higher average salaries, a career in corporate finance can still be quite lucrative.

Landing a Job in Corporate Finance

A job in corporate finance typically requires an undergraduate degree in business, finance, economics, or a related field. A MBA is not normally required for entry-level corporate finance positions but may be helpful. Moving up the ladder in a corporate finance career also requires experience and soft skills such as problem solving and teamwork.

Corporate finance can provide a challenging and financially rewarding career path. Those with the right mix of interests, educational background, and soft skills may find that corporate finance is a satisfying career choice.

Related Courses: Corporate Finance & Valuation Methods Professional Certificate

Understand how the key principles of project analysis, budgeting, and valuation decides a firm’s optimal capital structure.

About The New York Institute of Finance

 The New York Institute of Finance (NYIF) is a global leader in professional training for financial services and related industries. NYIF courses cover everything from investment banking, asset pricing, insurance and market structure to financial modeling, treasury operations, and accounting. The New York Institute of Finance has a faculty of industry leaders and offers a range of program delivery options, including self-study, online courses, and in-person classes. Founded by the New York Stock Exchange in 1922, NYIF has trained over 250,000 professionals online and in-class, in over 120 countries.

See all of NYIF’s training and qualifications here.