Why Choose a Corporate Finance MBA

Before being able to understand what an MBA in Corporate Finance is and whether or not it is for you, you must first understand the concept of corporate finance itself. Basically, it is described as any decision that could have an effect on the finances of a firm, be that private, public or not for profit. There are five main areas involved in corporate finance, which are the investment decisions, the objective functions, the valuation, the dividend decision and the financing decision. The goal of corporate finance is to maximize the value of a firm.

What We Do

Someone with an MBA in corporate finance will usually work somewhere in the financial sector at the senior level of management. Generally, their exact employment focus will depend on the courses they took during their degree, such as communication, management, business leadership, marketing or organizational behavior. In most cases, graduates take up a position of leadership. In many cases, they take on roles such as hedge fund managers or CFOs. Many also study on towards a doctorate degree, because they have an interest in economic theories, actuaries, financial analysis or economic behavioral modeling.

Why It’s Hot

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics managers with a specialization in any form of finance earn an average of $109,740 per year as of 2012. Additionally, they report a 9% (average) growth in demand. The world of finances has changed tremendously since the recent economic crisis. While certain areas of financial expertise have all but disappeared as a result, other areas have come to the foreground. For instance, a lot of work done by someone with an MBA in Corporate Finance revolves around remaining profitable in difficult economic times and developing company growth on limited budgets.

Work Environment

MBA in corporate finance graduates work in a huge variety of fields. These include insurance companies and banks. They do, in the main, have office-based positions, working closely with senior executives across the board. They play a pivotal roll in developing data that is used by other financial experts.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of financial managers work in company or enterprise management; finance and insurance; manufacturing; professional, technical and scientific services and government. In most cases, their job is full time. Additionally, most work incredibly long hours.

How to Do It

In order to earn an MBA in Corporate Finance, a bachelor’s degree must first be completed. This takes around four years to achieve. Various bachelor majors can be useful for continuation in corporate finance, including business, economics, statistics, law and more. Acceptance to these programs is incredibly competitive and almost all schools will require applicants to take and pass the GMAT exam. Indeed, this will be a deciding factor in acceptance, which is why you should spend a lot of time studying and preparing yourself even before enrolling. Additionally, it is advisable to apply to different universities in order to increase your chances of being accepted somewhere.

A number of fantastic on campus programs in Corporate Finance exist, including this AACSB accredited one offered by NYU Stern. Their Corporate Finance degree looks mainly at the financial issues faced by different firms. These include how capital structures are developed by looking at long and short term debt and equity, how to raise new funds and capital and the governance structure of different firms. Graduates have the skills and knowledge to work with various financial issues and complex choices that firms have to make, as well as knowing how the decisions they make influence valuation, performance and risk.

MBA in Corporate Finance Online

There are also numerous online options to choose from. Indeed, the majority of universities now offer their degrees online, in part because many students are already employed in the financial sector, which helps towards completing their degree as well. Hence, rather than making them stop working, schools allow students to study online, thereby being able to immediately apply their new found knowledge to their work. Some of the best online programs include:

  1. MBA/MS-FinanceUniversity of Michigan-Dearborn College – This degree combines the MBA and the MS, which means that students have broad managerial training, while at the same time ensuring they have the specialized knowledge that is needed in order to be successful in a profession based on finance. These include financial institutions, corporate finance and investment management. Students who want to take part in this degree must have strong analytical and quantitative skills, which is seen as more important than the major they took at the undergraduate level. Graduates hold both an MBA and an MS, and it takes between 57 and 66 credit hours to complete the program.
  2. MBA with Concentration in Finance – University of Dallas, College of Business – This online MBA focuses specifically on corporate finance. This means it looks at various concepts, such as financial forecasting, applying business strategies, asset selection, planning, financing and cash flow management. Additionally, the program looks at mergers and acquisitions, international finance, hedging, dividend policy and more. Finally, students are encouraged to specialize in a sub-field such as accounting or international finance. UTD is featured as one of America’s Best Online MBA rankings schools for 2017.

Pros & Cons

There are pros and cons to completing an MBA in Corporate finance.


  • You will become a recognized expert in your field.
  • You can focus on your personal interests and talents, thereby allowing you to achieve your personal professional goals.
  • You will be eligible to take on highly specialized and senior roles in a huge variety of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, commercial banks and venture capital firms.
  • You will learn to become a true problem solver.
  • The field is incredibly broad, reaching from investments to accounting. This means you have an opportunity to utilize a range of different skills.
  • You will take on a highly strategic role, which means you get to make truly important decisions, holding a lot of responsibility.
  • You can see the positive results of your work when the value of your employer starts to increase.
  • You will be holding a truly prestigious job, commanding respect from your peers.


  • It can be quite expensive to complete an MBA degree in Corporate Finance.
  • Competition is fierce, which means that you do have to truly excel if you are to take on a major position.
  • The work involves long and grueling hours.
  • The chances of burnout are very high.

Financial Aid

Career Paths

The list of jobs that someone with an MBA in Corporate Finance can hold is virtually endless. Some of the more popular jobs include:

  • Internal Financial Analyst, determining and improving the current state of a company’s finances.
  • Senior Financial Analyst, analyzing the financial climate and how this applies to a certain company.
  • Finance Manager, managing the entire finance department of any type of organization.
  • Pension Manager, developing and advising on different pension plans and opportunities.
  • Real Estate Investor, either working with those who want to make investments in real estate, or by making those investments yourself.
  • Manager of Investor Relations, working together with company’s stock and shareholders and investors and making sure their needs are met.
  • Commercial Lending Manager, deciding whether or not to issue commercial loans and ensuring these are paid back on time.
  • Vice President of Commercial Lending, supervising commercial lending managers, dealing with major clients and more.
  • Investment Banking Associate, working in investment banking.
  • Investment Baking Partner or Managing Director, managing associates and others.
  • Senior Financial Consultant, working on a self-employed basis providing consultancy to firms and individuals.

Further Reading

Suggested Websites

Six websites with helpful resources for those working in field relevant to an MBA in Corporate Finance.