Corporate Development Career Path

Discover your corporate development career path.

Corporate development career path

Corporate Development Careers

Corporate development (“corp dev”) is responsible for executing mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and capital raising in-house for a corporation.  Professionals in this job role work alongside investment bankers to identify acquisition targets and negotiate their purchase, as well as prepare to raise equity or debt as required.

Depending on the company, there may also be a component of FP&A or investor relations mixed in, or even interaction with the treasury department. Typically, only larger companies have a corporate development group. This is because the work can be sporadic, and it takes a large business to justify – and afford – having such professionals as permanent staff.


The personality of someone who would thrive in a Corp Dev role at a corporation often has the following character traits:

  • Highly ambitious
  • Outgoing
  • Persuasive
  • Confidence-inspiring
  • Attention to detail
  • Good communicator

Interview prep

Preparing for a corporate development job interview requires a strong knowledge of technical finance and accounting concepts, as well as industry-specific knowledge.  In terms of technical questions, you are likely to be asked questions very similar to interview questions for investment banking. Get help by reviewing our investment banking interview form.

Corporate Development – Entry point

People typically enter corp dev from investment banking.  Entry level jobs are as an analyst, who can then move up to being managers, directors, and VPs.  It can take anywhere from two to five years to move up through each position. Much depends on the type of organization you’re working for.

Corporate Development – Exit strategy

Most people stay in corporate development once there. They can easily switch back to investment banking, as many people do.  Alternatively, if you stay on the corporate side and rise to be the head of corporate development, you may also be a strong candidate for the CFO or CEO position.

Corporate Development Compensation

Analyst: $80,000 to $100,000 (base salary plus bonus)
Manager: $100,000 to $200,000 (base salary plus bonus)
Director/VP: $200,000 to $1,000,000+

Corp Dev Career Prep

Taking financial modeling courses is the quickest way to learn what’s required in corporate development before you get hired.

We recommend beginning with a solid understanding of accounting fundamentals and reading financial statements.  From there you should have a good Excel crash course under your belt, which will teach you the basics, including shortcuts, formulas, and functions.  Beyond that, you can progress to more advanced courses, which teach you valuation and financial modeling.

If you want the best value on a wide range of courses, check out CFI’s Full Access Bundle.

Financial Analyst Certification

Become a certified Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® by completing CFI’s online financial modeling classes and training program!

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