Best Corporate Finance Courses

No matter where you are in your financial career, building on your knowledge and skills is always worth the journey. You may not always know how it creates change, but there’s no doubt that it will – and for the better. 

In fact, studying corporate finance can be useful to your day-to-day routine and even to life in general. For example, you will learn how to create a sound and realistic budget, manage your money, and avoid debt-related problems.

Even if you’ve just begun to carve your path, gaining an in-depth understanding of corporate finance is sure to get you far in your pursuits. And one of the best ways to do that is by investing in the right online corporate finance courses.

Quick Corporate Finance Course Recommendation

If you don’t have time to fully assess all of the options available to you and you want a quick recommendation, your best option is:

The Complete Financial Analyst Course

Over 178,000 students have taken this Financial Analyst course at Udemy, with an average rating of 4.5 stars across 29,000 reviews. If you want to start a career in corporate finance, this is one of the most comprehensive courses you can take.

They also have a 91% discount (yes, that is NOT a typo) for anybody who hasn’t used Udemy before.

Comparison of the Best Corporate Finance Courses

CourseBest FeatureRatingVideosPrice
Complete Financial Analyst (Udemy)Everything you need to become a financial analyst★★★★★17.5 hoursCheck Price →
Finance for the Real World – Corporate Finance 101 (Udemy) Quick and robust★★★★★ 2 hoursCheck Price →
Corporate Finance Essentials  (Coursera) Comprehensive, high-detail★★★★★15 hoursCheck Price →
Finance for Non-Financial Professionals (Coursera)Practical for everyday life★★★★ 4-8 hoursCheck Price →
Finance Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs (Udemy) Focused on entrepreneurs★★★★1 hourCheck Price →
The Complete Advanced Course Of Finance and Accounting (Udemy)Entrepreneur focused★★★★ 8 hoursCheck Price →
Finance Foundations (LinkedIn Learning) Comprehensive and detailed★★★★57 videosCheck Price →
Behavioral Investing (Coursera) Big-picture and insightful approach to finance★★★★ 9 hoursFree →
Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management — Core Finance (Udemy) Math intensive with step-by-step instruction★★★★ 6 hoursCheck Price →
Accounting, Finance and Banking — A Comprehensive Study (Udemy) Comprehensive and self-paced★★★★ 31.5 hoursCheck Price →

What to Look for in a Corporate Finance Course

There have never been this many opportunities for corporate finance learners than today. A whole plethora of options is out there at your disposal, with the world’s most esteemed business schools and gurus behind them.

Of course, with a wider variety of options comes the bigger responsibility of making an intelligent decision. This means devoting time to study every relevant course and course provider with respect to your needs, goals and current level of corporate finance proficiency. 

So what do you need to consider when deciding on a corporate finance course, and what are the most important factors you need to focus on? 

Straightforward Prerequisites

First off, keep in mind that online corporate finance courses cover a wide range of topics and levels. Before registering for one, make sure you have defined your goals clearly enough. Good thing high-quality corporate finance programs have their curricula all laid out in advance, so it will be easy to know what exactly you’re signing up for. 

Note though that these programs are typically designed for certain demographics. For instance, you will find some developed for beginners and others for experienced finance managers. Some are also intended for people in fields that are somehow connected to finance, and for professionals who have practically zero finance experience. 

In any case, make sure you know the program you’re planning to take as well as its admission criteria. For example, if you’re taking a beginner’s course, you probably won’t need anything more than high school math and some Excel experience. If you plan to take up an intermediate or expert course, you’ll likely be expected to have some know-how in finance-related subjects. 

Then again, some advanced courses may not require any level of finance proficiency at all, and yet they can still offer valuable learning. But if you just want to be safe, it’s best to stick to those that come with explicitly stated target demographics. 

Reasonable Pricing 

There are self-paced finance courses offered at no cost to the student. While such free programs won’t lead to any certification, what you learn from them can also be important and helpful. Of course, you can gain proficiency in finance through these giveaway courses and the help of some trusted finance books. 

If you’re thinking of courses that come with an entrance fee, keep in mind that this is exactly how some scams look like. At the same time, free courses can be perfectly legit too, so do your research and avoid offers that seem too enticing, especially if they provide a bare minimum of course details. Generally speaking, advanced level courses are more expensive than basic programs and for perfectly understandable reasons.

Additionally, you’ll have to check the amount of material that comes with the course, although sometimes, a quicker and pricier program will prove to be better, especially if it is aligned to your needs and current skill level.

Highly Esteemed Lecturers/Instructors

It’s fair to say that what you learn from a corporate finance course is only good as what your teacher knows. In short, before deciding to sign up for a certain program and provider, know who prepared their course material. 

After all, the Internet is such a jungle these days. Anyone with a bit of corporate finance knowledge and experience can claim to have so much more. You will, of course, want to learn only from the best and those who have the wares to prove it. 

A course taught by an award-winning university professor is clearly of greater quality than one helmed by a finance blogger whose only connection to finance is writing about it. Nonetheless, there are many writers, journalists and coaches who have a solid educational and experiential background in corporate finance as well. And for whatever it’s worth, avoid courses offered by “experts” having no published works. 

Top Online Corporate Finance Courses 

Considering the three criteria we have listed earlier, here are the most relevant and competitive corporate finance courses today, catering across proficiency levels, from beginner to intermediate to advanced. 

Beginner 

Finance for the Real World — Corporate Finance 101 (Udemy)

ProsCons
Wide scope of subjects for real-world, day-to-day finance
Quick and relevant discussion per topic
Full lifetime access
Access on mobile and TV
Certificate of completion
No prerequisites/advanced preparation needed
Topics not discussed in-depth because of limited time

Without a doubt, this is the perfect starting point for anyone whose main goal for studying corporate finance is to increase their financial literacy. The video course is two hours long and teaches the most important concepts and mechanics of finance, such as the time value of money, interest rates and their components, and the essentials of modern portfolio theory and efficient market hypothesis.

Moreover, you will learn how to calculate vital values such as net present value, internal rate of return, the payback period for capital budgeting, and the future and present value of cash flows.

Instructor: Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Financial Analyst and BrainyMoney author, Son Han

Finance Foundations (LinkedIn Learning)  

ProsCons
High-detail discussions
Use of actual companies’ data
Addresses common questions/correct common misconceptions
Lifetime access
30-day money-back guarantee
Certificate of completion
No prerequisites/advanced preparation needed
Lengthy course (57 videos)

This course consists of several videos that educate you on the fundamentals of finance, including topics like risk and return, capital budgeting, financial statements and investing, among many others. The course is also known for explaining common points of confusion that tend to be taken for granted but are nonetheless central to finance – for example, the difference between traditional and investment banks, or the uniqueness of short-term financial management with respect to long-term financing. 

Another interesting thing about this course is its incredible scope, taking you from the financial reports of some of the world’s biggest companies like Facebook and Toys “R” Us, to data that helps you determine your readiness for a mortgage. 

Instructor: Brigham Young University Professors Jim and Kay Stice 

Finance for Non-Financial Professionals (Coursera)

ProsCons
Very practical approach to finance
Provides insights that help improve quality of life  (through wise financial decisions)
100% online
Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines
No prerequisites/advanced preparation needed
Lacks technical depth

This course offers a basic picture of finance to help propel your company’s growth. You will also learn general financial knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of how your financial decisions affect your life. 

The program also includes corporate finance subjects that look at finance from a non-financial viewpoint, making them useful for day-to-day life, especially in terms of budgeting. From a more technical perspective, the course will teach you how to study financial statements using different financial ratios, with lessons on the key requirements for increased profitability. 

Instructor: University of California Professor David Standen, MBA

Intermediate Level 

Corporate Finance Essentials  (Coursera)

ProsCons
In-depth and practical approach 
Finance skill-driven
Flexible deadlines
Financial aid available
No prerequisites/advanced preparation required but ineffective for those without a finance background  

The course welcomes anyone with an interest, but you will learn more from it if you have a certain level of prior finance education or experience. More than anything, it teaches key financial concepts affecting investors, companies and their inter-dynamics in the capital markets. 

Such concepts as risk and return, correlation and diversification, the Capital Asset Pricing Model, and the cost of capital will be discussed, along with the basics of project evaluations and the creation of corporate value. After completing the 15-hour course, you should be able to speak and understand the vocabulary of the financial press and communities.

Course Developer: IESE Business School Financial Management Professor Javier Estrada

The Complete Advanced Course Of Finance and Accounting (Udemy)

ProsCons
Lifetime access to lectures, assignments, quizzes and downloads
Ask questions, get thorough answer for each!
30-day 100% money back guarantee 
No prerequisites/advanced preparation needed
Focused on entrepreneurs (may leave out others)

Whether you’re trying to take control of your company’s reports or engaged in the property leasing business, and especially if you’re an entrepreneur preparing your startup for a liftoff, this course can help you reach your goals. The program will teach you or reinforce your knowledge on all things finance and accounting, with topics like Accounting for Options and Warrants, Deferred Revenue, Financial Reporting As a Startup, Intercompany Transactions, and more. 

While the program is focused on entrepreneurs, admission is open to all. Of course, some idea of finance and accounting would certainly help in getting the most out of the program. 

Instructor: Chris Benjamin, MBA & CFO

Finance Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs (Udemy)

ProsCons
Comprehensive
Results-oriented
5 downloadable resources
Full lifetime access
Access on mobile and TV
Certificate of completion
No prerequisites/advanced preparation needed
Focused on entrepreneurs (may leave out others)
Lengthy program (30 days)

Here’s another entrepreneur-centric course but one that is more comprehensive and suited for everyone, with or without any background in finance. The only requirement is you know how to use the computer and perform some basic functions. 

Most of the lessons concentrate on sourcing funds to help jumpstart a business. Crowdsourcing is one of the most exhaustive subjects discussed, but you will be taught how to develop your own financial model that is particularly structured for your company’s needs. 

The program runs for 30 days and comes with an action-packed schedule that helps you get financing fast, plus a downloadable financial cap model and cap table. When the course is over, you will have developed a rock-solid business financial plan that includes all the tools, concepts and strategies you need, such as a financial model with metrics, funding strategy, list of capital sources, and a plan of action, all custom-designed for your company. 

Instructor: Lili Balfour, Finance Journalist, Author and UC Berkeley Guest Lecturer

Advanced 

Behavioral Investing (Coursera)

ProsCons
Flexible deadlines
Financial aid available
Certificate of completion
No prerequisites/advance preparation needed
Must finish entire five-class course to get certificate of completion

Planning to get a head start on investing? If you consider yourself financially literate and have consumed some good stock market literature, look into this class before actually investing in stocks or other assets. 

In particular, this covers common errors in investment and the prejudices and misconceptions that usually lead to them, such as confirmation bias, sample size neglect, cognitive dissonance, and so on. Indeed, when you know what’’s wrong with your investment strategies based on other people’’s experiences, you will make better financial decisions. 

Whether you’ re already sure about investing or still having second thoughts, this program will help you understand the business and finance picture you’re dealing with. The course is one of a package of courses known as Financial Markets and Investment Strategy Specialization, and though there are no prerequisites, you will not be awarded a certificate unless you finish the entire five-class course. 

Instructor: Vaidya Nathan, Faculty Director-PGP Finance & ISB Alumni Endowment Research Fellow

Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management — Core Finance (Udemy)

Pros Cons
Step by step instructions with math problems
Uses real-world data for calculations
Full lifetime access
Access on mobile and TV
Certificate of completion
No prerequisites/advance preparation needed
Math-intensive

If you’re confident about your finance speak, except you need to work more on your financial analytical skills, this could be the course that can help you. Although a bit of knowledge in financial analysis would be useful, you can still complete the score having achieved your goals, as long as you can at least operate a computer. 

The program will teach you all the essential concepts of risk calculation, and you will be given the chance to learn hands-on. That means working with Excel or Google Sheets and solving a variety of practice problems related to stocks. Plus, you will be dealing with real-world data, which only makes the course more interesting. 

Not to mention this class is designed for step-by-step instruction, helping you find your way in a sea of figures. Once you complete the course, you will have gained some level of expertise and be able to use it to optimize your actual portfolio.

Instructor: Vaidya Nathan, Faculty Director-PGP Finance & ISB Alumni Endowment Research Fellow. 

Accounting, Finance and Banking — A Comprehensive Study (Udemy)

ProsCons
Comprehensive
Designed for self-paced learning
Full lifetime access
Access on mobile and TV
Certificate of completion
No prerequisites/advance preparation needed
Lengthy course (31.5 hours of video)

This program is one of the most comprehensive and thorough finance courses available today, with more than 31 hours of video and piles of printouts. It’’s something accountants as well as those with a background in finance will benefit from. 

Even if you have no experience in corporate finance, accounting or banking, this course ties everything together so you have a clear understanding of these three fields, individually and in relation to one another. 

Subjects discussed include cash flow analysis, capital budgeting investments, bank classification, international finance and the like. The final all-encompassing goal is, of course, to increase your knowledge in corporate finance. 

Instructor: Raja Natarajan, B.Com., PGDBA, FCA

Finance Course Buyer’s Guide

Why Invest in Finance Courses? 

Finance experts are some of the most sought after professionals today, with demand consistently on an uptrend and even predicted to keep rising over the next 6 years. That’s according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, which predicts an increase in employment opportunities by 11% for financial analysts and 10% for accountants over the said period. Sectors expected to expand rapidly under such fields include technical consulting services, tax preparation, general financial investment activities, and more.

Keep in mind that many of the positions predicted to experience the highest growth are those where solid finance credentials are a must. Conversely, roles that require less specialized knowledge, such as data entry and switchboard services, are seeing far less demand. 

Investment banks, insurance companies, accountancy firms, high-street banks – these are only a few of the places where those with an impressive finance background end up working and grabbing very lucrative opportunities. 

In fact, you may have observed how such firms often invest so much in comprehensive recruitment campaigns just to get a hold of the country’s most qualified finance professionals.

Yet even as such opportunities are varied and plenty, getting inside the corporate finance sphere is still extremely competitive. But that’s exactly what a competitive resume is made for anyway- a resume that shines with the candidate’s brightest conquests in the world of financial education and, of course, experience.

Financial Prospects in Finance

Money may not grow on trees, but it sure is one of the strongest motivators for those who aspire to build a career in finance. Year after year, more and more people walk the path to this industry, guided by the star of fat paychecks and possibly even fame. This naturally hangs the question: how much do finance professionals really make? 

Obviously, there is no single, straightforward answer to this question, considering how wildly the pay scale can vary across industries, career levels, economic status and so on. Nonetheless, some general and verifiable information is out there to give you a fair idea of what a good answer to that question might be. 

It’s also good to remember that as your career climbs higher and higher through time, your numbers become decreasingly predictable too. Take, for example, someone working for Morgan Stanley and raking in a $600,000 salary plus a $10 million year-end performance bonus, as opposed to another person holding a similar position at a smaller local investment bank, where he receives a $400,000 salary and a year-end performance bonus of $.5 million.

What’s fascinating about this picture is that these two finance professionals could exchanges places anytime. 

Pointers for Success When Studying Corporate Finance

Opportunities abound for those looking to build a solid foundation in finance through education. But while each program may differ significantly from the rest, success ultimately boils down to the student. 

If you’re keen on bolstering your knowledge in corporate finance, there is more you need to do than Googling tips and tricks for success. You have to do some serious research, initially focusing on schools and course providers that are currently targeted by the biggest and most powerful finance employers for their workforce. Like it or not, this will play a big role as far as your future career opportunities and peer group quality are concerned. 

After creating a shortlist of the top finance schools and course providers, you can continue your research, this time directing your attention to students’ feedback. This part isn’t meant to point out the best on your list though, but rather which one is likely to be the best fit for you. 

After creating a shortlist of the top finance schools and course providers, you can continue your research, this time on feedback from students. This part isn’t meant to point out the best on the list though, but rather which one is likely to be the best fit for you. 

After all, courses can vary widely, especially when it comes to curriculum and peer-to-peer interaction. But do pay attention to comments about the alumni network, how closely knit the members are, and how much support they receive from another while the courses are ongoing, as well as after – that is, as each one pursues their goals in the real world. 

Of course, there is no doubt that strong technical knowledge is crucial to success in the world of finance. But it is just as important to balance these technical skills with good judgment and sound, conscientious decision-making as the industry keeps evolving alongside global finance dynamics. 

Moreover, as a finance student or future student, you need to constantly brush up on the ever-evolving regulatory environment where finance moves. That’s on top of maintaining a strong connection to business for the entire duration of your coursework. 

Go with a school or course provider that gives you regular opportunities to talk about current issues that impact the finance industry, and at the same time allows you to apply the knowledge you learn through real-world business projects under the instructor’s oversight. 

The idea is to give you all the opportunities you need to hone your leadership and team-building skills, build agility as a finance professional amid the rapidly changing field of finance, and maintain a long, rewarding career in the sector.

Conclusion

It’s a fact – some people sign up for courses without really knowing what they want. This approach may not be so bad if you end up making the right decisions, but you need to know that corporate finance courses are most helpful to those who have well-defined goals. 

To be a successful finance professional, you will need more than online course certificates, but these classes are definitely the perfect springboard or starting point as you make your way into the field of finance. 

Good thing business schools now put in so much effort to demonstrate the value behind their programs, promising a good return on investment and great chances of clinching a lucrative corporate finance position. That also means resourceful students will have access to plenty of information that can help them decide what course to study and where. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re still mapping your way up from an entry-level position, thinking of switching sectors or priming your career for a takeoff. Pick the right finance courses and keep building on your resume until you truly and memorably stand out.