Corp FP&A Tech Career Path

JohnQ.Public's picture
Rank: Chimp | 5

So as the title mentions, I am hoping to get some advice on the typical career path in corporate finance.

Background: Started as an intern at a very mature F100 tech company in Fall of 2015. Transitioned into a Business Analyst role from Fall 2016 to Early 2018. Using that experience, I was recently able to obtain a role on the Corp FP&A team within the same company.

I am still relatively green in the area of corporate finance, so I was hoping to learn more about the traditional career path. From what I can gather it seems like it would go Analyst -> SFA -> Manager -> Director depending on the company's structure of course. But how do you actually get these promotions? Do you need an MBA to jump from SFA to Manager? or is it all experience based? is there an ideal time to jump companies? For example, make SFA with current company, then look at outside tech firms to get that managerial role?

I have a few other questions, but I will keep those for the comment section. Thanks in advance for any advice!

Comments (3)

Most Helpful
May 25, 2018

Unfortunately I don't think corporate finance has as much of a defined path as banking/consulting/big 4. You do have the titles right, but as far as a timeline goes, that can vary. For example, at a previous company, I started as an analyst out of college and was promoted to SFA after a little over a year. However, went I went to look for other SFA roles, nobody was willing to hire someone as a SFA with only 1 year of experience.

I think that generally it's 1-3 years as an Analyst, followed by 2-5 years SFA, and then 3-5 years as Manager, and then Director level can vary widely. In regards to promotions, do not only what your job entails but go above and beyond, and in time promotions will come.

In regards to the MBA or not, I think that is very company specific. Some companies you will see many MBAs at the top and need it to move up, others value experience more.

I would say not really an idea time to jump ship, but ideally after you've been in a role 6 months+, at any level.

    • 2
May 26, 2018

I work in FP&A for a large tech company, and I don't think MBA matters here until you try and get a VP title. The VPs usually have experience in something besides FP&A as well (like revenue recognition accounting).

Jun 4, 2018