The typical education of a chief executive officer is usually a specialized graduate degree related to leadership, management or business administration. Some CEOs may have a graduate degree in their respective career fields, such as marketing, engineering or human resources. Regardless of the degree title, CEOs will have a degree that helps them to stay ahead through innovation, awareness and sustainability. They will understand the value chain of a business and the key departments like operations, accounting and information systems. A CEO’s education will provide them with applied skills and leadership talents that help them succeed every day.
An MBA is the most common education for a CEO. The popular trend for CEOs is to earn a specialized MBA in fields like finance, real estate, social innovation, business analytics and supply chain management. A general Executive MBA will include specific classes to help CEOs succeed in their careers.
For example, a class on pioneering innovation will provide students with an understanding innovation processes and their relationships to managing organizations. Students will likely learn how to foster the creative process in dynamic business environments. On the other hand, an economic sustainability class will cover managerial economics, value creation and microeconomics. Students may learn how CEO-level decision-making can create and destroy value. A class on leadership development will cover the core CEO competencies like communication, interpersonal, problem solving and systems thinking skills.
A strategic leadership MBA will teach students how to survive and thrive in cutthroat markets and economies. Students will learn how to analyze competitive landscapes, cultivate staff capabilities, conduct planning sessions and implement effective business models. Students will learn that the key contributors to a successful strategy include analytical skills and big data tools that assess environments, reveal trends, transform information and implement strategies. Strategic leadership teaches CEOs how to contribute to and maintain a sustained competitive advantage. CEOs with this type of education may specialize in corporate takeovers, mergers, acquisitions and reformations. These CEOs will likely learn about integrated strategy, such focuses on how to harmonize internal, domestic and international factors. Many of these classes are through detailed case analysis and advanced analytical frameworks, which help students to develop the skills and judgment needed to provide sound advice.
A master’s in global management is designed for students who plan on going abroad to work as leaders or staying at home to manage international organizations. These degrees teach students about managerial analytics, which teaches the research and big data skills needed to interpret and gain insight from unfamiliar sources. Classes on communication and decision making will cover how cultural values impact business related decisions and processes. Students will be introduced to effective communication strategies for diverse groups and different backgrounds. A master’s in global management will likely include a degree in organizational management, which explores behavior, leadership and human talent factors that contribute to success. Leadership topics will cover the maintenance of relationships, social responsibility topics will cover environmental stewardship and corporate structuring topics will cover how to build interdepartmental effectiveness.
CEOs may also have a broad educational background that includes academic topics like business psychology, change management, thought leadership, project management, global negotiations and business intelligence. Readers can explore the duties, work environment and education expectations for a chief executive officer here.