Do you need a degree to be a CEO? A great deal of education and experience is necessary to become a successful CEO. To determine the best degree route, first a person has to decide on the industry in which one wants to become a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). A Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) that builds on studies earned during a bachelor’s degree program will open the doors to people interested in a career as a CEO, particularly in large corporations.
Bachelor degrees that typically are prerequisites for an MBA are earned in accounting, business, management, economics and finance. Some engineers and other majors have successfully crossed the threshold to an MBA program but must still complete requirement courses in finance, economics, statics and accounting. Public sector CEOs occasionally have a bachelor’s degree in business administration or public administration or a degree in law with extensive experience in their occupations. In the world of academia the CEOs are often referred to as college presidents and superintendents. Their advanced degrees are usually at the doctorate level and in the field of education administration. These degrees also have finance, statistics and accounting courses within the realm of education applications.
I Have the Education, Now What?
Often a CEO has been promoted within his or her organization to become the top executive. Other CEOs have been recruited from or have sought open positions from different companies. The American Management Association (AMA) is a resource for interested CEO candidates to research available positions and requirements. In one of the AMA’s posted white papers, author Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. lists “25 Ways to Stay Employed.” Most of his ways to stay employed focus on remaining current and up-to-date with new philosophies and technologies. Courses toward an advanced degree will keep you in the loop of new trends and technologies for increased job performance. Professional associations and net-working are must-haves for staying ahead of the curve in our rapidly changing business world.
What Are The Top Executive Duties?
CEOs have other titles depending on the company. Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Executive Vice President (EVP) are only three more titles of the many that are used by businesses for their top executives. Duties of a top executive include:
–Overseeing an organization’s finances and preparing budgets
–Evaluating performance of staff
–Analyzing operations to evaluate performance of a company or its staff in meeting objectives or to determine areas of potential cost reduction, program improvement, or policy change
–Negotiating labor and personnel contracts and contracts with suppliers
–Preparing and reviewing reports
–Appointing and supervising the department heads or managers
A strong education foundation for these and other duties must be attained. Courses in addition to those related to finance must consist of laws and regulations, customer service, communications- including technology tools proficiency, human resources and national security operations.
By starting an education early and building a strong background of experiences that highlight the strengths an individual has to offer an organization, he or she will accomplish the goal to head a company into the future as its CEO.