What Is Executive Education? Choices for Career Development

The business world is changing rapidly.  As a result, it is crucial to stay abreast of current trends. Keeping up with the latest business news and publications certainly helps; however, do you ever find yourself worrying that colleagues with extra training might be pulling ahead of you? If so, have no fear--you can do something about it!  All you have to do is open your mind to the idea of executive education.  

The Key to Success: Never Stop Learning

To stay competitive you must never stop learning. What you need is an executive education program. An executive education can fill gaps in your knowledge base in areas such as leadership and strategy and introduce you to important new business developments that might not have existed when you were earning your bachelor's degree.

Pick Your Online Executive Education Program

Online executive education programs are offered by public and private colleges and universities, as well as private companies. The private companies are often hired by businesses to train employees in specific topics directly applicable to their industry. Executive education programs at colleges and universities are geared toward business people at all stages in their careers. People with six to ten years of business experience are most likely to enroll in executive MBA programs, but all businesspeople can benefit from shorter seminars or individual courses targeted at specific areas, such as business strategy and leadership.

Topics of Study in an Executive Education Program: Leadership, Strategy, and Professional Development

The Graduate Management Admission Council reports that the most corporate recruiters are looking for candidates who are conscientious, good with people, and good at managing human capital. Executive education programs can enhance your career development by teaching you these skills. General executive education programs offer professional development in areas including leadership and management strategy, value creation, and global strategy. There are also a growing number of specialty online executive education programs. Popular options include:

  • Marketing
  • Executive Education for Women

These online degree programs can be a good option if you are contemplating a mid-career change. Pursuing an executive education in the area which you would like to move shows employers that you are serious about taking your career in a new direction.

Finding an Executive Education Program

Many executive education programs offer open enrollment, which means that anyone, regardless of their previous training, can enroll. This open enrollment policy can sometimes lead to questions about the quality of a program; however, most open enrollment programs offer excellent instruction. To make sure that your open enrollment program provides high quality training, make sure that it is accredited. In the United States, the major accrediting body is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Several business and news magazines also put out yearly lists of the top business schools. These rankings can be a helpful place to start your research.

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, now is an excellent time to enroll in an executive education program to further your career development. Companies are looking for employees who have completed their executive educations, who can bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to their work.