As a CEO, you will work together with a senior management team to create the vision and policies of your organizations. You will be the head of the corporation and will be the sole responsible for creating a direction, setting goal, and making sure they are met. Many CEOs complain that they are married to the job, although for Charles Phillips Infor CEO mistress is probably a better word to describe it.
A CEO position is prestigious, but not anyone can do it. You need to be able to deal with stress, work long hours, travel all over the world, be an excellent communicator, have great leadership skills, be able to work under pressure, and more. Of course, the salary is a great perk in return for all of this. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average CEO salary in May 2015 was $185,850. So how can you become a CEO if you think you’ve got what it takes?
A Bachelor’s Degree
Chief executives are expected to have a high level of education, with a bachelor’s as a minimum. The major that is preferred varies depending on the industry, although public administration, business administration, and liberal arts are always in high demand. If you know what type of industry you want to be a CEO on, then a more specific degree will also be appreciated.
A Master’s Degree
The vast majority of CEOs also have a master’s degree. The most popular of all is the Master of Business Administration (MBA), which focuses specifically on business, management, and administration. It is a very practical degree and quite generalist, which means that it can be applied on any area of business.
- Complete an internship during your studies, particularly your MBA. This will give you on the job experience, as well as helping you build important network contacts that will serve you well in the future.
- Pick a concentration. The MBA is a generalist degree. However, the majority of universities offering it now also offer various specializations. Choosing a specialization can be risky, because it also means you limit your skills more. However, if you know what type of industry you are interested in, you will make yourself far more marketable.
Once you have your bachelor’s and master’s degree, you need to gain experience (remember the internship!). Nobody takes up a CEO position without having worked first. In fact, most CEOs grow to that position within a company. Take Ursula Burns, Xerox CEO, who started as summer intern 35 years ago and is now CEO of the company.
There are a number of certifications that you can choose to complete to further demonstrate your commitment to your job. The Certified Manager from the Institute of Certified Professional Managers is in particularly high demand. While you will have to pay for this yourself, it makes career sense to do it, as you are more likely to find a job.