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Although education and training requirements vary widely by position and industry, many top executives have at least a bachelor’s degree and a considerable amount of work experience.Education
Many top executives have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration or in an area related to their field of work. Top executives in the public sector often have a degree in business administration, public administration, law, or the liberal arts. Top executives of large corporations often have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).
College presidents and school superintendents are typically required to have a master’s degree, although a doctorate is often preferred.
Although many mayors, governors, or other public sector executives have at least a bachelor’s degree, these positions typically do not have any specific education requirements.Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Many top executives advance within their own firm, moving up from lower level managerial or supervisory positions. However, other companies may prefer to hire qualified candidates from outside their organization. Top executives who are promoted from lower level positions may be able to substitute experience for education to move up in the company. For example, in industries such as retail trade or transportation, workers without a college degree may work their way up to higher levels within the company to become executives or general managers.
Chief executives typically need extensive managerial experience. Executives are also expected to have experience in the organization’s area of specialty. Most general and operations managers hired from outside an organization need lower level supervisory or management experience in a related field.
Some general managers advance to higher level managerial or executive positions. Company training programs, executive development programs, and certification can often benefit managers or executives hoping to advance.Important Qualities
Communication skills. Top executives must be able to communicate clearly and persuasively. They must effectively discuss issues and negotiate with others, direct subordinates, and explain their policies and decisions to those within and outside the organization.
Decisionmaking skills. Top executives need decisionmaking skills when setting policies and managing an organization. They must assess different options and choose the best course of action, often daily.
Leadership skills. Top executives must be able to lead an organization successfully by coordinating policies, people, and resources.
Management skills. Top executives must shape and direct the operations of an organization. For example, they must manage business plans, employees, and budgets.
Problem-solving skills. Top executives need to identify and resolve issues within an organization. They must be able to recognize shortcomings and effectively carry out solutions.
Time-management skills. Top executives do many tasks at the same time, typically under their own direction, to ensure that their work gets done and that they meet their goals.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Director/Manager
Top Careers After Director/Manager
Hispanic or Latino9.7%
Black or African American0.7%
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University of Phoenix22.7%
New York University7.1%
Virginia Commonwealth University4.7%
University of Houston4.7%
Michigan State University3.9%
George Washington University3.5%
University of Pennsylvania3.5%
Pennsylvania State University3.5%
University of Texas at Austin3.5%
University of Washington3.5%
University of Oregon3.5%
Oklahoma State University3.5%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Managing Director, Manager Team||Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.||New York, NY||Mar 31, 2011||$340,000 -
|Partner Creative Director MGR||Microsoft Corporation||Redmond, WA||Aug 25, 2016||$290,000|
|Managing Director (Investment Fund Manager)||Blue Sky Alternative Investments LLC||New York, NY||Jan 06, 2016||$280,000|
|Project Director/Manager||Pacific Process Us Incorporated||Visalia, CA||Oct 01, 2012||$250,000|
|Managing Director (Financial Manager)||Oak Hill Advisors, L.P.||New York, NY||Dec 13, 2013||$250,000|
|Director (Portfolio Manager, Arbitrage)||Sunrise Partners Limited Partnership||Greenwich, CT||May 21, 2010||$200,000|
|Director, FIN MGR PVG||Merrill Lynch||New York, NY||Nov 24, 2016||$175,000|
|Director (Product Marketing Manager Management)||Microsoft Corporation||Redmond, WA||Jul 13, 2010||$162,306|
|Director, Manager Market Risk||Natixis North America LLC||New York, NY||Dec 13, 2013||$160,000|
|Director, Wocs (Credit Analyst Manager)||Microsoft Corporation||Redmond, WA||Sep 24, 2016||$159,982|
|Dir-Bus Dev/Strat Plng (Manager-Product Management/Dev)||Verizon Corporate Resources Group||Ridgefield, NJ||Dec 03, 2016||$159,920|
|Technical Directors/Managers||NHK/Japan Broadcasting Corporation||New York, NY||Jul 19, 2010||$131,602|
|Director, Success Manager||Sundaysky, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 04, 2015||$129,540|
|Product Strategy Director (Marketing Manager)||Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico, LLC F/K/A San||San Juan, PR||Dec 03, 2012||$125,000|
|Dynamics AX Analyst, Manager (Director Financial Systems)||KLX Energy Services, LLC||Houston, TX||Jul 28, 2016||$125,000|
|Product Strategy Director (Marketing Manager)||Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico LLC F/K/A San J||San Juan, PR||Dec 01, 2012||$125,000|
|Product Strategy Director (Marketing Manager)||San Juan Cable, LLC||San Juan, PR||Dec 01, 2012||$125,000|
|Technical Directors/Managers||Electronic Arts Tiburon||Orlando, FL||May 04, 2011||$123,300|
|Project Director-Manager||Sungard Systems International Inc.||New York, NY||Aug 13, 2010||$121,493 -
|Program Director Manager||New Life Brazilian Christian Church||Pompano Beach, FL||Feb 10, 2015||$94,000|
|Manager/Director, Department of Medicine||Cambridge Public Health Commission||Cambridge, MA||Oct 04, 2015||$93,184 -
|Manager Director||Loccioni USA, Inc.||College Park, MD||Dec 14, 2015||$93,000|
|Project Director/Manager||Admiral Tool & Manufacturing Co. of Michigan||Livonia, MI||Sep 19, 2011||$91,395|
|Director (Financial Manager)||FTI, LLC||New York, NY||Apr 01, 2010||$90,251 -
|Director (Financial Manager)||FTI, LLC||New York, NY||Mar 01, 2010||$90,251 -
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