What is Executive Education?

What is Executive Education?

A brief overview of executive education and what it's for

Executive education usually refers to programs and courses targeted at professionals working in managerial and executive roles, or those who aspire to. Most executive programs offered by business schools last between two and six days, but some can take over a year to complete part-time.

Content-wise, executive education focuses on improving the knowledge and skills needed to become an effective leader. Most executive programs - unlike management degrees such as an MBA, MSc, or Master in Management - focus on sharpening specific aspects of an executive's toolkit, such as accounting, finance, strategy, or negotiation. However, some executive programs - like modular general management programs (GMPs) or Executive MBA programs - do provide more broad training for current and future managers and executives.

Sometimes, specialized executive programs are designed for professionals working in certain industries (like healthcare or IT), or those working in or transitioning to specific managerial or executive roles.

Executive programs are usually offered on the campuses of business schools, though they can sometimes take place at other venues like resorts or conference centers. Some providers - particularly those offering global-oriented programs - take advantage of the short format and international partnerships to offer their programs in one or more different locations.

The executive programs listed on this site are "open-enrollment" programs, meaning that anyone is eligible to apply. This is in contrast to "custom" programs typically offered to companies and organizations.

In most cases, executive education does not lead to a formal degree (except for an Executive MBA). Some institutions, however, will offer professional certifications or "certificates of completion."

For a directory of MBA programs available worldwide, please visit our sister site, FIND MBA.