How to Become a CEO

How to Become a CEO
How to Become a CEO

What does it take to become a CEO? According to recent studies, a college degree is not always necessary. Many CEOs today are self-taught and have never even attended college. So what exactly does it take to reach the top of your profession?.

To become a CEO, there are a few things that you need to do. First and foremost, you need to drive and determine to make it to the top. You also need to have the skills necessary and education for the job. Finally, it would help if you networked with the right people.


How to Become a CEO


CEO Job Description

A CEO’s job entails a diverse set of responsibilities, all of which contribute to an organization’s success. These individuals supply a company’s direction with a vision and then design and oversee activities in line with that goal. Some individuals may work in specialized departments inside the corporation, such as human resources or finance. To become a CEO, you must go through a series of steps. CEOs’ responsibilities may include:

  • Hiring other managers
  • Implementing new policy
  • Managing budgets
  • Overseeing other top executives
  • Setting goals

The chief executive officer can be thought of as the business’s director. Along with other executives, the CEO guides an organization toward its goals. As a result, this job requires a lot of responsibility. All of the other employees in the company report to the CEO, either indirectly or directly.


CEO Qualifications & Employment Info

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Business administration
Experience Required 5 or more years of work experience
Annual Mean Salary (2019)* $193,850 for all chief executives
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)* -4% for all chief executives


How to Become a CEO of a Company

Chief executive officers, or CEOs, lead and oversee their organization.CEO requirements include formal training and work experience and essential skills like time management, communication, problem-solving, and leadership. The steps describing how to become a CEO are outlined below.


1. Meet CEO Education Requirements

If you’re wondering what degree you need to meet, education for prospective CEOs typically entails earning at least a bachelor’s degree. Usually, this degree is in a field related to business and leadership, such as business administration, management, or public administration. Bachelor’s degrees in business management usually take four years to complete, but some accelerated programs are available.

Some CEOs also hold a master’s degree, which is usually in an area of business. Several different master’s degrees in the industry allow students to specialize in accounting or business administration. CEOs or aspiring CEOs may also pursue continuing education through additional courses that discuss such topics as leadership, information technology management, and contract law. In addition, a number of free online continuing education courses in business are available.


2. Get Relevant Work Experience in Preparation for Becoming a CEO

Students who want to know “how long does it take to become a CEO?” should factor in the requisite work experience as well as the time it takes to get a 4-year bachelor’s degree and a 2-year master’s degree. Most CEO positions necessitate at least five years of relevant work experience.

Chief executive officers require a great deal of managerial expertise, which most people earn through working their way up through their company or in positions with other companies. Some companies may provide internal training or development programs that might assist individuals in advancing their careers.


3. Earn a Professional Certification for CEOs

Although it is not usually required, some CEOs need to hold a professional certification in a particular management area, depending on their job duties and their organization’s requirements. Aspiring CEOs might also earn credentials to help them move up through the ranks. Some professional certifications for CEOs could include:

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)


Required Skills for a CEO
In addition to school requirements, professional experience, and credentials, chief executive officers require a set of competencies to be effective. These abilities enable a person to grow a firm while maintaining the trust and support of other employees. CEOs must have the following skills:

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Decision-making

In running an organization, a chief executive may need to analyze budget information logically, work effectively with numerous other employees, and handle various competing pressures. These demands require the CEO to have a mix of capacities instead of only specialized technical knowledge. A prospective executive can develop the necessary skills while working in other roles to gain work experience.


CEO Salary Information

According to the BLS, in 2019 the average annual salary for a chief executive was $193,850. The highest paying industry for CEOs in this year was pipeline transportation of natural gas, where chief executives made an average salary of $268,750. However, management of companies and enterprises employed the most chief executives, with about 16,690 positions in 2019. Professionals in this industry earned an annual salary of $234,690.