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Executive Certification Program Overviews

While there is no national certification for all business executives, there are a number of certificate programs designed to help executive-level professionals increase their skills. Learn about three certificates in related fields, and get information about potential careers.

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Essential Information

Executive certificates may be offered in financial planning, non-profit management or public administration, as well as a variety of other specialties. Executive certificate programs in financial planning are designed for practicing financial planners who wish to further their education. Executive certificate programs in non-profit management are designed for individuals who wish to increase their leadership and business skills to better serve a charitable organization. Public administration executive certificate programs provide individuals in the with advanced skills in a wide range of areas, such as labor relations, land use and zoning. Prerequisites for these programs include having an undergraduate degree and related work experience.


Executive Certificate Program in Financial Planning

Some executive certificate programs in financial planning are designed to meet requirements for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. The curriculum covers topics related to financial planning, including insurance, investments, taxes and estate planning. Courses might include:

  • Planning fundamentals
  • Investment analysis
  • Portfolio management
  • Taxation
  • Employee benefits and retirement plans

Executive Certificate Program in Non-Profit Management

In non-profit management certificate programs students learn about current trends and techniques for handling challenges facing non-profit entities. The curriculum covers traditional business topics, such as communication and marketing, along with topics such as:

  • Public policy
  • Human resources and volunteer management
  • Financial management
  • Fundraising and capital campaigns
  • Non-profit governance

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Actuarial Sciences
  • Business and Commerce, General
  • Business Statistics
  • Customer Service Management
  • eCommerce
  • Logistics, Distribution, and Materials Management
  • Management Science
  • Office Management
  • Operations Management
  • Public and Nonprofit Organizational Management
  • Purchases, Acquisitions, and Contracts Management
  • Transportation Management

Executive Certificate Program in Public Administration

A public administration certificate might be an alternative to a full Master of Public Administration degree, or it could precede or follow a master's degree. Students in these programs are taught business skills as well as the theoretical foundations for many principles of business. Topics of study might include:

  • Public administration and government structure
  • Legislative processes
  • Business law and ethics
  • Emergency management
  • Human resource management
  • Budgeting

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Personal financial advisors can expect a much faster-than-average job growth of 30% during the period from 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The aging baby boomer population is increasing the demand for financial planning services. In addition, more individuals are managing their own retirement plans rather than depending on employers, and therefore are requiring more financial planning services. The median salary for personal financial advisors was $89,160 in 2015.

The BLS reports growth in the non-profit sector as a whole. Between 2014 and 2024, job opportunities are expected to grow 10% for social and community service managers. According to the BLS, these managers earned a median salary of $63,530 in 2015.

Public administration covers a wide range of occupations within state and local governments. Those in management level and business positions should see job growth of 6% during the period from 2014-2024, according to the BLS. The mean salary for city managers and chief administrative officers in state and local governments was $96,570 in 2015.

Certification and Continuing Education

Financial planners can apply for CFP certification with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Applicants must meet the education and experience requirements and pass the CFP certification exam. The certification must be renewed every two years. Continuing education credits are required for renewal. Resources and links to local continuing education training are available from groups such as the National Council of Nonprofits (www.councilofnonprofits.org), which is an umbrella network for a large number of regional support organizations.

There are several organizations, such as the American Society for Public Administration (www.aspanet.org) or the International City/County Management Association (www.icma.org), which provide continuing education opportunities for those involved in public administration.

Prospective financial planning executives, nonprofit organization executives and public administrators can enroll in a certificate program in any of these areas after completing an undergraduate degree. Job prospects for careers in these fields are good, and there are certification and continuing education options available.

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