Executive Leadership Training and Certification Program Information

Oct 20, 2019

Top executives can earn an executive leadership certificate, executive development certificate, or Master of Arts in Leadership and Organizational Development. They wear many titles while developing organizational goals and policies.

Essential Information

Executive leadership or development certificate programs are available for working professionals, and flexible scheduling options are common. Some programs are offered in specific fields, like leadership in healthcare.

Master's-level programs best suit professionals who have several years of experience and wish to improve their skills or pursue career advancement. The coursework of such programs may focus on finance, leadership dynamics and organizational change. Programs may include seminars and capstone projects as well as flexible scheduling options. Management professionals who pass qualifying examinations may be granted certification credentials.

Executive leadership program fields include healthcare, pharmaceuticals, real estate and agribusiness. The certificate and master's programs are often reserved for applicants who are already in management positions. Some master's programs require a bachelor's degree and prerequisite coursework. Other requirements include examinations, field work, and capstone projects.

Executive Leadership Certificate

Executive leadership certificate programs offer fundamental leadership training directed to middle managers who want to advance to higher positions. Schools may offer workshop or seminar settings that last from one to several days, in modules with participants who meet one day per week for several months, or class cohorts that last a year or more. Programs may combine on- and off-campus classes with webinars or other venues. Students learn to improve the way they assess corporate performance, solve problems and cope with challenges.

Students learn to envision and project a company's future, implement new policies and influence employees. Strategic planning, leadership theories, management styles and stakeholder communication strategies are covered.

  • Jobs for leaders
  • Leadership vision
  • Managing stress
  • Courageous leadership
  • Global business opportunities
  • Financial perspectives

Executive Development Certificate

Executive development certificate programs are often designed to appeal to high-level managers. They teach advanced strategies for improving performance levels and sometimes offer flexible scheduling to accommodate demanding work schedules. Programs are often highly interactive, including group exercises and case studies along with videos and lectures. Some industry-specific programs are available in fields such as healthcare, pharmaceuticals, real estate and agribusiness.

Programs emphasize strategies for employee motivation and team-building. Specific topics under discussion might include:

  • Executive leadership
  • Finance and accounting
  • Leadership coaching
  • Negotiation
  • Social responsibility and sustainability

Master of Arts in Leadership and Organizational Development

Master's degree programs in leadership and organizational development offer in-depth treatment of management and leadership strategies. Program schedules are often designed to accommodate working professionals, allowing for part-time study over the course of several years. In some programs, students develop leadership plans that formalize a personal philosophy, assess strengths and weaknesses and provide for future development. Some schools offer an accelerated bridge program for those who haven't yet completed a bachelor's degree.

Leadership programs are usually designed for students with substantial on-the-job management experience. Previous coursework in organizational theory, statistics, business or psychology may be recommended or required. Applicants must usually be able to use computer programs to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

Pedagogical elements of executive leadership master's programs may include coaching, mentoring, interpersonal activities and capstone research projects. Course topics might include:

  • Dynamics of leadership
  • Managing and developing talent
  • Healthy work environments
  • Building and leading teams
  • Organizational changes

Popular Career Options

Executive leadership certificate programs may be appropriate for middle managers in a variety of industries who hope to advance to higher positions. Current job titles might include:

  • First-line supervisor
  • Board director
  • Executive manager

Executive development certificate programs are aimed at high-level supervisors in various areas of business. Job titles might include:

  • CEO
  • Vice-president
  • Corporate board chairperson

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual salary for chief executives was $200,140 in May 2018 ( However, salaries vary substantially depending on industry, company size, geographic setting and a number of other factors. The BLS estimated that there would be a 6%, or average, job growth for top executives in the decade 2018-2028.

Continuing Education and Certification

Managers can attend local and national training programs and pass an exam offered by executive training organizations such as the Institute of Certified Professional Managers, which awards the Certified Manager (CM) credential. Conferences and seminars directed at national and international issues have the additional advantage of helping executives expand their networks of useful contacts. Some companies offer training programs that address their organizational policies and operations.

There are numerous options for professionals who would like executive leadership training so that they can learn more about the management roles in a business. Conferences and seminars are available for these individuals who want to continue to learn and expand their network.

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