What does an Executive do?

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An executive directs, plans, and coordinates operational activities for their organization or company and are normally responsible for devising policies and strategies to meet company goals. Executives often travel to attend meetings and conferences and visit regional, local, national, or international offices.

Watch a video that explains what an executive does:

How to Become an Executive

Many executives have at least a bachelor’s degree in business management or a related field along with five or more years experience. However, depending on the industry and position, education and training requirements vary widely. Executives in large corporations often hold a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). In the case of a college president or school superintendent a master’s degree is required but a doctorate degree is preferred.

Job Description of an Executive

An executive finds ways to cut costs and improve policies, programs, and performance. They analyze sales reports, financial statements, and oversee the general activities that make up the mission of the company. Executives are responsible for the company’s budgetary and financial activities and would be involved with approving and/or negotiating contracts or agreements. They hire other managers or heads of departments.

Many of their duties also depend on the size of the company that he or she leads. For instance, a large organization would expect their executive to focus more on strategic planning and formulating policies, while a smaller company’s executive could be focused on hiring, training, purchasing, and other supervisory responsibilities. This occupation has strong competition for employment because of the high wage and prestige associated with it.

CEO Career Video Transcript

To oversee the daily operations of an organization, chief executives do a little bit of everything. From making critical financial decisions, to appointing new managers, to planning and implementing organizational policies, chief executives have a broad range of responsibilities.

Chief executives spend a lot of their time developing and building the teams that conduct the work of the organization. They represent their organization at conferences, and on visits to national or international branches of their group. Chief executives use a variety of technology to stay connected with people and projects across the span of their organization. They rely on sophisticated software to help them keep tabs on operations, research legal matters, and prepare financial reports. They often work long hours, including evenings and weekends. Many work more than 40 hours per week.

Chief executives usually have a bachelor’s or master’s degree, often in business, public administration, law, or the liberal arts. Many obtain their position only after years of managerial experience and promotions within the company. Chief executives work in nearly every industry, and any size of organization, from one-person companies, to small non-profits, to firms with thousands of employees. While the scale of a chief executive’s work may seem daunting, their opportunities to forge a strong, united organization of happy workers are endless.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Top Executives.

National Center for O*NET Development. 11-1011.00. O*NET OnLine.

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