Everyone wants to be successful, but many times, you have to be willing to make sacrifices in order to take your career to the next level. Case in point: enrolling in an executive education program. Attending an executive education program can demand a significant amount of both time and effort. You’ll likely have to give up family time, outings with your friends, hobbies, and even sleep. It is also going to mean focusing your energy on the program itself.
And let’s not forget the cost of education. Canadian employers are slashing training budgets. Studies by the Conference Board of Canada have found that employers spent an average of $705 per employee on training costs in 2013, down almost 40% from a high of $1,207 back in 1993. While that’s up $17 from 2010, it’s down nearly 40 per cent from a peak of $1,207 in 1993. This has left professionals who seek executive training to foot the bill on their own.
Given these expenditures, it is fair to ask what you will receive in return. Will attendance at a management training program get you that advancement at work or the coveted corner office? Will an executive education program take your career to the next level?
While there is no guarantee that attending an executive education program will earn you that coveted promotion, there are a number of ways that doing so can give you the edge on your competition.
Networking: Meet New People to Further Your Career
Time and time again, experts have agreed that networking is the best way to grow your career. Executive education provides the perfect networking setting. The typical management training environment is filled with upper level managers, many of whom are going through executive education programs because they’re career driven, high-level performers, and achievers. They often come from a variety of backgrounds and different companies (including your own), giving you an excellent chance to meet new people you can learn from and who could help further your career.
Hone Your Business Acumen
Executive education gives you the opportunity to sharpen your business knowledge, making you better at your job and enhancing your value. These programs are designed to help executives learn specific skills and information to improve their management capability. The information you learn in training can help you make smarter business decisions, improve your efficiency, and make you a better-rounded professional. You could also gain valuable leadership skills, such as communication, negotiation, and management.
Develop Actionable Tools
Executive education programs focus helping you develop and implement business tools and strategies that can keep you competitive and relevant in the always shifting marketplace. These programs are often customized to focus on the real world problems the enrolled executives face and the solutions they need to learn rather than theoretical issues like those MBA programs focus on.
The actionable tools you can develop by attending an executive education program could be useful for problem solving, scarce resource allocation, decision making, and so on. Simply put, the courses are designed to help you be a better leader and better manager.
Is Executive Training Worth It?
There’s an old adage that gets thrown around so much it has almost lost its value. “Knowledge is power.” While completing an executive education program may not guarantee you that corner office you’ve always dreamed of having, it will help you develop the skills you need to take the next big step in your career. You’ll learn from true experts in your field, make valuable connections, and enhance your value as a professional.
Written by John Halliston, founder of Career Focus Cafe.