Executive Short Courses – the New  Approach to Executive Development

Executive Short Courses – the New Approach to Executive Development

Michael Sayer wasn’t  motivated by certificates gained with a recent Executive development programme but had his eye on a move up the career ladder when he completed his executive short course at the graduate school in his city. At the time, he was more concerned with moving forward in his job as head of data technology at a large international consulting company. He trusted that mentioning the certificate he had received to colleagues not only boosted his confidence but enhanced his chances of a promotion within the business . “I went on the Leadership programme, not for the certificate but to further my skills within the consulting sector,” he says. 

However, his attitude has changed since he took the course. He now sees the executive development programme as a stepping stone to furthering his career.  If it had not been for this course i might never have been earmarked for the promotion I received. “It has provided me with an accreditation, a charter mark, that potential employers can see on my CV as a qualification they will value and trust,” he says. “More importantly, it’s led to significant career development, which otherwise i might not have expected or been ready to do.” It appears Sayer isn’t alone in seeing the value to certificated qualifications. 

Executive development programmes and particularly executive short courses are often purchased by large employers, but increasingly the pieces of paper students receive are given special status. Certification for executive education is on the increase . 

Executive short courses are already provided on many of the major education programmes and business schools. These qualifications are often found proudly framed on their students’ office walls. 

Many business schools have created additional levels of study which will earn those prepared to do extra work a more exclusive piece of paper in their Executive development programmes.  It’s right that postgraduate certificates require intensive work and commitment. This type of award isn’t just attractive to the executive learners, but  for the institutions it can have real benefits.

There was a strategic decision by GEBS that we wanted to be a pacesetter and our executive short courses was a part of that. It delivers a  positive impact on  both the business school and our market if we are doing short course programmes well. 

The short course option appeals to many markets. From executives hoping to further their career to the next level to entrepreneurs and directors. It can be of enormous benefit for board members who complete the course for instance as it provides an up to date overview of what is happening in leading organisations both locally and internationally.. For those that get this certificate it makes them more desirable as a board executive. 

Some business schools have created certificates of continued professional development (CPD) to recognise students who complete four or more of its executive development courses. The certificate has provided me with an accreditation that employers can see on my CV as a qualification says a recent graduate. Several hundred people have now gained this accreditation and business schools like GEBS has created an area on its website to feature them, forming a connection to the business school for executive education students. 

We are increasingly seeing that people do put it on their résumé and they might link it their LinkedIn accounts. This provides an additional value to the executives who take these courses. It shows they have recognised the need to invest in their education. 

Joy has been within the executive development team for several years and says she has seen interest increase in earning certificates that show a deeper level of education for a particular subject. “People take personal development very seriously,” she says. “Many of these who get the CPD have already got quite advanced degrees but want to point out commitment to their ongoing education.” 

The interest in personal development is especially evident in emerging markets, consistent with Wharton’s enrolment figures. In the US,  90 per cent of the participants who do the CPD at graduate schools are sponsored by their employer. In some countries, however, where the graduate school offers a certificate called the accelerated development programme, a third of participants pay their own fees with no contribution from their employer.

Many senior leaders are also encouraged by the intensity and rigour of the executive short courses on offer. It ensures not only a high level of knowledge transfer but delivers emerging leaders with drive. The UK has strict regulation to preserve its educational brand, so GEBS has had extensive reviews so as to award executive short courses in partnership with UK Universalities.  

The people that enrol on executive development programmes, are typically about 200 a year, are going to be in their late 30s or early 40s and have completed an MBA and a few executive education courses and need a touch more. So GEBS provides learners with both team based and individually focussed executive coaching to further enhance their learning. Through this, the short courses delivered by GEBS ads an additional edge to level of learning. This in turn enhances the effectiveness of learners once they get back to their organisations.

According to the leadership team at GEBS, modern students are very ambitious people, often investing in themselves, instead of having the course fees paid by their company. This individuality is reflected within the finding that a fifth of individuals attending the certificated programmes found their own business, often in partnership with fellow students, after completing the diplomas. 

Many students also are looking to enhance their standing to urge a board-level position during a larger company.. Having a bit of paper from the graduate school attached to an establishment like the GEBS can presumably go how to helping with this ambition.

Why is the demand for executive Short Courses growing so fast?

Demand for short courses is growing twice as fast as that for degree courses says recruitment team during a change which will signal a shift to an industry-wide trend towards more flexible and modular pathways for executive learners .

Prospective international students are particularly curious about short courses in Business and Management (24.9%), followed by Engineering and Technology (12.2%), and Social Sciences (10.6%).

About 48% of the courses offered on the portal are online, and these appeal to adult learners who have a family and a gentle job but still want to enhance their skills,.

However, the demand for short courses may be a reflection of a general trend towards ‘unbundling’ education degrees, so as to cater for a lifelong learning mindset that’s becoming essential to take care of employability, she added.

Although demand for degree courses has not decreased, the industry should notice the trend and expand their education offer to short courses.

Full degrees still represent the bulk of the market, especially for traditional students, but for the medium term, but shorter credentials are clearly attractive. 

This type of education model is also more suitable for a knowledge economy. Providers which will align certificates, degrees, and rapidly growing demands for non-credit learning relevant to the social, civic and professional goals of learners are going to be the strong  global brands of for future generations and employees ,” he added.

Considering world wide health trends, its evident that half the youngsters born today have a 50% chance of living to 105. A century ago, their chances would have been around 1%. 

This is a enormous jump, and as our lives are becoming longer, so are our careers. Not only are workers having to adapt more frequently to new technology, but they also got to develop this adaptability over a extended period.

In the past, senior leaders have turned to executive education schemes to supply these sorts of skills, with the  MBA being the go-to. 

However, as technology progresses, executive short courses are beginning to look far more attractive. Experts say it’s time for a replacement model of executive education, but what exactly would that look like?

A safer investment for employers

Dirk Coetzee embarked upon his EMBA in 2016 and, having worked within the education space with a distance learning provider for 2 years by that time , he was able to identify its downfalls. 

While he did begin with a sharpened business skillset, Coetzee says that the experience made him doubt whether the normal EMBA format was a worthwhile investment for today’s employers.

“I would question sending people to such courses if I wasn’t then not reconnecting them with a bigger or more mainstream leadership program where they will reinvest that energy back to the organisation using internal platforms” Said Coetzee.

He went on to say “external programs are great for learners, except for the organisation, which loses a significant amount of knowledge and experience if these people move on.”

With more and more options available to employers for upskilling their senior staff in-house, program directors will start to address this issue if the business wants to remain  competitive.

Active learning

The second thing that Coetzee believes EMBAs got to update is that the program format. He says that traditional EMBA programs, during which students spend long days within the classroom taking in lectures, leave tons of room for learners to disengage with the teaching.

A Blended Approach

Though it’s tempting combine the two formats it isn’t a straight forward case of executive short courses versus the EMBA.

“We don’t believe the 2 programs are in competition, but rather that they fulfil two different educational requirements and are very complementary,” says GEBS.

Where executive  short courses offer participants an opportunity to fill specific gaps in their skillsets during a short time-frame , EMBA programs require a extended time investment in exchange for more holistic, transitional change to individual careers. Instead of viewing short courses as competitors, EMBA programs of the longer term should work alongside them to serve the requirements of their students—namely, “the growing understanding from executives that they constantly need to be honing their skills and remain relevant.”

A new proposition

The real opportunity moving forward is to ensure that we are constantly assessing the real value proportion for executive learners and how we as a business school can deliver relevant, real world education through which executives and entrepreneurs can find ways to ensure the businesses they are involved in remain competitive. 

How do you benefit from doing an executive Short course?
So how will you and your career benefit from attending an executive Short course? While many individuals would argue that on-campus degree studies are the simplest , there are some clear advantages to e-learning that simply can’t be overlooked. Let’s explore the most ones:

So what will you gain?

1. You’ll enjoy a focussed and value added course delivered by industry professionals and coupled with executive coaching support to embed learning. 

Short-term blended Executive development programmes adapt to learning styles for auditory learners, visual learners, and kinaesthetic learners through classes making use of multiple sorts of media like printed, video, audio, class assignments, discussions, written essays, and far more.

Recorded class materials are often used for future students creating reliable learning standards while class interaction creates a singular learning experience for every individual. This way, online classes mix subject consistency with the individuality of every study group.

Advice: you may favour one specific learning approach, but you may find that experimenting with new approaches are beneficial to your learning experience Don’t forget all the additional resources you will have access to!

2. You’ll become a motivated self-learner

Distance learners need to stay motivated to finish their online course, deciding the way to best organise their learning schedule. While this sort of learning won’t be for everybody , it answers the precise needs of executive learners who want to urge maximum effectiveness out of their studies. Ambitious online learners intensify to the challenge engaging in over 2-5 weekly hours (or more) of learning and student interaction or taking extra projects.

Advice: Recommended weekly time spent on learning for a brief course varies between programmes . However, dedicating  the minimum amount of your time will force you to fall behind, and should end in poorer results.

3. Use versatile technology, available anywhere

Modern technology makes every minute of the day count. Handheld gadgets provide quick access to learning materials while travelling, or during work breaks. confirm you select the proper device for your learning needs, consistent with your personal lifestyle. Take your class with you wherever you go.

If you’re not already an expert of using all kinds of media, online platforms and apps, an executive Short course will assist you build up the technical prowess which will be very useful for your career.

Advice: the majority of the reading and assignment work (usually over 50% of assessment) is completed offline. So confirm you usually have many quiet time to actually undergo the foremost essential information.

4. Save on costs

Online courses are usually significantly cheaper than other on-site classes. Universities provide lower study costs by not having to take a position the maximum amount on a physical study location, or on teacher salaries. Study materials also cost virtually nothing and that they are easy to re-use and update.

Advice: albeit you economize , don’t overlook the time investment. Commitment is, once more, the key!

So in conclusion there is no surprise that more  entrepreneurs, emerging managers, company directors and executives choose Executive development programmes as a key tool with which to enhance skills, further their careers and ensure that their organisations remain on the cutting edge of management approaches in modern day businesses. 

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