So You Want To Be a CEO: 5 Steps

Flickr user WOCinTech Chat

There’s no direct path to becoming a CEO, but there are ways you can improve your chances. This is a career path that takes quite a bit of time and patience along with a lot of luck. Rarely is anyone made CEO straight out of college. But if you’re interested in working towards achieving this position, here’s where to start.

Get Your Bachelor’s

The place to start for many positions is with your Bachelor’s degree. What you want to major in is technically up to you. You’re welcome to major in Business Administration or something similar, but you can also go after a degree in a specific field you’re interested in. That major can come in handy if you’re planning to go after the CEO position in that field or industry.

Go After Your Master’s

Although it’s not always required, a Master’s degree is often recommended. While you had more options regarding majors in undergraduate school, most with the same goals as you will go after a Master of Business Administration, though you’re welcome to go after similar subjects.

If you prefer, you can work while obtaining your Master’s. This can help you start getting job experience while furthering your education. If you can obtain a manager position, this will look great on future resumes.

Work Your Way Up

Becoming a CEO takes a lot of patience and it will not happen overnight. It requires plenty of work experience, especially in manager positions, and job openings within the business that can’t always be predicted. While you’re welcome to stay within one company, you also have the option of looking elsewhere for advancement.

Build it Yourself

If you’re extra ambitious, you could try creating your own business. Entrepreneurship is a risky but potentially very rewarding venture. You may earn the title of CEO sooner than working your way up in an established company, but there are many more challenges involved in starting and running your own business.

Continue Your Education

If you want to be a CEO, it means you have to set yourself apart from the competition. One way of doing that is by continuing your education. Voluntary certification is absolutely one way, but explore others to ensure you’re making a good impression.

Understand There’s No Guarantee

Sadly, while many aim to be CEO of a company, there is no guarantee they will reach that position. While there are definitely ways to improve your chances of a top job within an organization, it really relies on time, luck, networking, and circumstance. You have to wait for others to leave their position in order to advance and be noticed enough to receive the promotion.

Becoming a CEO is not easy at all and there is no direct path to this position. However, following these steps can improve your chances of getting the job. CEO’s must also have specific characteristics that are looked for in managers, including the ability to listen, perform well, work as a team, mentor, and lead, among others.

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Hilary Cairns

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