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How to Become a CEO

Aastha Dogra
For becoming a CEO, you need to have a strong education background, management skills as well as the ability to foresee the future. Read on to know more...
A few decades back, becoming a CEO, was straight and simple - study for a business degree, work hard, gain years of experience in the same organization and by the time you are in your fifties, there are chances that you would become a CEO.
However, with the way things are at present, the technology revolution, the rise of the IT industry, the change in people's mindset, an increase in the number of people turning into entrepreneurs, all this has actually changed this scenario.
Today, you will find people in their twenties, thirties and forties, holding this highest position in a company! On top of that, a few of them do not even hold business degrees! So what does it take to become a chief executive officer in today's times? Let's try to find out...

Becoming the CEO of a Company

There are basically two ways of becoming a CEO of a company. The first is that you start your own company and the second one is that you work and gain experience in a particular industry.
To be successful in the former, you should either have an amazing business idea such as Mark Zuckerberg, the founder/CEO of Facebook had, or you should know the market you will be entering with your product really well and also its customers. '
If you are starting your own company, you do not need any management degree. But of course, you should have the ability and frame of mind to take risks. You, being the owner of the company, should be prepared for such a big responsibility and the risks involved, as all the profits and losses of the organization will be in a way yours!
Work for an organization in a particular industry of your choice; it can be banking or health care or IT.
As a CEO, you would be expected to formulate a given company's short-term and long-term goals, business strategies and internal company policies to meet those goals as well as handling the upper management. You would be directly reporting to the board of directors.
For this, you need to possess various kinds of management skills and top class management education from a reputed business school.
Although, a degree is not a prerequisite, yet, looking at the kind of competition there is and the scarcity of jobs, it would do you good, both in terms of adding skills as well as standing apart from the rest of the candidates, if you have an MBA i.e. masters in business administration.
An additional degree related to the industry you are in such as a software engineering degree to become the CEO in the IT industry or a finance degree to become the CEO of a bank, will be an added advantage.
Besides the degree, most fortune 500 companies as well as other organizations, look for a candidate with experience of about fifteen years in the industry. Although, to predict exactly how long it takes to become a CEO, is not easy as it varies from industry to industry.
The companies may hire a CEO from within the organization or may hire from outside. The job openings are very confidential, so you need to hire the services of a placement agency which specifically looks into executive level jobs. Strong networking within the industry will help you in being aware of the job openings too.

Job Description

Knowledge of the job description will give you a better idea about the duties and responsibilities of a Chief Executive Officer.
The main goal of any business is to make profits. As a CEO, your main job is to ensure that this goal is achieved. So for this, he meets up with the various departmental heads from time to time and develops the organizational goals, individual departmental goals as well as strategies to achieve these goals.
He should also be able to track the progress of the company offerings in the market and report it to the directors. A CEO is also the face of the company, amongst the public and industry. Managing the public relations of a company too falls in his job domain.
Strong communication skills, interpersonal skills, management skills, excellent planning and ability to execute and delegate tasks, decision-making, critical thinking, and most importantly, leadership skills is what you need to become a Chief Executive Officer.
A CEO's salary in today's corporate world is anywhere above $150,000 per year. This makes it one of the best paid professions.
In order to become a CEO, you should have a limitless passion for what you do. So many people are skilled and have the education qualifications mentioned above, the only thing that will take you ahead after a certain point in your career, is the amount of passion that you have for your work.
In short, to reach a position as high as this, you have to first of all start with making your work, your life!