Have you ever wondered how top executives reach their pinnacles of success? More than likely, it took years of hard work and industry experience — in tandem with an advanced degree — to land them where they are today.

If you have your eye on the executive suite at your company, there's no reason why you shouldn't pursue it, especially if you've already put in the time to build your stellar reputation and earn years of experience within the industry. If the only thing missing is a master's degree, University of the Cumberlands can help you earn it. Our MBA for working professionals is flexible enough to accommodate busy adults, and it's designed to teach you all the skills needed to take on executive leadership roles. Learn more about our executive master’s program today.

How Do I Take the Next Steps in My Career?

If you love your job but feel you've gone as far as you can go, there may be a way to break through that ceiling separating your position from that of top executives at your company. It's called the executive master's degree, and it can prepare you for positions such as chief executive officer (CEO), Chief Operations Officer (COO), and more.

An executive master's degree combined with your own hard-working reputation and commitment to your job can help you excel in your chosen industry. It could be the credential that helps fast-track your career to the next level or even into the executive suite.

What Is an Executive Master’s Degree Program?

The executive master's degree is designed with working professionals in mind. Usually, students who enroll in a program to earn their executive master's degree are already business professionals. On average, they are older than the traditional student and have solid work experience within their field. They wish to pursue this degree to improve their opportunity for advancement from the leadership position they may already hold to the one they desire, such as a top executive role within the company.

The executive master's degree can help you reach your professional work goals faster. For example, if you dream of one day running the company, earning your executive master's may help round out your skills and fill in those blanks on your resume.

How Is an Executive Master’s Different?

There are different requirements for students who wish to earn their executive master's degree than those pursuing another category of master's degree. For instance, to enroll in an executive master's program, you must usually be employed in the industry. You may have to prove that you work in a leadership role already, and you may need to ask someone from your workplace to sponsor your enrollment. You might also be required to meet minimum requirements for hours worked within the field. None of these are required to enroll in a regular master's degree program.

Additionally, there are often differences in the way these programs are carried out. Because they're specifically geared toward students who work full time, they tend to be more flexible. The students who enroll in an executive master's program are usually older than the traditional college student, and they have differing needs and responsibilities.

Typically, the executive master's degree can be earned through a combination of online coursework and on-campus practicums that let working adults earn their degrees in less time than traditionally required, too.

Do All Schools Offer Executive Master’s Programs?

While not every college or university offers the executive master's degree, many do — business schools in particular. However, not every program prepares you to meet the challenges of the executive experience in the same way. University of the Cumberlands offers the executive master's degree in 12 different areas, including business administration, finance, and project leadership. Our programs are flexible enough to meet the demands of busy professionals, and they offer a convenient mix of in-person and online training.

How Do I Know This Is the Right Path for My Career?

Generally, students who pursue this degree aren't looking for a job change mid-career. If you have already established yourself as a leader in a field like business or management, and you would like the opportunity to explore new options that offer more prestige and responsibility, then earning your executive master's degree could be the solution. This degree holds a lot of clout and will help you learn the skills needed to become a more marketable candidate for top executive positions.