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Executive Education 10 Popular Topics Right Now

Executive Education: 10 Popular Topics for Senior Leaders to Consider Right Now

Are you a senior leader looking to project your professionalism and career ambitions? Perhaps you’ve reached a point in your career where you feel it’s time to brush up on or modernize your skills. 

The world of business is in constant change affected by new technologies, thought leadership, and broader social complexities.  As an executive, you’re expected to keep up to guide your organization forward. Executive education is one way to help you stay current, achieve career growth, and polish your personal brand.

Don’t get left behind. We at, have put together a list of what we see as the top topics popular within executive education right now. 

What is Executive Education?

Before we unveil our list of top topics within executive education, let’s quickly review some executive education basics. 


Executive education courses are relatively short, non-degree programs designed for professionals. They are typically offered by university business schools and focus on particular skills, topics of interest, roles, or industries. 

Executive education program environments are often described as tough and demanding due to the high level of executive peer classmate engagement. Classmates challenge each other as much as, or even more than, the professors.

For a more detailed understanding of executive education and how it differs from other types of training, refer to our guide on the topic.

Why Do Executive Education?

The answer is simple though the reasons are many. Executive education allows you to expand your professional know-how and equips you with the tools to achieve your professional goals. With the right training, you can: 

  • Change your mindset
  • Fill in skill or knowledge gaps
  • Improve organizational performance
  • Apply for a promotion or a job
  • Expand your leadership options
  • Pursue studies while working
  • Grow your network

What Types of Executive Programs are Available?

Senior leaders are busy and always stretched for time. Exec Ed programs are designed to achieve the most impact within a limited time. There are a variety of program formats and delivery methods available to suit your needs. Some programs are even offered as free webinars. Many programs award a professional certificate upon completion.

Short courses (around 5 days or less): quickly acquire specific insight and skills to immediately apply to your daily work.

Modular programs (two or more teaching blocks over several months): appealing if you have difficulty taking off one long block of time. 

Full-time programs (intensive and full-time lasting longer than a week): in-depth program for more comprehensive understanding of a topic. Great if you aspire to change roles. 

Online or blended programs (mostly or completely online): attractive for managers who need a high level of schedule flexibility.

Now that you know your options to circumvent your “I have no time” objection, what are you waiting for? Executive education training is the key to unlocking the door of your professional growth. Here are some training ideas that will make you stand out as a modern, future-oriented senior leader.

10 Popular Topics in Exec Ed Right now

1. Venture Capital or Private Equity 

What’s the difference between venture capital, private equity, and angel investing? Do you have a process for evaluating and monitoring potential opportunities and the knowledge you need to lower risk and increase returns?  

A venture capital executive education will help you gain foundational skills for navigating startup investing and its investment cycle. Many executive education startup investment / venture capital courses are even delivered online nowadays.

2. Corporate Governance 

A corporate governance executive education program prepares you to advance and elevate your participation on a corporate board. As a board member, you’re part of the custodial team that protects  your company’s long term value creation for shareholders. 

Training topics generally covered include boardroom basics, as well as expanding your corporate impact: issues like CEO succession plans, shareholder activism, cyber risk disruption, and diversity and inclusion, to name a few. 

3. Sustainability or Sustainable Development 

Sustainable development and corporate social responsibility influence your business. How is your company shaping the market? Society? Executive education sustainability programs are designed to increase understanding of the link between sustainability and strategic success. 

It’s essential for senior executives to lead responsibly while simultaneously showing commitment and ambition to make a difference. Are you up for the task?

4. Product Management 

The role of a product manager is a multi-faceted one. Product managers are responsible not only for setting the goals and strategy for a product, but also for inspiring and influencing internal and target audiences to follow along on that journey. 

A product management executive education training will develop skills in communicating to all audiences, optimizing profitability, managing inter- and intra- team relationships, driving strategy, and using consumer data and feedback to drive innovation.

5. Communication

Sharpening communication and soft skills is particularly important for senior leaders. It’s essential in cultivating leadership presence, managing high-performing teams, and developing your personal brand. An executive education communication course will vastly improve the persuasive impact of your words and your influence as a leader. 

Great leaders know how to inspire. Will you be one of them?

6. Fintech 

Technology is disrupting the banking and financial industries, and in a monumental way. The new generation of financial technology — or fintech — like Blockchain, artificial intelligence, and mobile payment offer companies the opportunity to improve operations, customer experience, and increase revenue.

Cash is a thing of the past. A fintech executive education program can help you understand and embrace these changes. Do you understand all you need to know about fintech? 

7. Data Science

“In God we trust, all others must bring data.” (W. Edwards Deming) The ability to take data-- understand, process, extract value, visualize, and communicate it-- is a critical skill for senior leaders.

A data science executive education program equips executives with the ability to harness data science and business analytic insights to inform business decisions, strategy, execution, and more effective organizational leadership. 

8. Women's Leadership

Despite the volume of evidence in support of female leaders, women are stymied when it comes to managerial success. Doing good work does not go far enough to get women noticed for management positions. 

To get ahead, women leaders need to elevate their impact, leverage their talents, navigate the business landscape, and step into roles of greater influence.  A women’s leadership executive education program can help you cultivate your leadership potential. 

9. Design Thinking 

Organizations find design thinking a valuable method for consumer problem solving. Google, Apple, and Airbnb all use design thinking to stretch the boundaries of insight and innovation. Through design thinking, problems get reframed into human-centric ways to put the focus on what’s most important for the users. 

An executive education design thinking program can help you to develop a “think outside the box” skill and mindset.

10. Digital Marketing

More and more, media-savvy audiences tune out advertising messages. Businesses need to communicate differently to have a minutia of a chance of getting heard. 

Marketers must be capable of planning, implementing, and measuring the impact of digital strategies. An executive education training in digital marketing can help you understand how best to integrate digital and traditional marketing to reach customers.

Are you a senior leader wanting to increase your knowledge or professional marketability? 

Executive education training can help.

Browse these and more ExecEd Courses

About the author

Rama Eriksson is a Content Editor at Her writing is complemented by 15+ years as a marketing professional. She brings her experience and curiosity to connect professionals to the right training to help further their goals.  Originally from the New York area, Rama has lived in Stockholm, Sweden since 2010.

rama eriksson

Last updated: 06 Aug 2021

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