Today, many high-school students are eyeing future CEO positions, but struggle with questions like: “Which subjects must I learn to become a CEO?”, “What should I do after class 12, so I can become a CEO?” and “How relevant is an MBA to being a start-up CEO?”
So, here’s a guide to becoming a CEO after school! But before that:
CEO or Chief Executive Officer is the leading management role in a company and the most desirable ones. But, what do CEOs do?
CEOs bridge the gap of communication between the Board of Directors and the company management.
They plan the company’s short-term and long-term goals and visions.
They are accountable only to the Board of Directors.
Everyone in the top management including CFO, COO, etc answers to the CEO.
They evaluate the top-executive work
They set the organizational culture
Hence, every CEO, along with having management skills, must have leadership, communication, problem-solving skills.
They must have a general working knowledge of every department and the ability to put together teams that can execute the plan to action the company’s vision.
Now that you are aware of the role and skills required to become a CEO after school, the answer to "How to become a CEO after school?" is in the next question:
You must work on learning to strengthen your communication, strategic thinking, listening, networking, leadership, and management skills. Start grabbing information through subjects available in your curriculum, additional courses, and practical experience.
A CEO interacts with finance, sales, strategy, marketing leaders of the company. You can choose the commerce field and entrepreneurship (if available) as a subject to grab the general knowledge about these concepts. If you are a science or arts, you can learn about these topics online.
The schools and society in India and most Asian countries, unlike America, does not offer opportunities for young children to work and gain practical experience that can be translated to the ‘real world’. But the digital world offers the solution to “How to become a CEO after school?”, by offering you access to courses and internships to build these skills.
You can show interest in extra-curriculum activities like debates, sports, etc to build communication, leadership, and networking skills in school. You can volunteer for annual celebrations, join a club, and even get a summer internship.
One can become CEO by starring their own company and by joining an established company. Both entrepreneurship and climbing the corporate ladder to CEO requires immense skills, hard work, and hustle.
So, you can choose either one of these two paths, but you need to have:
Choose the right graduation and MBA: Well, a significant percentage of CEOs are graduated. When it comes to MBA, it is preferred that you have one but many have questions about “Is the 'many CEOs are dropouts' a myth?”
Expertise: Say you are founding a start-up, you must know the niche inside out. At the same time, say you join the company as a finance executive, to reach to CEO position, must first ace in finance and become the CFO of the company.
Experience: If you are part of a company, it is said that the executive must have at least 5 years of management experience, i.e. you are a part of the management team. At the same time, you must develop the skills mentioned above and in your particular field.
Well, being a start-up CEO demands no educational degrees. So, no MBA is not required for Start-up CEO. And some of the most celebrated start-up CEOs ever are dropouts, be it Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Steve Jobs.
Many CEOs across the world are dropout entrepreneurs and the trend is rising. But, unless you are a founder/ start-up CEO, there are chances that you are not going to reach the CEO position or even to the top management without education.
Someone rightly said, “many CEOs are dropouts but not all dropouts are CEOs”. So, if that is a deciding factor for you, well, analyse your skills, and choose wisely based on value addition a course a make on your life.