Those working in the field of business should not let misconceptions warp their understanding of what executive education is really about. Here are five myths that might need to be corrected to erase fears and assumptions about this indispensable learning experience.
MYTH #1: Executive education is for executives.
There may very well be executives in an executive education course, along with directors, mid-level and senior managers and specialists from every organizational level. Executive education is for any career-minded person serious about expanding their business knowledge, gaining proficiency and getting ahead.
MYTH #2: Prior formal education in business is needed in order to take an executive education course.
There are no educational prerequisites for an executive education course. In fact, it is not uncommon for someone thriving in a business occupation to have a background in a different field of study, or even to have little to no post-secondary education at all. Because executive education courses centre around practical, hands-on knowledge that can be directly applied in the workplace, participants don’t need to know business jargon or esoteric theories in order to benefit.
MYTH #3: Executive education is only for people who work for large organizations, not for small businesses.
Small businesses and family enterprises share many of the same challenges as their corporate peers, such as issues of governance, risk management, leadership, and resolving workplace conflict. The pressure to do more with less and adapt quickly to change is all the more acute for a small business owner, who can find themselves needing to improve their leadership capacity or solve a particular business challenge.
MYTH #4: Only employees with years of work experience should take executive education courses.
With the exception of some certificate programs, there are no minimum years of experience required for executive education courses. For a worker who has switched their career focus to a different field, or a recent graduate starting out with an entry-level corporate position, Executive education can provide added knowledge and skill enhancement for those new to their roles. Participants will also benefit from increased motivation and confidence.
MYTH #5: Executive education instructors conduct lectures and rely on textbooks.
Instructors in executive education have years of real-world experiential learning in the subjects they teach, and they conduct classes using an adult learning model. This means they are facilitators who know how to motivate people to be in control of their own learning processes. They appreciate that adult students are a diverse group with different backgrounds and learning styles. In an executive education course, real business cases are studied, and participants engage in classroom discussions and presentations. This is the perfect educational format for people working in a business environment as it involves interpersonal communication, team work, and group-based learning.