Top Executive Education Is Now Accessible and Affordable
Top Executive Education Is Now Accessible and Affordable

In 2020, many business schools are rethinking and redesigning their executive education programmes. The disruption due to Covid-19 has been an impetus to develop new, highly relevant, and impactful content.

Exec ed has now become a buyer’s market. Even companies with restricted L&D budgets have a lot to gain from the attractive new offerings.


Upskilling on the rise

Acquiring new competencies is vital for executives right now. Mastering digital innovation or purpose-driven leadership can be a matter of success or failure for some companies.

Many business schools are stepping up to the challenge and introducing targeted online programmes. They are leveraging digital technologies to provide interaction and collaborative learning at a distance. Short, impactful courses that help leaders solve current problems are being offered at affordable prices.

With all the innovation going on, executive education after Covid-19 may be even better and more accessible than before.


Executive education in crisis

The coronavirus lockdown has upended the exec ed sector, which relies on collaborative, experiential learning – typically face-to-face. Financial Times reports a “big hole” in exec ed revenues this year. Grenoble School of Management (France), for example, has experienced a 25% decline in revenue.

Independent exec ed providers that focus on in-person learning are also feeling the strain. “The company I have worked so hard to build has been hit hard by the crisis – many of our in-person programmes have been cancelled or postponed,” shared Natasha Bonnevalle, partner at THNK School of Creative Leadership (the Netherlands), in an interview with MERIT.

As a result, schools are developing valuable online learning opportunities at lightning speed.


Discover the best online exec ed courses

Thanks to the intense competition in the exec ed sector, executives can now choose from a wide array of online courses, which include personalised coaching and peer advice.

Many L&D departments are operating on shoestring budgets – but with prices starting at EUR 690 for a course, some schools are offering great value for money, and the ROI can be worth it.


Essential leadership skills

Effective leadership is critical during a crisis. Executives and managers can now refresh their core skills and gain new insights with these opportunities from leading global institutions:

  • IMD (Switzerland) has created a 5-week Leadership Essentials course that can put every manager at the company on a secure footing. If you would like to make sure leaders are inspiring top performance in their people during an uncertain time, this course is a good investment.
  • Have your revenue streams been upset by the crisis? One way out is to leverage the talent in your organisation to enable quick innovation and generate new business models. Achieving this is a matter not of luck but of strategy. IMD also offers a 5-week course on Disruptive Innovation that teaches leaders to find and develop original ideas. The course includes individual coaching and group work with peers, all for CHF 1,950.
  • Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business (US) offers a 6-week course on Financial Analysis for Non-Financial Leaders. Anyone from the CHRO to line managers can gain an understanding of profitability and efficiency and learn how to do budgeting and forecasting. A boon for the whole company, the in-depth course is offered for USD 2,000.
Leading a digital organisation

Every organisation is now a tech organisation. Business schools are using new research and case studies to develop courses on how to lead effectively in the fully digital era.

  • The bottom line for many companies now depends on whether they can survive in an online-first or online-only marketplace. The London Business School’s course Innovating in the Digital World equips leaders to identify what is blocking digital innovation and to turn new ideas into profitable ventures. The 5-week course costs GBP 1,500.
  • The short course Designing & Leading Collaboration in a New World Order by Insead Business School (France) teaches the basics of leading an agile virtual organisation. Participants learn how to foster cohesion in a distributed workforce and how to increase resilience by forging global partnerships. The three-module programme costs EUR 990.
  • Another timely crash course from INSEAD is Decision-Making in Difficult Times. Over two half-days, leaders can learn how to make judgements based on data, rather than bias. The topics covered include processing feedback, assessing risk, and resolving conflict. In the current high-stress environment, every leader needs to refresh those skills. This course from one of The Economist’s top 10 business schools costs just EUR 690.
Niche training

One of the advantages of online executive education is that you can find a course geared exactly to your organisation’s needs. It is now easier to get coaching on niche topics such as cryptocurrencies or health care regulations.

  • For leaders in finance who wish to gain a competitive edge by using FinTech, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University (US) offers the month-long course Leveraging Financial Technology. The course can demystify cryptocurrencies and enable leaders to leverage new opportunities – for just USD 1,500.  
  • Leaders in the pharmaceutical industry can take advantage of the Fuqua School of Business course Drug Development, Reimbursement, and Regulation. For anyone taking part in the global race to take new drugs to market, this two-week course can offer guidance and streamline the process. The cost is USD 1,000.
  • In many industries, the most severe impact of Covid-19 has been the unstable flow of goods. INSEAD now offers the course Supply Chains in Crisis for executives who wish to diversify their suppliers, do better forecasting, and create a plan for future stoppages. Leaders can sign up for EUR 690.


Make the most of a buyer’s market in executive education

The current crisis in executive education presents an opportunity for L&D leaders. New courses can help executives resolve pressing issues and enable better decision-making at a challenging time.

Leaders and managers can benefit from coaching and peer support online. They can also learn at their own pace, in the flow of work, and apply new knowledge immediately. A smart cost–benefit analysis can show which new exec ed opportunities are a good investment that could ultimately add to a company’s bottom line.


To discover more about the future of corporate learning, claim your complimentary pass to the MERIT European Summit in Paris, 18 September – “Rethinking Learning in a Connected World”. This boutique event for CHROs and CLOs is co-hosted by LinkedIn and will take place in Microsoft’s Paris headquarters. Places are limited – reserve yours now.