Climbing the corporate ladder: The ‘top executives’ in USA and the path to the top jobs
A job in the IT field or a small businesses ownership – when it comes to the favorite employment preferences of the Indian Americans, these are the two most common perception. The new generations of Indian engineers and medical professionals are crowding the US industries. The thrifty approach of first generation Indians over the decades continue to contributed towards successful family businesses as well well as upbringing of a highly educated second generation of American Indians.
One field where Indians have not fully caught up is the top executive tier of the US companies. While we continue to move into the middle class management, the success in the top tier jobs is not that prevalent.
One thing to keep in mind, there are only limited numbers of top executive jobs. There is only one CEO, CFO or COO in a company – large or small. There could be many head-of-department positions in larger corporations but the numbers are relatively small. So, this could be one of the reason for limited success beyond middle management; there are just not that many jobs for top executives and competition is fierce for this cream of the crop.
The ‘top executives’: A summary
Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (US Department of Labor), here is an insight into the American ‘top executives’:
What Top Executives Do
Top executives devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals. They plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities of companies and organizations.
Top executives work in nearly every industry. They work for large and small businesses, ranging from one-person companies to firms with thousands of employees. Top executives often work many hours, including evenings and weekends. In 2012, about half worked more than 40 hours per week. Travel is common, particularly for chief executives.
How to Become a Top Executive
Top Executives generally possess a higher education and have leadership qualities to begin with. Hardworking, good communication skills and innovative nature also contribute towards success in climbing the corporate ladder. Although education and training requirements vary widely by position and industry, many top executives have at least a bachelor’s degree and a considerable amount of work experience.
In May 2012, the median annual wage for chief executives was $168,140. The median annual wage for general and operations managers was $95,440 in May 2012. Overall, as compensations for top tier positions continue to increase, the pay for top executives should continue to increase year-over-year.
Employment of top executives is projected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth will vary by industry and is largely dependent on the rate of industry growth. Top executives should face very strong competition for jobs.
Resources, More Information including Links to O*NET
For more information about top executives, including educational programs, you can visit the following professional management sites:
American Management Association
National Management Association (NMA)
For information about management skills development, including the Certified Manager (CM) credential, visit
Institute of Certified Professional Managers
Learn more about top executives by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.
Chief Sustainability Officers
General and Operations Managers
For those with interest in management skills, backed by quality education and relevant experience, the competition for top tier position is a fair game, with a fair chance of success!
Oh, and make sure that is what you actually want! A top job comes with top responsibilities and long work hours… and top stress!!
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