By John Kallelil, CEO, XED
In the past couple of years, executive education has evolved significantly, shifting from a traditional focus on individual or organisational needs to a highly dynamic and personalised learning experience. Today, executive education is designed to support lifelong learning and future-focused skill development, aimed at addressing the gaps created by rapid digital transformation.
According to a report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (GIA), the global market for executive education was estimated to be worth US$58.2 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach US$95.5 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% during the forecast period.
The growth in the market is driven by factors such as the increasing demand for leadership development programs, the need for upskilling and reskilling of executives and senior leaders, and the emergence of new technologies and business models. The market includes various types of programs, such as degree and non-degree courses, customized training programs, and executive coaching,
What are some of the key trends in executive education globally and what factors are driving this demand for lifelong learning?
Emphasis on Digital Skills: The rapid pace of technological advancements has led to a digital skills gap, with many executives and even senior leaders across non-IT domains lacking the necessary skills to keep pace with the digital transformation of their industries. Executive education programs are responding to this gap by emphasizing digital skills such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, digital marketing, and other emerging technologies.
But in addition, digital skills are also necessary for fostering innovation and driving business growth. Executive education programs and their curriculum are designed to help professionals to leverage technology to enhance products and services, optimise business processes and create new business models.
Digitisation: Digitisation has had an immense impact on executive education globally. Technology continues to drive innovation and transformation in traditional learning models. The pandemic showed how executive education broke all barriers through online learning platforms, making premium learning and top-tier academic experts accessible to learners from anywhere in the world. Digital learning will further dominate the scene in executive education empowering individuals to participate in courses, training, workshops and degree programs from the comfort of their homes or offices, at their own pace. Modern approaches such as blended learning which combine the best of online and in-person learning will empower executives to take advantage of offline resources while participating in face-to-face sessions.
Personalisation and Flexibility: Future executive education programs will need to be increasingly flexible and tailored to meet the unique needs of each participant. Personalisation will become more important as learners seek programs that fit their learning styles, schedules, and career goals. This will include online and blended learning opportunities that offer greater flexibility for busy professionals. Technology helps EdTech providers to track and analyse data making personalisation easier and improving the effectiveness of executive education programs.
Leadership Development: As the world becomes more complex and interconnected, the demands on leaders are likely to increase. Leaders will need to be able to navigate a rapidly changing landscape, manage diverse teams, and make decisions in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity. Effective leadership will always be a critical aspect of executive education. In future, there will be a greater emphasis on developing leaders who are adaptable, innovative, and able to navigate uncertainty and ambiguity. Leaders will need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to manage change, build resilient teams, and foster a culture of innovation.
Lifelong Learning: One of the key shifts in the way education is perceived and disseminated is the adoption of a lifelong learning approach. Executive education will mean lifelong learning rather than a one-time event as leaders will continuously update their skills and knowledge throughout their careers to remain effective and relevant.
To sum it up, the future of executive education will be shaped by digital skills, personalisation, leadership development, globalisation, and lifelong learning. Organisations and individuals will need to adapt to these changes to remain competitive in today’s rapidly evolving business environment. The future of executive education is exciting, and those who embrace it will be well-positioned for success.