Top Executive

Choose your pathway: Top Executive

At Pepperdine University, we’re helping the next wave of top executives make real changes through effective, informed, and ethical leadership on a global scale. With our online MBA with a Leadership and Organizational Change concentration, you can pursue your role as a top executive domestically or internationally.

What do top executives do?

What do top executives do?

Every organization needs top executives to guide teams to success. Top executives do this through planning and coordination with various departments to identify issues and opportunities for growth. Top executives at a small organization may be in charge of hiring, quality control, and day-to-day supervision. Those working in larger organizations focus more on big-picture strategies, policy creation, and strategic planning to reach company-wide goals.

The daily activities of top executives vary depending on the organization, but most typically are tasked with the following responsibilities:

  • Establishing departmental or organizational goals, policies, and procedures
  • Supervising an organization’s financial and budgetary activities
  • Managing general activities related to production and services
  • Negotiating contracts and agreements
  • Appointing department heads and managers
  • Analyzing financial statements, sales reports, and other performance indicators
  • Identifying cost-cutting strategies and managing performance, policies, and programs

What is the career outlook for top executives?

With an increase in globalization, the demand for top executives with a deep understanding of emerging and foreign markets is growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, top executive roles are projected to grow at a steady rate of 6% between 2014 to 2024 (2016). However, the employment growth for top executives varies by organization and industry.

Top executives are well-regarded in the business world. They play a critical role in setting company strategy, are highly compensated, and enjoy a high level of respect and prestige. That’s why top executives face very strong competition for jobs. Those with an advanced degree like our online MBA with a Leadership and Organizational Change concentration and extensive managerial experience will have the best job prospects.

What can you earn as a top executive?

The median annual salary for top executives was $102,690 in 2015, making top executives one of the highest paid careers in the United States. While leadership positions typically pay more than the average occupation, salary levels for top executives vary depending on their organization. Top executives working in a large private corporation will typically earn more than a top executive at a small nonprofit organization.

The earning potential for top executives doesn’t end at their salary. Many top executives are also compensated with stock options, performance bonuses, and expense allowances.

What courses can prepare you for a role as a top executive?

BSCI 650
Personal and Leadership Development Workshop
BSCI 651
Behavior in Organizations
ECNM 657
Prices, Profit, and the Market Economy
GSBM 693
Global Business Intensive
LEGL 653
Political, Regulatory, Ethical, and Legal Issues of Business
OTMT 617
Leadership Theory and Practice
OTMT 670
Advanced Principles of Organizations and Leadership
OTMT 672
Organizational Dynamics and Managing Change
OTMT 673
Creativity and Innovation for Leadership
STGY 659
Strategic Management

What can these courses teach you? Find out with an in-depth view of our curriculum now.

What are some related career paths?

If you’re interested in a career in business administration, but a role as a top executive isn’t for you, you have options. Explore these related career paths to see which one works best for your goals.

What’s your next step?

The online Master of Business Administration degree from Pepperdine University can help you lead business on a global scale.

Step 1:

 and get started.

Step 2:

An enrollment advisor will contact you to start the enrollment process and answer any in-depth questions not covered in our FAQ.

Step 3:

Explore our online blog to read more about our online MBA program, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, and the latest business trends and issues.