Do leaders need a formal degree, or are executive certificates okay?: 3 things to know

In today's business landscape, leaders are expected to be educated, but it's not always clear if the top performers in any given field require a formal degree or if continuing-education certificates fulfill necessary qualifications, according to the Harvard Business Review.

Listed below are three questions every leader should ask themself before they consider what type of education to pursue to advance their career.

1. What specific skills are you hoping to develop? Formal degrees are excellent ways to cultivate a general education, but if you are looking to focus on targeted skills, it might be more fruitful to attend more specific certification courses.

2. What's the accepted standard in your industry? It is important to pay attention to the qualifications of your peers and those who hold positions that you aspire to hold. If you notice these positions do not require an MBA on their job listings, but people who thrive in these posts hold that degree, then you will understand the unwritten industry standard.

3. How do you learn best? If you are someone who needs direct interaction with a professor in order to absorb their lessons, then you are probably best off pursuing a formal education. However, if you are an independent learner, then online courses might be more helpful for you.

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