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Top Executives Job Outlook

Employment of top executives is expected to grow 5 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will vary widely by industry and is largely dependent on the rate of industry growth.

Top executives are essential for running companies and organizations. Their work—formulating strategies and policies—is central to the success of a company. However, as a business grows, the number of top executives does not grow as quickly as the number of employees. Therefore, top executives are not expected to experience as much employment growth as the employees they oversee.

Employment growth will be driven by the formation of new organizations and expansion of existing ones, which will require more managers and executives. However, employment will be negatively affected by mergers. When companies consolidate, management jobs often are lost.

Job Prospects

Top executives should face very strong competition for jobs. High pay and the prestige associated with the positions attract a substantial number of qualified applicants. For chief executives, those with an advanced degree and extensive managerial experience will have the best job prospects. For general and operations managers, educational requirements vary by industry, but candidates who can demonstrate strong leadership abilities and experience getting positive results will have better job opportunities.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition