How To Become A CEO In Australia: Chief Executive Officer

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Students want to know how to become a CEO in Australia, including how to be a CEO of a large company.


Are you thinking of becoming a CEO (Chief Executive Officer)? If yes, you are in the right place!


Becoming a CEO in Australia is the ultimate business and professional ambition one can have. As the company's highest-ranked executive officer, the CEO determines the future direction and strategy for the business.


While it may appear that being a CEO is a near-impossible goal, many aspiring professionals still need to learn how to become successful.


In this post, we will discuss how to become a CEO in Australia and live the life of your dreams, including what you need to study to be a company CEO, training courses, qualifications, salary, and more.



1. What Does A CEO Do?


A CEO (chief executive officer) is an individual who controls a company and is responsible for making executive and business-related decisions. A CEO needs to be a capable leader, possess excellent social skills, and not be afraid of making significant decisions to succeed in this role.


Many work obligations differ from one another, so the specific job tasks expected of a CEO may vary based on what type of organisation they lead.


When it comes to an organisation's success or failure, a CEO has plenty of responsibility since one big decision can significantly impact the company's profitability.


A CEO may have several commanding tasks, such as guiding, directing, and monitoring the work performance of other highly-ranking business employees. These can be vice presidents and the president.


Furthermore, as one of the essential aspects of the job title, the CEO is accountable for developing and putting together a strategic set of plans to manage the company's direction.


Their task is to ensure that all workers adhere to these strategies, especially when addressing business decisions and internal corporate concerns. 


A CEO can afford a lavish lifestyle and earn a lot of money. Still, the job comes with plenty of responsibility and long work hours, which can be exhausting and challenging.



2. Major Tasks and Duties of a CEO


  • Assess the organisation's performance and operations.

  • Establish the organisation's goals, policies, and programs, and set targets and standards.

  • Represent the company during negotiations, seminars, conferences, and meetings, and connect with other companies.

  • Consult with employees and go through their reports and suggestions.

  • Assume leadership responsibilities for achieving policy goals, market dominance, and greater profits.

  • Authorise funds to implement programs and policies.

  • Provide general direction and management of the organisation's resource use, including technology, personnel, and tangible assets like buildings.

  • Select or approve the hiring of senior staff.

  • Ensure that budgets, reports, and forecasts are well-prepared and presented to boards and other governing bodies.



3. Steps To Become A CEO in Australia


Most CEOs rise through the ranks from lower-level positions to managerial roles. 


Here are some common steps you can follow to become a CEO in Australia:



Step 1: Get A Bachelor's Degree


Obtaining a bachelor's degree is the initial step towards starting a career as a CEO. Apart from those individuals who want to start their own business, being a CEO without at least a bachelor's degree is nearly impossible.


Developing and honing specific skills and competencies (essentially formed at the college level) are required for successfully operating a firm and monitoring its growth.


Many people start with a bachelor's degree in liberal arts or law. Still, most who want to become a CEO seek a business-related degree, such as in business administration


The coursework under this qualification requires students to learn about business basics, such as management, operationsfinance, and economics. They can also develop a better understanding of business operations' legal and ethical contexts through the coursework.


Furthermore, those who want to be a CEO can consider getting a more specialised leadership degree, like a bachelor of organisational leadership. With this degree, students build the skills required to be a business leader and prepare themselves to lead others through the ups and downs of organisational transformation. 


This degree combines psychology and business studies courses, allowing students to hone their interpersonal abilities. This knowledge can help a prospective CEO better understand the human aspect of business, resulting in improved leadership skills.



Step 2: Gain On-The-Job Experience


You must earn the post of CEO on a professional level. For individuals with a bachelor's degree, gaining the necessary on-the-job experience to climb the corporate ladder generally begins with an entry-level role.


College graduates mostly get entry-level jobs in lower-level supervisory or management roles. Candidates can progress to general manager roles after gaining experience at this level and then to executive positions after gaining further experience.


Getting promoted to a higher position takes time to happen. A CEO needs a professional experience of several years. Best business practices, management skills, and leadership are among the competencies cultivated throughout this long journey. These qualities help you build a strong foundation and succeed as a CEO.


Some organisations may be willing to employ talented applicants from outside their company; thus, individuals can get to a higher level by changing companies.


On the other hand, most CEOs rise through the ranks within the company, ensuring someone familiar is filling the post within the corporate structure and environment.



Step 3: Obtain A Master's Degree (Optional)


While obtaining on-the-job experience is a lengthy process that may take many years to develop, earning an MBA (Master's in Business Administration) might speed up becoming a CEO.


This advanced degree prepares students for business success by letting them explore the inner workings of every aspect of a company, from human resources management to accounting.


Students also gain advanced abilities to learn more about organisational operations from a different viewpoint, allowing them to make vital decisions as strong leaders.


For example, individuals who want to become a CEO can be interested in obtaining an MBA with an emphasis on business management, such as an MBA in General Management.


Students who take this CEO course focus on topics like organisational behaviour, corporate strategy, ethics, and project management, which are all essential aspects of business leadership.


An advanced degree like an MBA does not eliminate the requirement for years of on-the-job experience. However, it is crucial for success. An MBA can make graduates more appealing for executive roles like chief executive officer, as it shows a high degree of corporate-related expertise to the prospective employer.



Step 4: Consider Training Courses


Many Australian organisations offer executive development or management training programs. To assist you as a CEO, you can also take in-person or online courses on business subjects, like public speaking, critical thinking, and social responsibility and ethics.



Step 5: Earn Promotions


As your experience and professional network grow, you can advance from lower to top management roles, eventually acquiring the qualifications to become a CEO. Some people may progress within a company throughout their careers, while others get recruited or look for jobs outside.



4. CEO Qualifications and Skills


To become a CEO, you need more than a degree and years of management experience. A CEO must also have the essential skill set to apply what they've learned in the classroom to various real-world business scenarios.


For example, CEOs need to possess strong management skills, overseeing an organisation's activities and operations to promote business growth. Additionally, CEOs must be able to assist this growth by coordinating people, policies, and resources.


Furthermore, CEOs should communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals, from board to employee members, to successfully convey and discuss their vision. Besides, CEOs must be able to communicate in a way that is both clear and compelling.


CEOs must possess excellent problem-solving and decision-making skills as they make decisions that influence the company's performance. To keep the organisation moving in the right direction, it must have the ability to assess circumstances, detect difficulties, and implement successful solutions.


Overall, CEOs have a lot to tackle on an everyday basis. As a result, they must know how to properly manage their time to achieve their objectives and complete critical tasks.



5. What Are The Different Types of CEOs?


There are three primary categories of CEOs, each representing the common pathways you can take to reach the position. Here are three main types of CEOs you will find in Australia:


  • Founder CEO: These are individuals who founded and started the firm. Founder CEOs may have a considerable impact on a company's performance. According to different studies, founder CEOs usually outperform non-founder CEOs as they regard the organisation as one of their life successes.


  • Successor CEO: These people take over as chief executive officers through succession. This situation usually occurs when a CEO simultaneously serves on the board of directors and steps down.


  • Non-Founder CEO: The company recruits or elects this individual to lead the firm. This position can have many benefits. The founding CEOs might be too busy running multiple businesses and hiring Non-Founder CEOs to replace them.



6. How To Become A CEO Without A Degree?


Most CEOs have at least a bachelor's degree. You will find it easier to become a company leader with a degree. Furthermore, your chances of becoming a CEO without a degree are practically nil unless you've established your own business.


While you may want to work up the corporate ladder rather than spend three to four years in college, a degree is necessary and will be rewarding in the long run.


A degree demonstrates to a potential employer that you manage your time effectively and work extremely hard. It further indicates that you are a leader with initiative and ambition.



7. How Much Does A CEO Earn In Australia?


According to Payscale, the average entry-level CEO salary in Australia for individuals with less than one year of experience is around AU$120,000, based on 29 salaries. This also includes bonuses, tips, and overtime pay.


Based on 327 salaries, the average wage for an early career CEO with one to four years of experience is around AU$128,000. On the other hand, a mid-career CEO with five to nine years of experience gets an average salary of AU$151,000, based on 345 salaries.


Lastly, an experienced CEO with at least ten to nineteen years of experience earns an average compensation of AU$164,500, based on 691 salaries. In their later career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total wage of AU$185,450.


Now that you know everything about becoming a chief executive officer in Australia, you are ready to build strong leadership characteristics and get the CEO position.


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