Bringing Out the Best in the Best: Executive Coaching Degree

If you have a business background and have a desire to help managers and company leaders, you might want to consider a career as an executive coach. As a practitioner in this rewarding field, you can obtain an on campus or online education to enhance your coaching skills. Working as an executive coach is a very fulfilling line of work as you are directly responsible for helping individuals get out of a rut or to motivate them to go from where they are to where they need to be. When executives make use of your services they will be able to learn and improve, while still fulfilling the responsibilities of their positions. This is why coaching is a core element of executive development at numerous major companies and why successful people, such as Bill Gates, are firm believers in coaching.

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Executive Coaching Degree Information

Online Executive Coaching Curriculum

The best college curriculum relating to executive coaching includes courses that will help you guide leaders through their professional development, learn a coaching system and support executives in their time of need.

By using the convenience of distance learning you can improve your marketability with an online specialization, certification or degree in executive coaching. For example, you can become:

  • A Masters of Arts in Psychology with an Executive Coaching Specialization
  • A Certified Professional life and Business Coach
  • A Master of Science in Leadership Coaching Psychology

The pay is good and the work is rewarding. Free information on executive coaching classes is available from accredited online colleges and programs on the Internet.

Earning a degree online

Online education is an effective choice if you need to complete your degree or add additional education. If you have already started your career and want to branch out, or if you live very far away from schools offering the program you need, distance learning may be your best choice.


The best Bachelor’s degree program for a career in executive coaching is business, followed by psychology. While you may be able to get hired by a large organization as part of the coaching team with just a Bachelor’s degree, to work with top executives or high potential employees, most companies will expect you to have a Master’s degree.

For freelance coaches or coaches at smaller companies, a Bachelor’s degree may be sufficient.


There are many Master’s level programs that can prepare you for a career as an executive coach. Look for programs with names like “Organizational Psychology” if you can’t find one specifically for executive coaching in your area.

Further Education

Many schools offer Ph.D. programs in organizational psychology, which will help you to advance to the highest levels of career achievement in executive coaching.

Even if you decide not to pursue your doctorate, you should expect to continue adding to your education with additional courses to improve your skills and marketability. Specialized courses might include public speaking, writing or international business. These courses will help you keep abreast of your clients’ needs, provide a solid basis for the advice you give to mentees and improve your marketability.


In addition to a solid grounding in business, you should also have a strong background in psychology. You will be required to take courses in ethics and legal issues, performance appraisal and feedback, statistics, organizational consulting, group and organizational dynamics, organizational culture, development and assessment and training techniques. You may also be required to complete group and individual projects as part of the curriculum. Other modules may include coaching skills, the coaching process, research methodology and learning theories.

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Executive Coaching Degree FAQ

How Can I Become An Executive Coach?

To become an executive coach, you will be required to take courses in psychology, public speaking, group dynamics, organizational behavior, organizational development, leadership, ethics, employee training and development, and effecting organizational change. You may be required to complete a capstone project to achieve your master’s degree in this field.

There are both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in organizational development that will prepare you for a career as an executive coach. You will need a strong business background and an equally strong educational base in psychology.

What Type of Qualities Are Required To Be A Good Executive Coach?

Executive coaching calls for excellent interpersonal skills, strong business skills and an ability to remain calm during difficult conversations. Executive coaches walk a fine line between giving feedback that may be tough for an executive to hear and maintaining a relationship of trust and mutual respect. This career calls on both your business and interpersonal skills, and may require excellent project management, writing and public speaking skills to promote your career as an executive coach and to be effective in mentoring others. You must be self-aware in order to teach others how to realize their own potential. Self-confidence is also vital and you must be a positive thinker.

Career Opportunities

Executive coaches work in many business organizations, usually large organizations that want to help key executives and high potential individuals reach their full potential. Smaller organizations may use executive coaches for the entire management team or just a few key leaders. Executive coaches that directly work for a company usually report into human resources, and they may have other duties besides coaching. You may be expected to travel occasionally to meetings and events. Executive coaches may also freelance or join small companies of people with similar skills.

What Are The Typical Duties of Executive Coaches?

Executive coaches may be employed by large organizations, or they may be independent consultants brought in by an organization or an individual executive to help a manager or an executive reach the next level of achievement. Often, executive coaches work with individuals that the organization has identified as having a high potential, although in the past executive coaches were primarily used to raise the performance levels of underachievers. Organizations also use executive coaches to assist managers in learning to deal with employees from different generations, genders or cultures.

Earning Potential

The median pay for executive coaches is more than $113,350 per year, according to the US Government Bureau of Labor Statistics salary surveys. Top performers earn in excess of $180,00 per year. The jobs forecast is expected to rise about seven percent per year, which is about average for growth compared to other occupations.

Many opportunities exist in hospitals, insurance, labs or scientific environments and other companies. The highest wages are in the professional, scientific and technical services fields, and in New York and California, but there are excellent opportunities that offer good wages in every location.AQs About Executive Coaching Careers

How Do I Find Clients If I Am a Freelance Executive Coach?

Coaches usually obtain their clients via referrals. Coaches often speak at conferences or write for periodicals and find clients through these avenues. Executives who are satisfied with the results they achieved will often refer you to others inside their organization.

Can I become an executive coach with a Bachelor’s degree, or will I need a Master’s degree too?

Some companies will hire an executive coach into their human resources group with a bachelor’s degree, but larger organizations will want a master’s degree to let you work with their top executives and highest potential employees.

Are there opportunities in scientific or technical fields?

These 2 industries employ the largest numbers of executive coaches and pay some of the highest salaries. If you are qualified and interested in working as an executive coach in a technology or science environment, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding employment.

Will I be able to earn a degree completely online to become an executive coach?

Many schools and colleges offer Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in Organizational Development online. Any of these programs will prepare you well for a career as an executive coach.

Why Do Companies Hire Executive Coaches?

It is not the jobs of executive coaches to give advice or counsel people, and neither is it to correct the mistakes of others. What they can do is improve morale, reduce turnover, and help to increase the likelihood of executives reaching certain goals. Companies make use of executive coaches because they know it is an effective way of helping their employees to increase their confidence as well as self-esteem while building new skill sets. Because your actions can have such a major impact on the lives of the people you coach it is a very gratifying career path.

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