Employment of top executives is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as 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 and their work is central to the success of a company.
Generally, employment growth will be driven by the formation of new organizations and expansion of existing ones, which will require more managers and executives to direct these operations.
However, the rate of new firm creation has slowed over the past few years, with economic activity and employment becoming increasingly concentrated in larger, more mature companies. Younger Americans who came of age during the Great Recession are characterized by an aversion to financial risk. As they reach the peak age of entrepreneurship over the next decade, new firm creation may continue to slow. This may negatively affect the demand for chief executives.
Top executives are expected to face very strong competition for jobs. The high pay and prestige associated with these positions attract many 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, education requirements vary by industry, but candidates who can demonstrate strong leadership abilities and experience getting positive results will have better job opportunities.
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
General and operations managers
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program