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ROI for Your Executive Education Program

How to Calculate the ROI for Your Executive Education Program

“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
Albert Einstein

Determining the ROI of any investment is imperative. But, it’s not always an easy calculation. That’s the case with calculating the ROI for your executive education program. But all is not lost! Even though it’s hard to calculate the ROI in absolute tangible terms, there are ways to measure what you are getting back in return for your time and monetary investment.

While there is also a certain formula to calculate the ROI for your executive education program, it acts merely as a guide since the variables are numerous in a calculation such as this. What you need to consider is the direct cost of the program fee itself and possible travel and stay. Next you need to consider secondary costs such as any investment being made to facilitate this endeavor. As well as opportunity costs, which includes value that you will forego due to the program such as work assignments, salaries, etc.

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Once you have all the totals ready, divide the total cost of your program by your projected salary revision and find out how long it’ll take to pay off the cost. After this period you can consider calculating your executive education program ROI.

While this might help you a certain amount, it is hard to calculate in absolutes what this sum might be. It is important to remember that the ROI for an executive program versus a traditional course will vary greatly. This is because of how both instructions are curated. While one is specifically for someone with years of experience and a high level of understanding of advanced concepts, the other is geared towards someone with no work experience and little to no understanding of advanced concepts.

Keeping that in mind, the six following measures of ROI will allow you to put into perspective and assign value to what your return on an executive education program will be.

1) Peer position

A good way to estimate whether or not a program was worth the time and money spent is to speak with a colleague or peer who has completed a program. Getting feedback from someone who has benefited from the kind of program you are considering will definitely be more valuable and better aid you in calculating the ROI on that program than reading about it in brief descriptions.

2) Expectations

Understanding the value you are getting from something depends highly on your own expectations. If you’re taking up a program to learn a certain skill or acquire a peer group, then you will return with your ROI fulfilled. If your expectation is to get a promotion or a new job, you need to plan accordingly. Understanding your expectations can also help you focus on what you need from, as well as during the program.

3) Get goals

Estimating whether or not a certain investment will be of value to you can be approached by first looking at your own needs and goals. Illustrate your short term and long term goals and see if the program’s goals and takeaways match your own. So, to calculate the ROI you will receive on the completion of the program, take stock of your goals and see how the program will help you achieve those goals, in the short term, as well as the long term.

4) Tangible objectives

Work around an opportunity you are aiming for, such as taking up an executive education program when you’re negotiating that promotion or that new job. This way you are guaranteed the ROI of an increased salary and a higher position on the completion of your program. Or, if you’re looking to learn something specific to apply in your current situation, you’re sure to be able to come back and solve that problem.

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5) Future planning

Similar to the point above, plan your career trajectory and acquire the skills you need along the way. Analyse the skills your team or your company needs – either for a certain project, for a projected role that will need to be filled, or certain challenges that might need a new perspective. Planning ahead for certain specific requirements can also allow you to calculate the ROI of a program.

6) Peer Group

Check for the participant profile to see what your life-long alumni and network will be and how it might be of value to you career. This is something of high value in the long run. It allows you to prepare your career path involving your peers well into the future. It will help you understand the potential for growth and expansion through the possible professional connections you will make with your alumni or peer group.

Finally, give yourself time to sum up the ROI of a program. Even if it might not always be an instant change, an executive program can do wonders for your professional journey.


Q. What is the correlation between expectations and the ROI of a program?

A. Calculating the value of something depends highly on your expectations attached to it. So before doing the program it’s important to have clarity on what the program is offering, what your expectations are before calculating the ROI.

Q. What about future planning will affect the ROI of a program for you?

A. Planning your career trajectory and acquiring the skills you need along the way will give you a clear picture of what you need from the program and therefore what the ROI will be.

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