Executive Education Trends At a Glance

• Conferences are a primary resource. Information technology executives are more inclined to send their staff to conferences for executive education, followed by professional associations, programs offered by graduate schools and corporate universities.

• Conferences have high corporate value. In terms of effectiveness, IT executives indicated that conferences (30%) and professional associations (24%) were most effective in helping them achieve their companies' objectives, followed by graduate school executive education programs (17%) and customized corporate universities (16%).

• Management skills are in highest demand. When asked what types of programs CIOs sent their staff to most often, the responses were management (25%), leadership (22%), communication (14%) and e-commerce (12%).

• Cost ranks high in making a selection. The most important factors in selecting an executive education program were cost, length of program and level of customization.

• One week is an ideal length of time for training. When asked what they considered to be a "reasonable" amount of class time for an executive education program, 55% said three to five business days, and 19% said fewer than three business days. Ten percent indicated that six to 10 business days was acceptable, and 7% said 11 to 28 days. Only 4% said that more than 28 business days was acceptable.

• Weekends are fair game for training. Fifty-seven percent of survey respondents said they sent staff to programs on both weekend and business days, while 41% said they sent workers on business days only.

• A reasonable expectation for investment: $4,200. On average, respondents indicated that $4,189 was a reasonable cost for a five-day executive education program.

• On-the-job performance is the best measure of success. When asked how they measured the effectiveness of a program, IT executives frequently cited how a student applies what he learns to his job, retention of the information from the program and the results seen in the department overall.

• Internet training is used but with spotty success. Approximately 54% of our survey base said their companies participated in Internet or video training. Of the 201 respondents who had used Internet training, roughly 41% said they were satisfied or extremely satisfied; 44% said they were somewhat satisfied and 14% were somewhat or not at all satisfied.

• Video training also gets mixed marks. When asked how satisfied they were with video training, 42% of the CIOs said they were satisfied or extremely satisfied, and 40% indicated that they were somewhat satisfied. Seventeen percent said they were somewhat dissatisfied or not at all satisfied.

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