CEO (Chief Executive Officer)

Job Description:

CEOs manage the overall operation of a company, developing business plans and making sure they're successful.

Job Category:
Professional Services

What you will do:

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • setting out the organisation’s aims and how it will meet them
  • making decisions about the organisation’s priorities
  • working closely with a senior management team to put policies in place
  • managing relationships with partners
  • making sure the organisation meets its legal obligations
  • reporting to the organisation’s chairperson or owner
  • promoting the organisation at conferences, events, and in the media
  • controlling budgets


You’ll need:

  • business management skills
  • financial management skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • the ability to use your judgement and make decisions (adaptability skills)
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to motivate and manage staff
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • the ability to use your initiative
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Becoming a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is a high-level leadership position that typically requires a combination of education, skills, experience, and qualities. While specific GCSE subjects may not directly determine your path to becoming a CEO, certain subjects can provide a foundation for developing essential skills and knowledge. Keep in mind that the educational and career journey to becoming a CEO often extends beyond GCSEs. Here are some relevant GCSE subjects and skills that can contribute to a potential path to becoming a CEO:

Relevant GCSE Subjects

  1. Business Studies: Provides a foundational understanding of business concepts, management principles, and organizational dynamics.
  2. Mathematics: Develops analytical and quantitative skills essential for financial analysis, budgeting, and strategic decision-making.
  3. English Language: Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are crucial for effective leadership and stakeholder communication.
  4. Economics: Offers insights into economic principles, market dynamics, and factors influencing business strategies.
  5. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency in technology and data analysis is increasingly important for modern business operations.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You’ll often need a degree, postgraduate or professional qualification related to the organisation’s work. For example, in areas like business management, finance or law.

You can get into this job through a senior leader master’s degree apprenticeship.

This will usually take 2 to 3 years to complete.

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

You could move into this role if you’ve got several years’ experience of working at senior management level, along with commercial expertise.

You’ll need a very strong commitment to the organisation’s aims.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work between 40 and 48 hours a week. So you might have long hours or irregular work schedules.

As a CEO, you’ll need to manage your own time and tasks as you’ll regularly make decisions without supervision. You’ll need to know how to work in a team and maintain a professional manner when working with people who aren’t your colleagues, likes clients and partners.

Career Path & Progression:

You could move between organisations or businesses, or work as a management consultant, advising clients on commercial strategy and policy.