Internet Executives


Education and Training Requirements

High School

The educational background of Internet executives varies as widely as the nature of their diverse responsibilities. Many have a bachelor's degree in computer science, information management, information technology, information security, business administration, or a liberal arts field such as economics or communications. If you are interested in a management career dealing with the Internet, you should plan on going to college after high school. Take a college preparatory curriculum, including classes in science, history, and government. Be sure to take as many computer science classes as possible so that you have a basic understanding of the technology that is available. Because an executive must communicate with a wide range of people, take as many English classes as possible to hone your communication skills. Speech classes are another way to improve these skills. Courses in mathematics and business are also excellent choices to help you prepare for this career. A foreign language may also be helpful in preparing for today's global business market.

Postsecondary Training

Internet executives often have a college degree in a subject that pertains to the department they direct or the organization they administer. For example, chief executive officers may have business administration degrees, chief financial officers often have accounting degrees, chief information officers often have computer science degrees, and directors of research and development often have engineering or science degrees. All Internet executives are expected to have experience with the information technology that applies to their field. While in college, you should keep up with your computer studies in addition to deciding what type of work interests you. Are you drawn to sales and marketing, for example, or does the actual manufacturing of a product interest you? A good way to find out is to get some hands-on experience through an internship or summer job. Your college career services office should be able to help you in locating such a position with a business or organization that appeals to you. Management information systems programs usually include business classes as well as computer science classes.

Graduate and professional degrees are common among executives. Many executives in administrative, marketing, financial, and manufacturing activities have a master's degree in business administration. Executives in highly technical manufacturing and research activities often have a master's degree or doctorate in a technical or scientific discipline.


Many colleges and universities offer certificates in business management, IT management, programming, computer networking, cyber security, software development, hardware engineering, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and other areas in which executives must have knowledge. Contact schools in your area to learn more about available programs. 

Other Education or Training

A variety of webinars, conference seminars, and other continuing education (CE) opportunities are offered by professional associations such as the American Management Association, National Management Association, IEEE Computer Society, Internet Marketing Association, and other associations. Contact these organizations for more information.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Voluntary computer- and Internet-related certifications are available from professional associations such as the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals, Institute of Certified Professional Managers, and These designations are helpful in proving your abilities to an employer. The more certifications you have, the more you have to offer. 

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Since the executive position is not considered entry-level, employers expect candidates for these jobs to have as many as five to ten years of experience at e-commerce companies. The person should have a history that includes promotions to higher-level positions, increased responsibilities, and oversight of employees, budgets, and other company resources. Executives should be able to show they have successfully managed departments within a company or large parts of a company.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, computer-related executives may need more than 15 years of experience before obtaining executive-level positions. There are more executive-level positions available at large companies.

In addition to this experience, Internet executives should have some knowledge or experience in marketing, both traditional and online marketing, have extensive knowledge of successful e-commerce strategies and operations, and have excellent leadership, communication, and business skills.

Personally, executives should be very organized and have the ability to see the "big picture." They also need to be able to project future customer and market trends and be able to work with other leaders in the company to ensure the company meets or stays ahead of these trends.

There are a number of personal characteristics that make a successful executive, depending upon the specific responsibilities of the position. An executive who manages other employees should have good communication, decision-making, leadership, and interpersonal skills.

The ability to delegate work and think on your feet is often key in executive business management. A certain degree of organization is important, since executives often manage many different tasks simultaneously. Other traits considered important for top executives are intelligence, intuition, creativity, honesty, loyalty, and a sense of responsibility. Finally, successful executives should be interested in staying abreast of new developments in their industry and technology.