C-Suite Executives: Value Brought by MSDS Grads to Business (2023)

C-Suite Executives: Once, all roads led to Rome. These days, it seems they all lead to careers in data science. The big data deluge of the twenty-first century has created opportunities for strategic data analysis in every digitized field — which, in this digital era, means practically every profession.

That’s why data science programs attract students from so many different backgrounds.Stevens Institute of Technologymaster’s candidate Kirill Prokrym, for example, began his career studying cancer in a biomarker lab. When he discovered that he “enjoyed the programming and data analysis side more than the bench chemistry side,” he began to explore other options. His search led him to the Stevens Online Master of Data Science program.

Prokrym saw the master’s as an opportunity to broaden his career prospects. He also loves the exposure to new, innovative data analytics approaches. And, he appreciates how quickly students can complete the program — in just 20 months, for those who take two classes per semester.

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In the long term, probably, although I’m keeping an open mind. I would 100 percent enjoy working in the medical field again doing some sort of biological or genetic data — anything like that would be in my wheelhouse. That said, Stevens is in Hoboken, right across the river from New York City, and it has strong ties to the finance sector.


Absolutely. Also, a master’s in data science is a foundational degree. If you want to pursue anything else or develop a higher-level specialization, you can flip the degree to do something more focused on machine learning, artificial intelligence or higher mathematics.


Correct. The beauty of data science is that it takes three separate disciplines and pulls them together. You need statistics, you need computer science and you need business skills. When you combine these three disciplines and translate them into action items, you have something the C-suite can use.

It’s not simple. You need to be able to pick models based on the problem you’re trying to solve. You can’t just choose any old statistical model; it has to match the type of data you’re pulling. Also, you spend a lot of time on data cleaning and exploratory data analysis. It’s all part of the process. If you aren’t a confident, capable programmer, you’ll never get through the data cohesively and accurately to turn it into something usable.

Additionally, you need a statistics background to achieve your goals. If you can’t match a model to the kind of data you’re getting, or you don’t know that you should ask your business partner for different data, you’ll never get valuable insights.

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In data science, you can lean into any of three strengths. You can stress the machine modeling part and get further into creating algorithms. Or, you can develop your business analytical skills on the data presentation side — become a professional data storyteller, in a sense, dashboarding data to make it accessible to your company. Your third option is to become a data engineer, collecting data, setting up processes for your company and building the schemas for how your data is collected and stored. As we reach the point at which companies have so much data in their warehouses, it becomes crucial to set up those structures and allocate data intelligently from day one.


Well, COVID-19, for one. The pandemic began to ramp up when I started the program, and vaccines weren’t available to everyone. It was just safer to take classes from home. With variants popping up now, I’m still pretty happy with my decision.

Stevens’ flexibility made the decision easier. You can switch over and become an in-person student any time if you want. And, you have access to the campus regardless. Knowing I could change over to full-time and on-campus if I wanted to was a great benefit. That said, I prefer online. As a full-time worker, I need the extra flexibility online study provides.


I’m particularly interested in the statistical basis of data science. At Stevens, the department head is a mathematician whose research is in stochastic processes. The program stresses the importance of building a solid statistical foundation for data science. As someone who wants to do modeling, I thought that was crucial.


Every student has a Success Coach who organizes introductions and is happy to organize study groups. My coach made sure my fellow students and I met each other. She offered to create Discord groups for us, send out Zoom group chat invites, set up Microsoft Teams and email our professors on our behalf. She also made sure we were signed up for classes. Everything she did had a community support angle, which made everything so much easier.

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I strongly recommend attending office hours. You’ll get extra attention from your professors and meet any other students. You’ll work through problems and solve questions together, and you’ll see where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

Additionally, all classes have a collaborative aspect. Students work on homework assignments together. Graduate work, by its nature, is collaborative; it’s more discussion-based than undergraduate learning. You’re encouraged to interact, even during class time. Live sessions tend to focus on identifying students’ pain points and helping us work through the challenges.


How challenging the material is at times. Because it’s a multidisciplinary field, we have people from all different backgrounds in this program. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses: someone is a better mathematician, another one is a great statistician, a third student is an outstanding programmer and another excels at business intelligence. We have people from finance sectors, academia and research. We have people working full-time jobs as analysts in other sectors. Everyone has something to contribute and areas where they need help.

Anyone coming into this program should prepare to face complex problems. Sure, some weeks, you’ll pick things up really quickly and everything will click. Then the next week, you’ll come across something that really challenges you — maybe central limit theorem or something like that. It’s essential to your success to understand these foundational concepts. You can’t just breeze through.


Review your undergraduate statistics and mathematics before you start. Make sure they’re solid because the first semester focuses on both. Also, make sure you’re ready for the online format. You need to communicate digitally with faculty, classmates and your success coach. Be comfortable reaching out and making connections. Make sure you’re putting yourself out there for opportunities. Don’t hold back and miss out on a great moment.

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I’ve been through bootcamps, so I can speak from experience on this. Bootcamps focus on the raw application of concepts. They often don’t have the time to really dig deep into why, say, an L2 norm works the way it does. They explain how to use it but not why.

In data science, you’re applying a statistical model, and you really need to understand why you’re choosing that particular model. It’s not as simple as following a flowchart that says, “If it’s this kind of data, use linear regression.” The master’s trains you to make decisions intelligently. Remember, data science is a moving, living, breathing career. It constantly incorporates new technology and new concepts. The beauty of getting a master’s is that you’ll always understand what those tools are doing, even as the tools change.

TheOnline Master of Science in Data Science(MSDS) at Stevens Institute of Technology develops data scientists adept at Python and R, SQL, Hadoop, Hive and TensorFlow. The 30-credit-hour, 10 course curriculum digs deep into machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, data visualization, and advanced statistical methods. The program, which is delivered 100 percent online and is typically completed in 20 months, offers two pathways: a traditional path for those with limited data science experience and an advanced path for those with more-developed skills.

Stevens Institute’s online programs were named the nation’s eighth-best online graduate computer information technology program by US News & World Report in 2021. The same publication ranked Stevens’ online graduate engineering programs 21st and third-best in the state of New Jersey (among engineering and science graduate programs). Learn more about qualifications and the admissions process from theadmissions officeor simplystart your online applicationtoday. A world of innovation awaits you.


What does the IBV C-Suite Studies focus on researching the views of? ›

Since 2003, the IBV has collected data and insights from more than 50,000 executives and academics worldwide. Our C-suite Studies examine how executives' perspectives have shifted over time—and what they expect to see in the future.

What does C-suite mean in business? ›

The C-suite are the highest-ranking senior executives in an organisation. So called, because of the “C” representing the word “chief” in many corporate titles.

Who is the C-suite leader? ›

"C-suite" refers to the executive-level managers within a company. Common c-suite executives include chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), chief operating officer (COO), and chief information officer (CIO).

What is the role of the C-suite? ›

The term "C-suite" derives from the titles of these senior executives, such as chief executive officer, chief marketing officer and chief security officer. These C-suite executives ensure the different departments of a company work together to achieve its policies and plans.

What motivates C-suite executives? ›

Ways You Can Motivate Internally Motivated C–Suite Executives
  • Provide them with feedback. ...
  • Provide them with a wide range of challenging assignments. ...
  • Offer Competitive Compensation Packages. ...
  • Measure Performance with Metrics. ...
  • Performance-Based Promotion.
Oct 5, 2021

What should executives often referred to as the C-suite focus their decision making on? ›

1. Strategic focus. C-suite executives are primarily focused on strategic decisions that impact their company's long-term success. Therefore, C-suite marketing needs to focus on your product's strategic benefits and value proposition, rather than just the features and benefits.

What do C-level executives care about? ›

Officers who hold C-level positions are typically considered the most powerful and influential members of an organization; consequently, these executives set the company's strategy, make high-stakes decisions and ensure day-to-day operations align with fulfilling the company's strategic goals.

Is C-suite higher than VP? ›

Is the VP considered a C-level position? C-level positions are reserved for those with chief roles, such as chief operating officer. Vice presidents are known as V-level management, which are below C-level positions.

What is higher than C-suite? ›

What are the four levels of management? C-level management: At the top of the business hierarchy. V-level management: Vice Presidents (VPs) and Senior Vice Presidents (SVPs) who report to C-level management. D-level management: Directors in various departments (e.g., Director of Sales) who report to V-level management.

What is the hardest job in the C-suite? ›

The CFO's job, already one of the most complex in corporate America, has expanded to become what's arguably the toughest C-suite role.

Are C-level executives the highest? ›

The “C” stands for chief, as C-level executives are the top level of management in their specific department. You can use the term C-suite when referring to a group of C-level executives in an organization. The job duties of a C-level manager may vary based on their specific role or the size of the company.

Who are below C-level executives? ›

B-level executives are mid-level managers who are below C-suite executives. These professionals are a liaison between executives and the rest of the organisation and pass on information to employees. B-level professionals consist of general managers, branch managers and department heads.

What are D level executives? ›

D-level executives are the ones who report to VPs. In this case, D stands for director, e.g. a Director of Engineering or a Director of Sales belong in this grade. Some companies also use the term “B-level executive” to describe mid-level managers. Related resources: Best job sites for executive-level candidates.

What is D suite? ›

D-suite leaders are analytical thinkers who are connected and comfortable with digital technology. As with any kind of leader, they need to be bright, adaptable and possess endurance and drive.

How do you engage C-level executives? ›

Here are some tips on how to engage with high-ranking officers of a company:
  1. Start at the Top of C-Level Management. ...
  2. Forget the Features. ...
  3. Understand the Priorities of C-Level Executives. ...
  4. Level with Them. ...
  5. Get Social. ...
  6. Don't Burn Bridges With C-Level Connections. ...
  7. Be Pleasantly Persistent.

What C-suite skills matter most? ›

Top Executive Management Skills Needed to Succeed in the C-Suite
  • C-Suite Communication & Presentation Skills. ...
  • Change Management Skills. ...
  • Subject Matter Expertise. ...
  • Strategic Thinking & Foresight. ...
  • Decision Making. ...
  • Emotional Intelligence. ...
  • Employee Development. ...
  • Delegation.

What are 4 things successful executives do differently? ›

4 Things the World's Top CEOs Do Differently to Stand Out From the Crowd
  • 4 areas of leadership development. ...
  • Be critically self-aware. ...
  • Use your strengths to overcome your weaknesses. ...
  • Study those who aren't you. ...
  • Seek the right experiences.
Mar 22, 2022

What are the personality types in the C-suite? ›

There are four personality types or social styles – Analyticals, Drivers, Expressives and Amiables – and all four have their own unique approach to business, their own language and thought processes.

Which of these are key priorities for executives? ›

8 top priorities for CEOs
  • Leverage technology.
  • Delegate tasks.
  • Prioritize time for yourself.
  • Communicate often.
  • Run productive meetings.
  • Prioritize growth.
  • Retain top talent.
  • Create a productive hybrid or remote work culture.
Feb 13, 2023

What role do executives play in decision-making? ›

The job of a manager is, above all, to make decisions. At any moment in any day, most executives are engaged in some aspect of decision making: exchanging information, reviewing data, coming up with ideas, evaluating alternatives, implementing directives, following up.

What four basic decisions are generally the responsibility of the CEO? ›

CEOs are responsible for managing a company's overall operations. This may include delegating and directing agendas, driving profitability, managing company organizational structure, strategy, and communicating with the board.

How old is the average C level executive? ›

When analyzed in the aggregate, the average age for a C-suite member is 56 and the average tenure is 4.9 years. However, the numbers vary depending on title and industry. The average age for a CEO across industries is 59.

What are the social skills of the C-suite? ›

So social skills matter greatly. The occupants of the C-suite need to be adroit at communicating spontaneously and anticipating how their words and actions will play beyond the immediate context.

What degrees are best for C-suite executives? ›

Rising to executive roles of CEO, COO, and CFO generally requires that you get an advanced degree, usually a Master of Business Administration (MBA). If your career trajectory is aimed at occupying one of the C-suite offices, your first step should be to consider an MBA or other master's degree in business.

What are top C suite salaries? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $322,000 and as low as $20,000, the majority of C Suite Executive salaries currently range between $103,500 (25th percentile) to $147,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $240,500 annually across the United States.

What are the current C suite titles? ›

Here's a breakdown of these traditional C-suite roles:
  • Chief executive officer (CEO) ...
  • Chief financial officer (CFO) ...
  • Chief operating officer (COO) ...
  • Chief marketing officer (CMO) ...
  • Chief information officer (CIO) ...
  • Chief human resources officer (CHRO) ...
  • General counsel (GC) ...
  • Chief data officer (CDO)
Mar 1, 2023

What is the hierarchy of CXO? ›

A chief experience officer (CXO) is an executive in the C-suite who ensures positive interactions with an organization's customers. The CXO typically reports to the chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer (COO) or chief marketing officer (CMO).

What are the 4 levels of management? ›

The four most common types of managers are top-level managers, middle managers, first-line managers, and team leaders. These roles vary not only in their day-to-day responsibilities, but also in their broader function in the organization and the types of employees they manage.

Who is the CEO's right hand man? ›

A COO is the CEO's right-hand person and the second-highest in command at a firm. The COO is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a firm and for assisting the CEO in a variety of tasks.

How many C-suite executives are there in the US? ›

There are over 42,356 chief executive officers currently employed in the United States.

How many hours do C suite executives work? ›

On average, CEOs work 39 hours per work week.

During this time, they conduct meetings, spend time with employees, with clients, and do many other different tasks. CEOs may travel for their positions, and during this time, they make more than their average work week.

What degree do most executives have? ›

Economics, business administration, and engineering are the most popular subjects studied by top CEOs. On average, 34.6% of top CEOs have a master's or doctorate degree and. 22.3% of top CEOs have a Master of Business Administration (MBA), 16.4% of top CEOs studied abroad; and.

Does the C suite report to the board? ›

At the top of any major company, you'll find two governing bodies: the C-suite and the Board of Directors (BOD). While C-suite executives are a company's top dogs, making day-to-day management decisions, they answer to the Board of Directors who represent owners or other stakeholders.

Are VP considered executives? ›

A VP is a high-level senior executive who oversees the day-to-day operations of a broad division and implements the company's vision, policies, and goals. If an organization only has one VP, this person oversees the entire organization's operations.

Are executives upper class? ›

Many politicians, heirs to fortunes, top business executives such as CEOs, successful venture capitalists, and celebrities are considered members of the upper class. Some prominent and high-rung professionals may also be included if they attain great influence and wealth.

Is General Manager a C-suite? ›

In the c-suite, the chief executive officer (CEO) is considered the GM overseeing the entire company. At the departmental level, the GM might oversee a specific process in a company or be in charge of a particular unit or segment. The GM sits just below the CEO in the executive suite in terms of rank.

Is managing director a C-suite? ›

What Is a Managing Director? Not considering the C-suite, a managing director is the highest-ranking manager in the organization. A qualified managing director typically has many years of experience managing staff and operations. A managing director is below the CEO in a corporate hierarchy.

What is the difference between SVP and EVP? ›

Executive vice presidents typically have broader responsibilities like determining company-wide goals, while senior vice presidents often oversee a specific department or function.

What is the hierarchy of job titles? ›

Within any business organization, there is also a job title hierarchy. As such, various job positions have authority over others since higher-level positions manage entire teams of people. There are three primary tiers of company position types: executive, management, and operational.

What is the difference between a COO and a Cao? ›

One difference between a chief administrative officer and a chief operating officer is the aspect of business that each of the positions focuses on. As a chief administrative officer oversees a company's day-to-day operations, they usually focus on finding ways to improve specific elements of a company's operations.

How do you break into C-suite? ›

If you plan to become a C-level executive through internal promotion, you need to work for the same company for at least 15 years, gain institutional knowledge and experience steadily and ascend to higher, more demanding positions. Additionally, you must be able to reinvent yourself as the company evolves with time.

What is B suite? ›

The B Suite: This level is the business owner. This is the group of stakeholders that owns the business outcome for your client company. You might decide not to spend any time outside of the C-suite (or the A-suite).

What are the phases of C-suite? ›

Through my work with C-Suite and aspiring C-Suite executives I have developed a unique approach that focuses on a framework called the 3 P's. This involves the key areas of PLANNING, PREPARATION and PERFORMANCE.

What is the role of C-suite executives in corporate communication and decisions? ›

C-level executives must have strong leadership and communication skills, as well as team-building abilities. C-suite executives set the direction of the function they oversee and then hire staff to ensure the daily management is aligned with the established plans and policies.

What are C-suite decision makers? ›

C-level executives play a strategic role within an organization; they hold senior positions and impact company-wide decisions. C stands for “Chief”, so a C-level executive (also called a C-suite executive) is in charge of an entire department or business unit, such as Marketing, Finance and IT.

Which of the following C-suite job roles is the head of information technology department? ›

CIO (Chief Information Officer)

The chief information officer (CIO) is responsible for Information Technology (IT) strategy to support an organization's goals and objectives. A chief information officer usually manages a team of IT specialists responsible for maintaining the day-to-day IT operations.


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