The survey asked Swedish executives to think about a new professional role, something that would be a really tempting and realistic next step in their career. Then they had to judge whether their current CV met the educational qualifications that the employer would be looking for. Only 49 percent stated that they thought it did.

Those showing least faith in their own CVs are managers that belong to the group Other manager roles (not CEOs or in any other C-level position), according to the study. 56 percent of these feel that they lack the educational qualifications to take the next step in their career. Swedish CEOs also give themselves low scores on this point. Only 47 percent see their CV as good enough to climb the career ladder. C-level managers are the ones with the greatest confidence in their qualifications. 62 percent of the respondents in this category state that their current CV is attractive enough to tempt potential employers.

“The fact that Swedish executives have such little faith in their own CVs is not necessarily due to an actual lack of competence. It’s more about the rapid pace of change in society demanding high levels of flexibility and constant development from companies and individuals alike. The question is how best to meet these demands over the course of your career,” says Anders Richtnér, CEO of SSE Executive Education.

“We believe that a good basic education will continue to be important, but we’re also seeing attitudes to education changing. Education is no longer something that you get done early on, before entering the world of work. To remain relevant over the long term, you have to adapt all the time and regularly top up your skills, adding new knowledge and perspectives as new needs and demands crop up throughout your working life. Essentially, that means lifelong learning.”

About the survey

The survey was conducted by Kantar Sifo through online interviews with 496 people in April–June 2018. The sample was based on people who have personnel responsibility, are members of a senior management team, report to a CEO or run major projects in companies with more than 50 employees, and who have had some sort of contact with leadership education. 78 percent of those who responded work at companies with more than 200 employees.

The results, per group:

(% of respondents who believe their current educational qualifications meet the requirements for an attractive new job opportunity.)

All participants: 49%*

CEO:s, 47%

C-level managers (reporting to the CEO), 62%

Other manager roles (not CEO or C-level manager), 44%

*Comment: The number of respondents in the different group varies, which has been taking into account for the “All participants” result.


For more information, please contact:

Anders Richtnér
CEO, SSE Executive Education
Tel: +46 73 659 77 27

About SSE Executive Education

SSE Executive Education at the Stockholm School of Economics is Northern Europe’s leading partner for executive education and is ranked number one in the Nordic region within leadership and business development according to the Financial Times. At SSE Executive Education, academic research is integrated with business. SSE Executive Education develops leaders focused on cutting-edge areas, including innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainable growth and financial economics, as well as boosting the competitiveness of companies, organizations and the public sector through powerful transformation.

Photos: ©Juliana Wiklund Photography