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What Is a Certificate in Business Excellence (CIBE) and How Will Earning One Help Me Become a Better Leader?

March 10, 2022

People often conflate executive education and the Executive Master of Business Administration, but advanced degree programs represent just one of many learning paths for executives. Degree programs tend to command attention because of their popularity — 200,000 people earn graduate degrees in business annually in the United States — and because people assume they offer a competitive advantage other educational pathways do not. However, no matter how prestigious, degree programs are not necessarily the best option for all learners. Degree programs can be time-consuming and may not offer the appropriate depth of study for already accomplished professionals.

For senior executives looking for unique learning experiences, bootcamps and certificate programs can offer more value than degree programs. The former tend to be geared toward skill-builders looking to gain new aptitudes, while certificate programs such as Columbia Business School Executive Education’s Certificate in Business Excellence (CIBE) attract professionals looking for executive education options that build on existing competencies and provide additional advantages.

Certificate Program vs. Bootcamp: What’s the Difference?

Bootcamps and certificate programs are both shorter and more focused than degree programs, and learning outcomes tend to be quite different.

There is a range of bootcamp experiences for business professionals. Bootcamps, which are typically offered by private companies, tend to narrowly focus on a single competency or application (e.g., product launch). They are seldom customizable and often teach ‘how’ to build specific skills but not ‘why.’

Certificate programs, on the other hand, focus on a set of related, interdisciplinary skills and explore ‘why’ as well as ‘how.’ They are highly customizable and offer skilled professionals opportunities to develop within chosen areas of interest. Certificate programs also provide participants with benefits beyond a credential. For instance, Certificate in Business Excellence holders receive select Columbia Business School alumni benefits outlined in more detail below.

What Is a Certificate in Business Excellence (CIBE)?

The CIBE is a credential awarded by Columbia Business School Executive Education. The certificate confirms the recipient has earned at least 18 certificate credits in Columbia Business School Executive Education programs over four years (extended to five years during the pandemic).

Some CIBE participants build customized learning paths, assembling programs in any or all of the following categories: comprehensive management, finance, leadership, marketing, social enterprise, and strategy. Their professional development goals drive their choice of programs, and they work toward the CIBE at their own pace. Others fulfill the requirements of the Certificate in Business Excellence by completing Columbia Business School Executive Education’s 22-week hybrid Advanced Management Program.

CIBE Benefits

Completing the Certificate in Business Excellence entitles you to select alumni benefits identical to those granted to graduates of Columbia Business School’s graduate degree programs.

Tuition Benefits

Columbia Business School recognizes that professional growth never stops. CIBE holders receive a 25 percent tuition reduction when they enroll in in-person Executive Education programs up to seven days in length or any of Columbia Business School’s online Executive Education programs. They can also share this price reduction with four colleagues per year.

Invitations to Alumni and Global Networking Events

Networking is a critical element of career development. Columbia Business School Certificate in Business Excellence holders can tap into a powerful alumni network of more than 47,000 highly accomplished professionals, notable executives, and industry thought leaders from across business fields. The Columbia Business School alumni network hosts a range of exclusive events throughout the year, including lectures and seminars, webinars, mixers and holiday parties, workshops and training sessions, meetings for professional groups, golf tournaments, and reunions.

Career Support

CIBE holders can utilize Columbia Business School Alumni Career Management resources, including a searchable database of fellow alumni and top recruiting organizations. The university’s online networking platforms, job boards, and unique career-focused content help participants discover a wealth of new professional opportunities.

More Benefits

A Certificate in Business Excellence also entitles professionals to a lifetime Columbia Business School forwarding email address, a subscription to the Columbia Business alumni publication, and entrance into Columbia Business School Alumni Clubs. More importantly, participants exit the program with a respected credential from a world-class university.

Earning Your CIBE in the Advanced Management Program

When you opt to earn your Certificate in Business Excellence by completing the Advanced Management Program at Columbia Business School ​​Executive Education, you join an elite group of senior executives and other business leaders pursuing a world-class education in leadership development.

The Advanced Management Program consists of more than 50 lectures by Columbia Business School Executive Education faculty, industry experts, and business influencers. As a participant, you will benefit from live online exercises that encourage collaborative engagement, self-awareness exercises, in-person immersions, and one-on-one expert career coaching.

The program curriculum blends three overarching themes that encompass the key drivers of effective, visionary leadership — authenticity, strategic thinking, and dynamic execution — which work together to drive organizational and individual ROI. Over 22 weeks, you will attend a blend of live online and in-person sessions that include workshops and lectures, experiential learning modules, and independent assignments and reflections. In leadership and peer coaching, you will learn to lean into your values to become a more authentic leader in your organization.

During your time in Columbia Business School Executive Education’s Advanced Management Program, you will discover new ways to develop and implement initiatives in your organization to manage the most pressing challenges. You will develop the skills to foster a culture of shared values and beliefs to help your organization grow in uncertain times. And you will conduct an intense exploration of the leadership principles critical in business and entrepreneurship, including negotiation, decision-making, psychological safety, leading inclusively, strategic intuition, hyper-competition, and value.

How to Enroll in the CIBE Program

Columbia Business School’s Certificate in Business Excellence represents the culmination of rigorous high-level executive training. Your journey will start when you enroll in your first Columbia Business School Executive Education program. You can find eligible programs using the Executive Education program finder or, if you need help designing a learning path that meets your professional development goals, you can connect with a Learning Solutions specialist at +1-212-854-3395 or

From there, how quickly you advance in your learning journey is up to you. The CIBE is a mark of distinction that acknowledges the investment you have made in your professional development, whether you earn the certificate by fashioning your own curriculum or completing the Advanced Management Program. In both scenarios, you will acquire cutting-edge knowledge and high-impact leadership skills, joining an elite network of global business leaders.

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