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Leading-edge programs delivered online, in-person, or customized for your organization

Our commitment to developing and providing transformative educational experiences does not stop with a degree. The changing world of business requires leaders who continually evolve to meet new challenges. Professional and Executive Education at Gies College of Business provides continuing education that empowers senior executives and high performing managers to achieve their potential. We offer courses for individual learners through our online courses and our traditional classroom-style residential courses. For corporations, faculty experts build custom learning experiences to meet the needs of employees. 

Online Courses for Individual Learners

Our collection of high-level online business courses addresses topics relevant to rising leaders, managers, and directors with an array of backgrounds. Complete these courses at your own pace. Learn in a fully-engaged online classroom, where collaboration with renowned faculty and eager colleagues returns leaders to their organization with a renewed sense of purpose. Each course lasts three weeks with 10-15 hours of self-paced coursework and three live sessions per course. You can register for courses individually or the entire four-course collection.


Certificate in Business Management and Administration

Certificate in Business Management and Administration
2020 Dates Coming Soon

Gain skills in strategic leadership and innovation, process improvement, marketing management, and managerial accounting.

Highlights Managerial Accounting

Principles of Managerial Accounting
Course Starts February 27, 2020

This course is an executive-level introduction and exploration of managerial accounting principles and applications.

Highlights Process Management

Strategic Leadership & Innovation
2020 Dates Coming Soon

This course builds skills in team leadership and adaptive organizational design to enhance leaders’ effectiveness in a fast-moving business world.

woman typing on laptop at table

Principles of Marketing
2020 Dates Coming Soon

This course explores the principles of marketing management and how it complements other business disciplines to create value.

Process Improvement

Operations Management
2020 Dates Coming Soon

This course will prepare you to deploy process improvement strategies in alignment with other functions of your organization.

Residential Programs for Individual Learners

Learn the content that is driving innovation in today's business world in a traditional classroom setting. Our residential programs are available to all individual learners and held across the Midwest. If you are interested in a residential program, please view our list of upcoming courses

Customized programs for your organization

We specialize in custom engagement that addresses your specific business challenges. A program director works with you, your organization, and our renowned team to access course modules that meet your needs. Our team can even provide specialized content to enhance your existing in-house talent programs. These programs focus on a number of areas, including:

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Business Ethics

Icon for Business Model Innovation
Business Model Innovation 

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Innovation Management

Invest in your team with custom courses taught by faculty experts

Our courses are taught by the same Gies College of Business faculty who teach in our top-ranked degree programs. These faculty members represent a diverse collection of backgrounds that includes significant experience as practitioners, leading researchers, and renowned teachers. They have the knowledge and expertise relevant to today’s business leaders.

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Associate Professor of Accountancy & PwC Faculty Fellow

Associate Professor of Business Administration, Bruce and Anne Strohm Faculty Fellow

Associate Professor of Accountancy and Fred & Virginia Roedgers Faculty Fellow in Accountancy

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Professor of Business Administration and A Robert & Helen P Fellowship

Professor of Accountancy and Associate Head and A.C. Littleton Professor of Accountancy

Carlos Torelli

"Our innovation and expertise in the delivery of education via a high-engagement online classroom provides an ideal learning environment. This experience transcends geography and busy schedules, so professional learners gain knowledge to support their continued success."

Carlos Torelli, Executive Director, Professional and Executive Education

News and Events

Are online Roth vs. traditional IRA calculators useful?

Feb 11, 2020, 08:53 AM by Aaron Bennett
New research coauthored by Gies College of Business professor Josh Herbold sheds some light on the limitations of online retirement calculators while also offering advice on which calculators are best.

When choosing a retirement plan, many beginners immediately turn to free, online retirement calculators. You type in some basic personal information, current income, and retirement goals, and the calculator can tell you how much money to save and which type of retirement plan (traditional or Roth IRA) it recommends. New research coauthored by Gies College of Business professor Josh Herbold, however, sheds some light on the limitations of these online calculators while also offering advice on which calculators are best.

“The biggest misconception is that the calculator is doing more than we think it’s doing,” said Herbold. “It’s really not doing a lot in most cases. Most online calculators are doing just a straight ‘time value of money’ calculation and giving you a future value number. By and large, they’re not accounting for the year-to-year fluctuations in interest rates, and they’re not taking into consideration whether you’re reinvesting your tax deduction or spending it.”

Josh HerboldWhen deciding between a traditional or Roth IRA, Herbold says the two most common factors that online calculators don’t consider are your income limits and investing style. An investor’s income status can affect whether their retirement contributions are tax deductible or even allowable. Above a certain income level, the investor may not even be able to contribute to a Roth IRA. The other factor to consider is how risk averse you are.

“We talk about people being risk averse or risk seeking. If you are going for high-growth investments, those have more variation in the returns. That can affect your overall endpoint,” said Herbold. “Most calculators just use a constant rate of return, say 6% for example, and a high-growth strategy might give you 8% - but some years you’re going to lose money. It’s important to consider your investment style when choosing a plan.”

So which online calculators are best? Herbold recommends using those that employ a Monte Carlo simulation, which incorporates the year-to-year fluctuations in the rate of return. These include calculators from E-Trade, T. Rowe Price, and TD Ameritrade.

“The Monte Carlo calculators will run many different simulated financial projections that include the possible year-to-year variation in returns, and then report back the aggregate or average of those simulations,” said Herbold. “This is far more realistic than a straight ‘time value of money’ calculation, but it may be hard for novice investors to understand the variations in results. Of those three calculators, E-Trade makes that variation the easiest to understand.”

Among the calculators that employ a single estimated rate of return, Herbold recommends Lincoln and John Hancock because of their transparency, flexibility, and ease of comparison between traditional and Roth IRAs. Herbold emphasizes there are no “wrong” options; it’s only about deciding which plan is best for you.

“Saving something is better than not saving anything,” he said. “If a calculator motivates you to start investing, especially early, that’s great. You will be way better off in the long run. Let the power of time and compound interest start working for you sooner. Then when you can, get a seasoned financial advisor to help you put together a more comprehensive retirement plan.”

“Are Online Roth versus Traditional IRA Calculators Useful?” by Tim Manuel (University of Montana) and  Josh Herbold (University of Illinois, Gies College of Business) was published in the November 2019 issue of The CPA Journal