The AI Boom In Executive Education: What You Can Study Right Now At The World’s Top B-Schools

Thomas Malone was a digital pioneer back when he helped develop MIT Sloan School of Management’s first executive education course on artificial intelligence.

This was seven years ago, at a time when AI wasn’t in the lexicon of most business executives. Malone, the Patrick J. McGovern professor of management at the Sloan School, and Daniella Rus, director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, saw a pressing need for senior-level management to get a better grasp on this emerging technology.

“In retrospect, it seems like it was far-sighted of us to do that program that long ago,” says Malone, who is also founding director of MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence. “I think we were lucky to have picked that topic and have the MIT brand behind us.”

Thomas Malone, the Patrick J. McGovern professor of management at MIT Sloan: “It is important for anyone in business to know not just the buzzwords of the technology but to understand the technology at the next level of depth”


Nearly seven years later, the course — Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy — has made history, becoming the most-attended online program in MIT Sloan’s Executive Education online portfolio. More than 28,000 people have taken it since it was first offered in 2017, and it is now one of several courses on AI that the school offers to executives.

Malone, the course’s “on-camera host,” as he likes to say, is frequently stopped by people in the airport who recognize him as one of the teachers. He gets a constant flow of emails from students praising a class that they say gives them a practical grounding in AI they can quickly apply to work projects.

“We are certainly not trying to teach people to understand the details of how to write AI programs, though some of those in the course may know that already,” Malone says. “What we are trying to do is give them a sense of when it is easy and when it is hard to use AI technology at various times for different kinds of business applications.”


MIT Sloan School of Management Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy $3,500 Online Six-week course, excluding orientation, 6-8 hours per week Machine Learning, Robotics in Business, The Future of AI
Generative AI Business Sprint $1,750 Online 4w 2d How to use Gen AI to plan sprints, sprint goal setting, relays, review and retrospective
Artificial Intelligence in Pharma and Biotech $2,950 Online Six weeks, 6-8 hours per week How AI tools can help drug discovery and distribution processes, biological and generative modeling, the impact of machine learning on clinicial trials
Artificial Intelligence in Health Care $2,950 Online Six weeks, 6-8 hours per week Ways in which AI tools, machine learning, natural language processing and data analytics can be used for disease diagnosis and hospital management
London Business School The Business of AI £1,900 ($2,411) Online Ten weeks, 3-5 hours per weeks Advantages and limitations of machine learning and AI in business settings, business value of AI, how to create an AI implementation plan for you business,
INSEAD Transforming Your Business with AI £1,850 ($2,348) Online Five weeks How to manage implementation of AI and Machine Learning based projects, ways to build AI capabilities in an organization
AI for Business £10,600 ($13,453) On campus Five days Non-technical introduction to AI, how to engage with data scientists, AI adoption, governance, and risks
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University AI Applications for Growth $2,850 Online Eight modules, delivered over two months online. AI trends, tools and applications, how to apply AI in select industries and to transform your business
Generative AI: Executive Strategies to Unlock Enterprise Value $3,950 Live virtual Four days Foundations of AI, “Memo to the CEO” workshop on Generatice AI strategy, learn to use leverage proprietary AI frameworks developed by Kellogg faculty
UC-Berkeley Haas Artificial Intelligence: Business Strategies and Applications $2,688 ($280 off with a referral) Online Eight weeks, 4-6 hour a week TK TKDigital certificate of completion, capstone project
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania AI Fundamentals for Non-Data Scientists $79 Online Self-paced How machine learning is used to handle and interpret Big Data, learn different ways to code
AI Applications in Marketing and Finance $79 Online Four months, two hours per week Analzye consumer habits and target marketing using AI, how AI can help protect consumer data and prevent fraud
AI Applications in People Management $79 Online Four months, two hours per week How to streamline HR functions using AI, role of data in machine learning and limitations of using AI in HR decisions
AI Strategy and Governance $79 Online Four months, two hours per week Tools to build responsible AI governance algorithms, how to use those tools to lower the barrier to AI use, ways in which AI plays a role in change management
Harvard Business School Competing in the Age of AI — Virtual $7,000 Online Eight weeks Applicatoins of AI, machine learning, predictive modeling and how to build an AI factory
Artificial Intelligence in Business: Creating Value with Machine Learning Live Online $2750, On campus, $2,990 Online option or on campus option Two consecutive days Big data vs. scattered data, machine learning emerging technologies
University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Business Applications $3,800 Online day on-campus immersion available as an add-on Six months Build AI models to predict trends, work on popular AI tools and technologies, certificate in Python foundations
Artificial Intelligence for Leaders $2,950 Online Four months How to unnderstand AI through data, machine learning and neural networks, how to use no-code tools to improve data prediction
University of Chicago Booth School of Business Generative AI for Business $2,800 Online Two weeks Overview of Generative AI and how it can be used for customer service, supply chain management, marketing and software engineering
IE Business School Artificial Intelligence in Business $2,114 Online Five weeks (excluding orientation), 6-8 hours per week Gain overview of machine learning and Big Data in business, looks at AI-driven use cases in industries and governance and the ethics of AI
Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business AI for Business Course $2,495 On-campus Three days, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Strategic integration of AI in business, test machine-learning. AI tools
Imperial College Business School Professional Certificate in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligene £3,995 ($5,068) Online Twenty-five weeks Introductory and advanced concepts and trends in AI, when machine learning is feasible, latest AI tools and techniques
Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business Transformational AI and Business Strategy $4,100 Online Not known at time of publishing Overview of the data science behind AI, AI strategy and ethics


The rise of AI — what many refer to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution — has led business schools to develop a bevy of courses around the topic in the last few years, from the basics of AI to deep dives into newer trends like machine learning and generative AI. Today’s executives are eager to learn how to automate repetitive tasks, predict consumer trends, optimize supply chain management and provide personalized experiences to their customers, schools say.

At the same time, companies increasingly recognize that there is a need for more training in the topic for their employees, and business schools are capitalizing on that desire.

In the 2023 GMAC Corporate Recruiters survey, 74% of employers said they believe AI and machine learning are important skills for business school graduates to have, and tech employers want graduates to be competent in these subjects.

A growing number of businesses now have in-house AI training programs, and some students now learn these skills in MBA and undergraduate programs, but there remain a large group of people in the workforce who don’t have this basic training and want transferable skills in the subject, Malone says.

London Business School’s Michael Davies: “How you use this technology can have a profound impact on your business. Yet the ethics and regulation of AI continue to be questions that keep on coming up”


Without a doubt, AI classes are now some of the hottest offerings executive education today. They are an economic windfall for business schools, which often charge several thousand dollars for the classes, most of which are on-line and self-paced — though a growing number increasingly have added live components where students interact online with faculty or learning coaches.

Nearly every top B-school now has one or several executive education offerings on the topic, and demand for the classes is strong, with senior-level managers and executives eager to learn how they can use AI to streamline and enhance daily business operations, from automating repetitive tasks to streamlining the customer service experience, schools say.

“It is important for anyone in business to know not just the buzzwords of the technology but to understand the technology at the next level of depth,” says MIT’s Malone, who also co-teaches another executive education course called Making AI Work: Machine Intelligence for Business and Society.

These courses hit a sweet spot for mid-to-senior level managers, product and technology managers and C-suite executives who want to go back to their jobs with concrete knowledge of AI, says Michael Davies, who runs The Business of AI Program at London Business School. At LBS, people drawn to the course are senior managers with teams reporting to them, with have eight-plus years of management experience, said Davies, a guest lecturer at the school. About 25% of students come from a technology business and use the course to think through the business side of AI, he says.

The school also runs a special version of the course for CFOs and one section for alumni. There are close to 600 people who taken the course since it was first offered in the 2020-21 academic year (a number that includes students taking the upcoming May course), he says.


Davis says a popular part of the LBS course is its hands-on AI Implementation Plan, a module which asks students to look at a problem in their business and solve it using generative AI tools. One student, for example, recently looked at how to harness AI to automate the process of dealing with a large number of legal contracts. Students can ask for help at live online office hours and the instructors will provide students with live feedback on their AI plans during question and answer sessions.

“My estimate is that about half of the people end up doing in the context of the course some real adoption and implementation of AI in their business,” Davies says. “It has fulfilled a need in the business world and we’ve had really strong positive feedback and high ratings from participants.”

The majority of classes offered by business schools follow a similar structure, first giving students a basic grounding students in the basic concepts of AI, then teaching them how to leverage the technology to create value in their business. At the end, they are often required to do a capstone project  where they design a project for their workplace. Along the way, students examine case studies that shed light on how businesses have used AI to improve their bottom line. For example, at LBS, students look at a case study that examines how Domino’s Pizza in Australia used AI technology to deliver pizza to its customers in 6 minutes.

At the University of California’s Berkeley Haas School of Business, exec ed students studying AI examine case studies on Vodafone, Skydio, Zipline and self-driving cars.


Professors in the courses often share their own real-life experience with students on AI projects they’ve helped spearhead in the business world. For example, at MIT Sloan, Professor Randall Davis tells students how he co-founded a company that uses machine learning to improve cognitive testing of people and can can be used to diagnose illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease.

Another MIT professor, Alex “Sandy” Pentland, shares with students his experience at a company he co-founded that uses voice analytics software for for consumer calling centers.

Some schools put their own spin on teaching the subject, like Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management’s which runs a Generative AI class. It offers a “Memo to the CEO” workshop on Generative AI strategy and also teaches students how to make the best use of proprietary AI frameworks developed by Kellogg professors according to the school’s website.

A handful of programs go more in-depth with the AI technical skills they teach in their exec ed classes, like the six-month course at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business called Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that focuses on machine learning, offers students a certificate in Python foundations and help them build AI models to predict trends and build AI applications. Imperial College Business School in London offers a 25-week course that has students do 15-20 hours of work online a week, requires a background in coding or mathematics and uses platforms like Python, Jupyter and Numpy to teach students.


As the popularity of these exec ed courses increases, schools are making sure to include lessons on the importance of using an ethics framework when implementing AI in business projects. The Implications on Business Strategy course on AI at MIT Sloan has an entire module on the future of employment in AI and ethical concerns around privacy, such as how to teach robots to exercise the same kind of ethical judgment that humans do, a complex task, said MIT’s Malone.

Likewise at LBS, Davies says his program places an emphasis on teaching students the ethical implications of AI, but believes this is an area that schools and businesses need to spend more time thinking about in the future. LBS plans to expand the ethics section the next time the course is updated so that students using AI have a deeper sense of the broader societal implications at play when using AI tools.

“How you use this technology can have a profound impact on your business. Yet the ethics and regulation of AI continue to be questions that keep on coming up,” Davies said. “It’s not just about innovation and harnessing it but doing it in a way that is thoughtful.”

DON’T MISS: Pioneering AI Use in the Business Analytics Classroom and A.I. Specializations and Certificates for MBAs

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.