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One of the most important questions of any business program is what types of positions do graduates of that program attain. Rather than rely one conventional wisdom regarding what types of degrees executives hold and where they received them, it made sense for us to engage in a more empirical, fact-based approach.
While this thread will not provide a definitive answer, it does provide some insight into the education backgrounds of executives at major firms.
This is only a small sample of the entire database I have collected over the years.
This article states that University of Wisconsin and Harvard are two of the the largest CEO producers in the United States:
This both supports and violates conventional wisdom. On the one hand, Harvard apparently produces more MBA CEOs than any other business school. Of course, it is also one of the largest MBA producers in the world so its rank among CEO producers is reasonable. This violates conventional wisdom in that it suggests that an MBA from Harvard is not a necessary condition for becoming a major CEO- note that there are far more CEOs with no advanced degree at all than those who hold an MBA from HBS. It is interesting that more CEOs hold law degrees or graduate degrees in other fields than those who hold Harvard MBAs. Further, among the ultra elite schools, the companies headed by HBS MBA CEOs have unspectacular returns (but it is unclear how these values were calculated).
Intrigued by these reports on the education backgrounds of high level executives, I have included some raw data in this thread for browsing. Note how many high level executives have education from schools outside of the elite and ultra elite schools.
Last edited by Hjort on 07 Apr 2005, 17:11, edited 2 times in total.
Another interesting collection of degrees:
There appear to be 4 MBAs all from very well known programs (INSEAD, Penn, UVA, and Stanford)
There were also two JDs, an MA from Cambridge, a Masters of Finance, an Masters in Economy, a Masters in Industial Mgmt (Georgia Tech), a Masters in Industrial Engineering (Purdue), and an MA in marketing. Two executives attended Bocconi but it is unclear at what level.
Last edited by Hjort on 02 Mar 2005, 18:32, edited 2 times in total.
Note that the one SVP/Finance CFO with an MBA from Columbia, one President/CEO has an MBA from Chicago, a President/CEO with an MBA from Carnegie, and the Chairman/CEO and CIO/SVP have MBAs from Harvard but that the other MBAs include Robert Morris College and Hofstra, an MS in Mgmt from Purdue. There are as many executives listed with LLB/JD degrees as executives with MBAs from ultra elite schools.
Last edited by Hjort on 06 Apr 2005, 11:21, edited 1 time in total.
Columbia and Penn MBAs are well represented among the execs and Harvard Business and Thunderbird have more than one graduate present. Other MBAs programs represented include Michigan State, Penn State, a PG from Univ of Marmara, INSEAD, and Texas Christian
There are at least 4 JD/law and 2 CFAs, 1 MA in Economics/Acctg, and 1 PG in Philosophy.
Last edited by Hjort on 26 Apr 2005, 22:46, edited 2 times in total.