When looking at how successful people got started in their careers, the college they went to can be a big indicator of success in some industries, according to a Kittleman blog post. The executive recruitment firm researched all 500 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to see where each earned their undergraduate degrees.
SEE: Hiring kit: Multimedia designer (Tech Pro Research)
After looking at each school, Kittleman then determined which universities produced the most CEOs. The firm found the top 30 universities total, but the top 15 are listed below.
- University of Wisconsin
- Harvard University
- Cornell University
- University of Michigan
- Stanford University
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of California, Berkeley
- Purdue University
- Texas A&M University
- State University of New York, SUNY
- Lehigh University
- Michigan State University
- Princeton University
- University of Texas at Austin
- Bucknell University
Most people assume that Ivy Leagues would take the top spots, however, only 9.2% of all Fortune 500 CEOs attended Ivy League universities, according to the post. The number of CEOs that attended public and private universities was split straight down the middle, with each having 42.6%, respectively. In fact, 18 of the 500 CEOs didn’t attend an undergraduate university at all.
In primary school, the importance of getting a college degree is drilled into young minds; however, emphasis on a degree has been replaced by an emphasis on skills in recent years. When hiring software engineers, for example, companies are looking more for strong tech skills and experience than a traditional education in the hiring process, according to a recent Triplebyte report.
Check out this TechRepublic article to learn more about the skills employers are looking for.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- The universities that produced the most Fortune 500 CEOs include the University of Wisconsin, Harvard, Cornell, and more. –Kittleman, 2018
- Only 9.2% of Fortune 500 CEOs attended Ivy League universities, and 3.6% don’t have an undergraduate degree at all. — Kittleman, 2018