Where The World’s Most Successful People Went to College

Which colleges and universities did the world’s most successful people earn their degrees at? We came across a graphic from the research team at Academic Influence that ranks the colleges and universities with the most alumni who are currently a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The research team went through all 500 CEOs’ company bios to determine where they earned their undergraduate and graduate degrees from. Harvard University came out on top with the most CEO alumni overall. A total of 41 of the 500 CEOs attended Harvard University, with 35 earning their degree through the university’s graduate school and 9 of the CEOs having earned their undergraduate degree there. A handful of the CEOs attended Harvard University for both of their degrees. The second most popular choice was the University of Pennsylvania where 23 of the CEOs graduated from, followed closely by Stanford University with 22 of the CEOs as alumni.

Academic Influence’s research team not only found the colleges and universities with the most CEO alumni, but they also tallied up the most common type of undergraduate and graduate degrees that the 500 CEOs earned. A Master of Business Administration, or MBA, was the most popular choice as a graduate degree for 41% of the alumni CEOs. A Juris Doctor degree was the second most common type of graduate degree earned by just 5% of the CEOs. As for the undergraduate degrees earned, those showed far more variety. Nearly one fifth of the alumni earned a degree in engineering, with mechanical engineering as the most common specialty. Economics, Business Administration, Accounting, and Finance were also popular undergraduate degree choices among the CEOs.

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