When you’re forking out thousands of dollars a year for tuition before you even think about accommodation and living costs, it’s natural to think a degree from a leading university will give you the biggest payout.
You might opt for an Ivy League college and a degree in economics thinking it will lead to the big bucks, but this report tells us something different.
According to data released by Resume, there is no one path to becoming a high-flying CEO. Out of the highest-paid CEO from every state in the US, only 6 attended an Ivy League college and more than 10 courses were studied between them.
Choosing a degree that will give you the highest return on investment (RoI) can feel like a minefield when there are so many options open to you – and of course, you should study a course you enjoy as well as one that will financially sustain you.
Luckily, no matter where you’re passions lie you can still reach the top of the corporate ladder, according to the report. While every highest-paid CEO has at least an undergraduate degree, the subjects they studied differ as much as their paths to the top.
Unsurprisingly, the highest proportion of CEOs studied business (37 percent), while 12 percent pursued economics.
The best-paid CEO in the US, Frank Bisignano, studied finance at Janus University and is now earning over US$100 million every year at his company, First Data Corporation.
A further 22 percent of top-earning CEOs studied engineering, with many leading companies demanding the discipline, including energy, medical device and transportation companies.
This is proven by Patricia Collawan, the highest-paid CEO in New Mexico who currently runs PNM Resources – an energy holding company – who takes home US$4.4 million a year after studying journalism at Drake University.
What do the CEOs of Starbucks, HBO, and YouTube have in common? They all studied the #humanities! A recent study shows that the majority corporate leaders majored in things like #linguistics, #literature, and history – not business.https://t.co/jUMaVTzqBh
— UIC School of LCSL (@UICSchoolofLCSL) August 30, 2018
Another 12 percent of CEOs studied social sciences, with two-thirds of this bunch following political science – yet only 2 percent of the top-earning CEOs specialised in the natural sciences.
On top of this, over half of the best-paid CEOs have a graduate degree, with 73 percent of these degrees being in business administration and 16 percent being in law.
This rich tapestry of subjects studied, paired with the levels of education and quality of institution, represent the diverse routes to fulfilling your career ambitions. While aiming to be a leading CEO is an aspirational goal to hold, there is no cookie cutter guide to reaching this dream.
It can be daunting choosing your degree programme when your aspirations require a lot from you – but follow your passions, work hard and the rest will fall into place.