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Which Schools Produces Most CEOs?

ByDave Stopher

Oct 20, 2019 #CEO, #education

As you might have noticed, there are tiers to the education systems in the United Kingdom – and abroad. Especially in the United States, there is a clear distinction between which schools produce and which schools do not. While outliers always exist, people who pull themselves up to the top of the economic ladder despite hardship, the reality is that the majority of leading names and business minds come from top quality educational facilities.

When you are looking around the numerous jobs in Liverpool, you might notice that the CEOs of companies you look at all seem to have a familiar sound to them. The interesting thing that has been noticed over the years, for example, is that there is a growing number of people who rise up the corporate ladder despite not coming from the school you might expect.

In the UK, for example, it’s common for the biggest names to have attended education in places like Oxford University. However, it’s apparently more common for people who have come from universities like Leicester, Sheffield, or Brunel University are more likely to be CEOs. Why? The answer, seemingly, is quite simple.

While those who come from other schools like those in Oxbridge are more likely to be wooed into positions of power in big banks and other corporate behemoths, those from the trio mentioned above are more likely to build their own business. Or they might join a business start-up with a gap in its leadership departments. As such, they would be more likely to be a CEO than someone from the normally most reputed universalities.

However, this is not always the case. For example, Goldman Sachs former head Jim O’Neill was a Sheffield University alumnus. So, it’s not cut-and-dried.

A Growing Trend

In fact, this was something that we noticed looking around a lot of the universities that you might not immediately associate with CEO ownership. For example, the Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland, has seen around 3.1% of its alumnus go into the art of business leadership. That show you that the trend for those who wish to jump into major business positions might be a bit different from what most would have expected.

It’s common to expect that the biggest universities and schools would always produce the biggest business leaders. Instead, most of these alumni tend to choose to head on into a business position in an already well-established firm. It takes much longer to climb the ladder in a massive company like this, so it does make sense that there might be a bit of a gap in CEOs coming from the top facilities.

So, if you believe that you can only be a business leader or CEO by getting involved in a major university, think again. Many of the best universities in the UK for producing CEOs might not come from the locations that you would have first expected. Indeed, with 1 in 20 graduates of the London Business School going on to take a leadership role in a business, there’s more to school than simply picking the right ‘brand name’.

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