What type of person is more likely to make it to the top of a multinational business? New research from Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment suggests that people who have a career background in operations or finance are the most likely leaders.
The study into the most influential 100 CEOs in the world has investigated whether there is any trend between your first career steps and how far you progress. The research suggests that it is near impossible to make it to the top of one of the largest businesses without a degree, 98% of the top 100 CEOs are graduates. Of the 98 graduates, the most popular degree type was business (36%) followed by engineering, accounting for 23% of the graduate CEOs.
The breakdown of the top 5 degree types for CEO graduates can be seen below:
The research also looks into the age and gender of the largest companies’ CEOs. 96% of these CEOs are male, with only 4 of the largest businesses in the World having a female CEO.
The average ‘Top CEO’ age is 59, with by far the most prominent age group being between 56-60, accounting for 42% of the CEOs reviewed. The top 5 age groups can be seen below, out of 96 CEOs with publicly available information of their age:
Finally, the study reviews the career backgrounds of the most powerful CEOs, grouping their career backgrounds into concise categories. 54% of the ‘Top CEOs’ have a career background in either finance or operations.
The top 5 career backgrounds can be seen below:
Rob Scott, Managing Director at Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, says: “In 2018 we are seeing that it is near impossible to lead a big business without being a graduate and that earning an MBA can be a real advantage to progressing your career. Starting out in an operations or finance related field can give you the mindset and strategic thinking which is necessary to make it to the top.
“It’s also unsurprising how many CEOs in our study have worked in a sales role at some point in their career, teaching you the communication skills to manage staff and negotiate large business deals.”