MBA blog

Only A Third Of World’s CEOs Have An MBA

Of course, most CEOs have a college degree – like 97% of them, according to a recent survey from December 19, 2017. However, only 32% of them are MBA degree holders.

The survey used data from 231 CEOs of the largest businesses in different countries, based on the Forbes global ranking. The results showed that only 32% of CEOs obtained an MBA degree (although 64% of them in general have master’s degrees, and 10% even PhDs).

There was a lot of regional variety in the survey. For instance, in the US, more than a third (36%) of chief executives have an MBA degree, and in general 60% of them hold a master’s degree or a PhD. However, compared to American CEOs, chief executives from other continents have more international experience (11% at the US, 32% overseas), Poets and Quants reports.

International studies are the best way to broaden your horizons and get to know more about other cultures. It is not equal to the real diversity, but still, it allows executives to view business problems from various angles. This kind of experience would be useful not only for CEOs, but also for managers and other company employees.

Diversity is gaining popularity

The survey also showed that although diversity is widely celebrated by top management as the best thing to improve the business’s performance, most company CEOs are still predominantly male. All in all, there are only 3% of women among the world’s CEOs – four in the US, and two in India.

Worldwide, 18% of CEOs are originally from other countries: 43% in Australia (British and New Zealand nationals), 35% in Europe and only 2% in Asia.

However, diversity is still going up, as there are many more CEOs with an international experience, especially among the youngest of them. There are also more foreign CEOs in this category. These two trends are believed to grow exponentially.

American companies are far behind in the diversity category – only 11% of their CEOs have had any international experience, although this country has the most share of large corporations in the world. Surprisingly, the region with most internationally educated CEOs is Africa (65%).

Most American CEOs have an MBA

There are also many differences in the way of education for the world’s regions. In China, 100% of CEOs have a college degree, while 33% of them are PhDs. 76% of European executives have a master’s degree, and in the US this percentage equals 56%.

The country with the most undereducated CEOs is Australia: 14% of its chief executives don’t have any university degrees. Only 38% have a master’s degree, let alone a PhD. Interestingly, Australia can boast some of the youngest CEOs worldwide, although their average age (54) is not that much lower than in other countries (57).

All in all, 37% of US CEOs have an MBA degree, while in Central and South America this number equals 45%. Consequently, in the Americas, two-thirds of master’s degrees among CEOs are MBAs. In Europe, while there are many more chief executives with a master’s degree (76%), only about 25% of those have an MBA. They mostly prefer master’s degrees in tech, science or law.

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