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What Kind of Degree Do You Need to Be a CEO

If you're interested in becoming a CEO, there are many different options to choose from when it comes to your college degree.

The CEO, Chief Executive Officer, of a company is typically the main person of contact when it comes to the financial comings and goings of a business. The CEO oversees a company’s profit and loss reports so he can help to make better decisions for the business so it sees more of a profit. In many cases a CEO is the founder of the company he works for and he has a large stake, or holds many shares, with the company.

Most CEOs will have a college education, yet some CEOs have become successful on experience alone. For the student with aspirations to become a CEO, a Master’s degree in business is recommended. Obtaining this degree proves that you have an extensive background in business operations and that you are educated on how to properly run a business. It also means that you’ve received a well-rounded education that will allow you to further develop a business in the real world and keep it afloat and that you understand economics.

What may be surprising to some people is that a recent study showed 21% of CEOs received their degree in engineering. While this seems a little bit unusual, it makes sense. Engineering is a field that people explore when they want to develop new ideas and see their thoughts come into fruition. It also requires analytical thinking and the ability to plan things out well ahead. On the other hand, those who did receive their engineering degrees still found that they had to participate in the business side of things such as marketing and advertisement, as well as financial operations control.

Business degrees and finance related degrees other than an MBA are also very common choices for those looking to become a CEO. Some people prefer to get their degree in small business administration since they want to start their own business instead of working for a larger corporation. Less than 5% of all CEOs hold their degree in accounting.

It’s very important to note that just because you receive a degree in a business related field, you still have to put in the work to receive the lauded position of CEO. In fact, most CEOs are in their mid to upper 50s, and most had to work very hard to get where they are today. Tenure is an important part of becoming a CEO.

Even if it’s your goal to start your own business and become a CEO that route, having a business degree can help you achieve your goals faster. Knowing how businesses operate and having an educational background in marketing and economics can prove invaluable once you get in the real world.

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