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Do you Have What it Takes to Become a CEO? (Infographic)

What makes a CEO? From educational backgrounds, to work experience, and personality traits this infographic looks at the magic formula that makes a successful CEO.

When it comes to education almost all (97%) of CEOs have a bachelor’s degree of some kind, three out of 10 have an MBA and only 2.4% of CEOs have no degree at all. Some of the world’s most famous CEOs have dropped out of college, including Virgin’s Richard Branson, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Dell Computers’ Michael Dell. The prestigious Harvard has produced the most CEOs with 65 from the Fortune 500 top CEOs coming from there. Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania follow up with 27 and 24 respectively.

In terms of their personality typically CEOs are good communicators, calculated risk takers, shrewd deal makers, extroverts who love meeting people, innovative, have vision and command respect. The gender breakdown is quite stark, there are just 24 women CEOs in the Fortune 500 and 27 in the Fortune 1000. Women make up under 5% of all CEOs!

Taking a look at the changing role of the CEO over the past 100 years and the new responsibilities companies are facing provides a snapshot of what the CEO of the future will be like. By 2040 industry experts say 30% of CEOs will be women. Today 60% of U.S. college students and 40% of MBA students are female, and over the past five years the percentage of new CEOs who were women (3.6%) was notably higher than in the previous five years (2.1%).

Here’s the infographic:


From the infographic, we can learn that future CEOs will have a deep understanding of IT as technology will enable companies to enter new markets and leave shrinking ones with ease. They will also be obliged to be much more transparent, and investors will scrutinize the CEO of the future and demand a high level of accountability.

The CEO of the future will also have a broad range of experience, as their education and early background will be different than today’s CEOs. With current work trends it looks like the CEO of the future will have had significant experience working in virtual teams, and will have spent time volunteering, traveling and working abroad.

As a conclusion, it is obvious that education will be the key to competitive advantage in the future. There will be aplenty of CEO candidates, but one thing for sure: Those who stand out in the future are those who are multi-faceted and multi-talented.

So, do you want to be the future CEO? If so, travel the world, work with multi-cultural people, embrace technology and take what you learn into the company you started or work for.

About author

Ivan Widjaya
Ivan Widjaya 2882 posts

Ivan Widjaya is the Owner/Editor of, as well as several other blogs. He is a business blogger, web publisher and content marketer for SMEs.

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