Many believe that a high-profile position often starts with an elite degree. To find out if this is true, Kittleman & Associates looked into the undergraduate backgrounds of every Fortune 500 CEO. Their analysis identified which colleges and universities have produced the greatest number of current chief executives, and broke down the numbers by college conference, and public versus private institutions.
The University of Wisconsin takes home the first place spot with 14 current Fortune 500 CEOs. The school that produced the second largest pool of executives is Harvard University with 12 Fortune 500 CEOs, and then Cornell University with 10.
Once Kittleman & Associates identified the individual universities and colleges that produced Fortune 500 CEOs, they broke down the numbers by college conference to see if any regions of schools that produced a greater number of executives than others.
The leading conference when it comes to producing Fortune 500 CEOs is, by far, the Big Ten. Some 62 CEOs graduated from the Big Ten, which equates to 12.4% of the 500 on the list. Following the Big Ten is the ACC which graduated 28 CEOs, followed by the SEC which graduated 26 CEOs.
When it comes to public versus private institutions, the numbers are dead even: 213 chief executives graduated from public institutions and 213 graduated from private institutions. Beyond that, 56 CEOs attended and received degrees from international universities, while 18 did not attend an undergraduate institution at all.