Career Attributes

  • $188,349
  • 308,900
  • 3.9
  • -3.9%
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Business Management And Administration
More Attributes

Overview

Although education and training vary widely by position and industry, many chief executives have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration or in an area related to their field of work, as well as a considerable amount of work experience. College presidents and school superintendents typically have a doctoral degree in the field in which they originally taught or in education administration. Chief executives in the public sector often have a degree in business administration, public administration, law, or the liberal arts. Chief executives of large corporations often have a Master of Business Administration (MBA degree).

A chief executive who is promoted from lower level managerial or supervisory positions within their own firm often can substitute experience for education. In industries such as retail trade or transportation, for example, people without a college degree may work their way up to higher levels within the company and become executives or general managers.

Chief executives must be able to communicate clearly and persuasively. They must effectively discuss issues and negotiate with others, direct subordinates, and explain their policies and decisions to those within and outside the organization. Chief executives also need decision-making skills when setting policies and managing an organization. They must assess different options and choose the best course of action, often daily. They must be able to lead a successful organization by coordinating policies, people, and resources.

What are Chief Executives like?

Enterprising

Based on our pool of users, Chief Executives tend to be predominately enterprising people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Chief Executives by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 401 CareerExplorer users

Are Chief Executives happy?

91stpercentile

Chief Executives rank among the happiest careers. Overall they rank in the 91st percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Chief Executive Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Chief Executives

The most common degree held by Chief Executives is Business Management And Administration. 20% of Chief Executives had a degree in Business Management And Administration before becoming Chief Executives. That is over 3 times the average across all careers. Economics graduates are the second most common among Chief Executives, representing 9% of Chief Executives in the CareerExplorer user base, which is 2.2 times the average.

Chief Executive Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Chief Executive, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of Chief Executives % of population Multiple
Business Management And Administration 20.4% 6.5% 3.1×
Economics 8.8% 4.0% 2.2×
Psychology 7.7% 7.0% 1.1×
Political Science 7.2% 2.9% 2.5×
Public Administration 6.6% 0.5% 14.7×
Business 5.0% 2.6% 1.9×
Finance 5.0% 2.1% 2.4×
English Literature 4.4% 4.9% 0.9×
Computer Science 3.9% 2.9% 1.3×
Marketing And Marketing Research 3.3% 2.2% 1.5×
Communications 3.3% 3.4% 1.0×
Journalism 3.3% 1.1% 2.9×
Liberal Arts 3.3% 1.9% 1.7×
International Relations 3.3% 1.5% 2.2×
Fine Arts 2.8% 2.2% 1.3×
Philosophy And Religious Studies 2.8% 1.6% 1.8×
Social Work 2.8% 0.5% 5.2×
Sociology 2.8% 2.1% 1.3×
Anthropology And Archeology 2.2% 1.3% 1.8×
History 2.2% 2.3% 1.0×
Graphic Design 2.2% 1.4% 1.6×
Drama 1.7% 1.1% 1.6×
Visual And Performing Arts 1.7% 0.2% 6.7×
Biology 1.7% 3.6% 0.5×
Accounting 1.7% 1.8% 0.9×
International Business 1.7% 1.0% 1.6×
General Education 1.7% 0.7% 2.5×
Elementary Education 1.7% 0.5% 3.1×
Mechanical Engineering 1.7% 1.7% 1.0×
Pre-Law 1.7% 0.4% 4.2×
Public Policy 1.7% 0.4% 4.4×
Physics 1.7% 1.0% 1.6×
Educational Psychology 1.7% 0.1% 12.9×
Web Design 1.7% 0.4% 4.4×

Chief Executive Education Levels

62% of Chief Executives have a bachelor's degree. 35% of Chief Executives have a master's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 0%
Associate's degree 4%
Bachelor's degree 62%
Master's degree 35%
Doctorate degree 0%

How to Become a Chief Executive

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Career Attributes

  • $188,349
  • 308,900
  • 3.9
  • -3.9%
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Business Management And Administration
More Attributes