The 8 most common degrees among top-earning CFOs

The job of a chief financial officer comes with extensive responsibilities.

As a senior executive you are responsible for an entire organisation’s financial planning and cash flow monitoring. You must analyse a company’s financial strengths and weaknesses and suggest plans for improvement.

At any given time you may be balancing the needs of various accounting and finance departments, while ensuring the company’s financial reports are accurate and completed by strict deadline.

If you’re up for the task of becoming a CFO, the first thing you should focus on is your education.

Business Insider examined the 100 top-earning CFOs at medium- and large-sized companies based on public filings to determine which college degrees are most commonly held by chief financial officers.

Here are the top eight degrees that are most likely to land you the CFO position:

While some CFOs graduated with degrees outside of finance, a large percentage of these financial experts completed their masters in business administration (MBA).

An MBA might increase your chances of securing the CFO title, but it’s not the only degree that matters. Some 18% of these CFOs completed a bachelor of business administration, or BBA, and 17% received a BS in accounting.

Almost all of the top-earning CFOs obtained their MBAs after first completing a BBA, accounting, or economics degree.

Nine CFOs did not publicly disclose their earned degrees or listed a general arts or sciences degree in their public profile, which may slightly skew final numbers.

Keep in mind that our list focuses only on the type of degree and not the emphasis that may have been chosen inside of that degree. In most cases, the MBAs focused on finance or accounting, but some also worked towards a more general masters in business administration.

You may have noticed that both a BA in economics and a BS in economics are listed. With nearly an even split, it doesn’t appear to matter if you are more science or arts focused when obtaining your economics degree, at least in terms of landing the CFO job of your dreams.

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