Ivy League universities are typically seen as a fast-track to the top, but many business executives followed a different path.
Here are the alma maters of the CEOs of the top 10 Fortune 500 companies.
As you can see, there’s only one Ivy League undergrad degree represented here.
- Doug McMillon (Wal-Mart Stores) — University of Arkansas (BS), University of Tulsa (MBA)
- Rex Tillerson (Exxon Mobil) — University of Texas at Austin (BS)
- John S. Watsonn (Chevron) — University of California, Davis (BA), University of Chicago (MBA)
- Warren E. Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) — University of Nebraska (BS), Columbia University (MS)
- Tim Cook (Apple) — Auburn University (BS), Duke University (MBA)
- Greg C. Garland (Phillips 66) — Texas A&M University (BS)
- Mary Barra (General Motors) — General Motors Institute/Kettering University (BS), Stanford University (MBA)
- Mark Fields (Ford Motor) — Rutgers University (BA), Harvard University (MBA)
- Jeff Immelt (General Electric) — Dartmouth College (BA), Harvard University (MBA)
- Joe Gorder (Valero Energy) — University of Missouri-St. Louis (BA), Our Lady of the Lake University (MBA)
Of course, this is still an accomplished group. All the CEOs have at least a bachelor’s degree, and several have master’s degrees, mostly MBAs. Three have grad degrees from Ivy League schools.
In a new book — “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be” — New York Times columnist Frank Bruni points out that only 30% of American-born CEOs of the top 100 companies in the Fortune 500 attended an elite college.
“Education happens across a spectrum of settings and in infinite ways, and college has no monopoly on the ingredients for professional achievement or a life well lived,” Bruni recently wrote.
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