Previous research by Endeavor Insight found that high levels of combined work experience in a founding team is significantly linked to better performance. A recent analysis published by LinkedIn shows a similar pattern among CEOs. The article analyzes the backgrounds of over 12,000 LinkedIn users in 20 countries who hold the title “CEO” at companies with 50 or more employees. The analysis reveals some interesting patterns in their education and career paths.
- The most common first job listed by CEOs is Consultant, but the most common job function is business development.
Consulting is the most common first job that CEOs included on their LinkedIn profiles, followed by software engineering, then analyst roles.
Business development is by far the most common job function, followed by sales, engineering, information technology, then finally consulting. As suggested by the study, business development’s combined mix of different job functions like sales, strategy, and communication skills can help build crucial skills needed by CEOs.
Interestingly, the positions of ‘founder’ and job function of ‘entrepreneurship’ were also among the top ten in their respective categories, suggesting that many CEOs started their own companies earlier in their careers.
- Seventy-two percent of identified CEOs were directors for an average of six years immediately before they became CEOs.
Interestingly, only 20 percent of CEOs at the largest companies — those with 1,000 or more employees — had been promoted internally. The vast majority were brought in from an external company.
- The vast majority of CEOs studied Computer Science and only a third have a Master’s degree or MBA.
Computer Science majors were the most common among CEOs, followed by more traditional business-oriented degrees, with economics as the second most common major, followed by business, then banking and finance, then electrical engineering.
Read the original article here.
Contributed by Maha AbdelAzim