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How much education do you need to be a CEO of a major company?

Or does it just go off of who you know and your connections?

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Howard’s Answer

Hi Aaron,

Most CEO'S have at least a bachelors or masters degree but certainly that is not the case in some situations. Most importantly, business experience of 5 to ten years, with an exceptional record of achievements in the company, is of paramount importance.
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John Christopher’s Answer

Assuming the position of CEO of a major company is usually an elected position; structured from an internalized position on the board of trustees or companies executive, it should always be based on years of experience. I believe both of your assumptions are correct education and connections are both important. My education in as a business psychologists stems from Dr. Forbes chair at Franklin University. His take on the whole business management idea suggest that every business should have a psychologist on staff to guid the business from a individual/organizational model of artificial intelligence, a coach so to speak. Adding any form of leadership idea to this equation makes the monster work exactly the way you would need it to work, to a degree. A degree in Finance, Leadership, Management, Organizational Development, or Business Administration can take on a very custom tailored role, suited specifically to missing roles that a businesses culture negates as the future or succession of the previous business ideology, or it’s needs for the current structure of business economy. Basically, the organizations history is what make the CEO the leader, everyone that is already a stakeholder in the business, everyone involved in the organizations executive is what makes the CEO’s political influence on the organization or educational value important as such.
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Lindsay’s Answer

I think you'll find that there is no standard level of education for CEOs and there is likely a lot of variance by industry. If you aspire to be a CEO my recommendation would be to puruse a major in Finance and your MBA. An MBA will give you a well-rounded understanding of all aspects of business. Of course there is some level of 'connections' that go into becoming a CEO but you must know the business, understand how to operate in the competitive environment, have excellent interpersonal skills and delegation skills. Many CEOs have various roles within a business before reaching the CEO level. This helps them gain experience and connections across the business before assuming this critical leadership role.
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Leo’s Answer

As Lindsay said, there isn't a standard education for CEO's. I agree that a background in finance and an MBA is a great start. Before you think about becoming a CEO, you have to determine what your passion is and then set your sights in that area. What do you love to do and then learn everything about that.

No one is simply going to start out as a CEO unless they build their business from the ground up, but to be successful you have to build in experience. CEOs don't just start at the top, they build experience that translates to the CEO role. They will work in many areas of an organization, build leadership and organizational skills that will help them as they continue into higher lever leadership roles.
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