For many people, choosing a college major is one of the most feared parts of undergrad. Some students fear the prospects of enraging their parents. Others fear sacrificing their future job prospects and salary potential upon graduation. And another group, they fear losing the one chance to do something they love. Conventional wisdom says that students who major in finance and economics are best positioned to land top paying jobs out of school, and as a result, students have long flocked to these majors. On the other hand, one of my readers sent me an article yesterday, that suggests that if you want to become CEO – or any top position in your target industry – you may not want to rush into choosing a major. In fact, you may even want to study something different. His email was a response to my recent post about the the Path to become CEO.
As a follow-up to my post yesterday – where I wrote a post that responded to a careers question about college major – one of my readers sent along a great article about the college majors of CEOs.The premise of the article is that there are a number of top CEOs that did not study business in undergrad. Instead these business leaders and entrepreneurial tycoons took more unconventional academics paths. They studied philosophy, medicine, psychology, medieval studies, and English. The article also suggests that philosophy might just give them the exact skill set they needed in order to lead at these big companies.
The article is titled Accidental Moguls: College Majors of Top CEOs, and I put a short blurb on the article below. You can also click here to read the article now.
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TITLE: Accidental Moguls: College Majors of Top CEOs
AUTHOR: Business Week (Bloomberg) – Lavelle Louis
BLURB: See below for article blurb:
“Not every corporate chieftain studies business in college. Many of them major in history, psychology, or even philosophy. It may be one reason why they succeed.
In this, the graduation season, the thoughts of college students naturally turn to the four years behind them, the lifetime ahead of them, and the connections between the two. For business students, especially those with the biggest of corporate ambitions, this is a particularly introspective time. Role models seem to be everywhere—whether it’s the rags-to-riches story, the brilliant entrepreneur, or the middle manager turned MBA turned corporate leader.