Many wonder what it takes to become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company – and the answer may begin with a solid undergraduate education.
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Nonprofit recruiting firm Kittleman compiled research on where all Fortune 500 CEOs earned their undergraduate degree and found that colleges belonging to the "Big 10" had the most alumni in executive positions.
Here’s a list of the top-CEO producing institutions:
1. University of Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin is one of the largest public college systems in the country, with enrollment averaging more than 170,000 students. Fourteen sitting CEOs are alums of the school.
Graduates include Kimberly-Clark CEO and chairman Thomas J. Falk and CEO and president of Burlington Stores Tom Kingsbury.
2. Harvard University
Harvard University, an Ivy League institution located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, ranked second among U.S. universities churning out Fortune 500 executives – with 12.
The private institution has about 6,700 undergraduate students. Forty-eight Nobel Laureates and 48 Pullitzer Prize winners have graduated from Harvard.
Among the alumni CEOs currently serving at Fortune 500 companies are Citi CEO Michael Corbat, ADP CEO Carlos Rodriguez and Hess CEO John Hess.
Former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is also an alum.
3. Cornell University
Cornell University, another Ivy League school, counts ten former students as CEOs.
The college is located in Ithaca, New York, and has nearly 15,000 undergraduate students.
Loews CEO James Tisch, outgoing Fannie Mae President and CEO Timothy Mayopoulos and Express Scripts CEO Timothy Wentworth all attended.
4. University of Michigan
Eight Fortune 500 CEOs hail from the University of Michigan, a large public institution in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Among them are Timothy Sloan of Wells Fargo, Larry Page, co-founder and CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, and Ford CEO Jim Hackett.
5. Stanford University
Stanford University is a private institution located in Stanford, California. The school has about 7,000 undergraduates.
Miles White of Abbott Laboratories is an alum, as is Richard Fairbank of Capital One.
Rounding out the top nine are the University of Pennsylvania, University of California, Berkeley, Purdue University and Texas A&M University, which all produced 6 Fortune 500 CEOs.
Eight colleges, including Yale University and the United States Military Academy, bore four executives each. While 10 produced three.