Australia’s 10 Universities That Produce the Most CEOs

Which Australian university did Atlassian Co-CEO and billionaire clean energy campaigner Mike Cannon-Brookes attend? What about Commonwealth Bank CEO, Matt Comyn? 

Further, which Australian and overseas universities produce the most CEOs?

These are questions which have been investigated by online language learning provider, Preply.

By examining the profiles of 1,000 CEOs from the Forbes list of largest global companies, the company developed a ranking and index score of the best schools developing CEOs.

The analysis also found some common characteristics that successful CEOs share, including the type of degree they obtained, the subject(s) they studied, and more. 

Some of the key global findings included:

  • Economics, business administration, and engineering are the most popular subjects studied by top CEOs
  • 34.6% of top CEOs have a master’s or doctorate degree
  • 22.3% of top CEOs have an MBA (Master of Business Administration)
  • 16.4% of top CEOs studied abroad; and
  • 4.7% of top CEOs are women. 

By combining the percentage of CEOs that attended the college with its World University Ranking, Preply has rated the best schools in the world for becoming a CEO. The top three positions belong to the following universities:

  1. Harvard University (United States)
  2. Ecole Centrale de Paris (France)
  3. University of Pennsylvania (United States)

Also read: AGSM & MBS Crack Financial Times Top 100 Global MBA Rankings

In Australia, The University of New South Wales, Australian National University, and Macquarie University are the top three schools for producing CEOs.

For the record, Cannon-Brookes and Comyn are alumni of The University of New South Wales. 

Amy Pritchett, Student Success Manager of Preply, said: “The Forbes list of CEOs are arguably some of the most influential leaders in the world. We wanted to better understand what this elite group of people has in common and what it takes to climb to the top.

“We know that many universities offer exceptional education and business degrees. We wanted to find out if there are universities with a track record of developing strong leadership. Looking at this research, it’s clear that there are some universities with the right ingredients to create successful CEOs.”

The study found that 35% of top CEOs have a master’s or doctorate degree. There are also many CEOs who have completed MBAs – 227, to be exact.

Australia’s 10 Universities That Produce the Most CEOs

  1. University of New South Wales
  2. Australian National University
  3. Macquarie University
  4. University of South Australia
  5. Monash University
  6. University of Adelaide
  7. University of Western Australia
  8. University of Wollongong
  9. Curtin University
  10. Australian Graduate School of Management

The World’s 20 Universities That Produce the Most CEOs 

Number of CEOs on the Forbes list of 1000 top global companies. U.S. unless stated. 

1.           Harvard University
    CEOs: 69

  1.           Ecole Centrale de Paris (France)
    CEOs: 30
  1.           University of Pennsylvania
    CEOs: 27
  1.           Stanford University
    CEOs: 22
  1.           University of California
    CEOs: 22
  1.           Columbia University
    CEOs: 19
  1.           Northwestern University
    CEOs: 18
  1.           INSEAD Business School (France)
    CEOs: 14
  1.           Seoul National University (South Korea)
    CEOs: 13
  1.         New York University
    CEOs: 11
  1.         Tsinghua University (China)
    CEOs: 10
  1.         University of Tokyo (Japan)
    CEOs: 10
  1.         University of Texas
    CEOs: 10
  1.         Renmin University (China)
    CEOs 10
  1.         Indian Institute of Technology (India)
    CEOs: 10
  1.         Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    CEOs: 9
  1.         University of Chicago
    CEOs: 9
  1.         Cornell University
    CEOs: 8
  1.         University of Michigan
    CEOs: 8
  1.         Georgetown University
    CEOs: 8

Image source: TEDx Talks Sydney

Brenton Gibbs
Brenton is a contributing writer to MBA News Australia. He is a director and co-founder of communications, content & creative agency RGC Media & Mktng and editorial manager of Fixed Income News Australia.