What Are the Qualifications for Becoming a CEO?

The position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) typically requires a degree in business or a related field and substantial work experience. Many large companies and corporations look for CEO candidates who hold a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, which ensures the candidate has broad knowledge of standard managerial practices.

In cases where the candidate has substantial relevant work experience, degrees in fields other than business are also regularly accepted. In some cases, companies in technical industries seek out CEO job candidates who hold technical degrees in a field closely related to the industry in which the company operates.

According to a 2012 survey of Fortune 500 CEOs by U.S. News & World Report, about 40 percent held MBA degrees, 28 percent held graduate degrees in a field other than business and 25 percent held bachelors degrees. Virtually all Fortune 500 CEOs have an extensive background in management or business operations.