Major Success – Why an Economics degree just might land you that big job

A 2010 paper published by Patricia Flynn and Michael Quinn of the Bentley University Department of Economics has come to a powerful set of conclusions in support of the Economics major. The pair of researchers has found that the Economics major is the best major for students who are interested in becoming the CEO of a major company. In fact, of the top three majors represented among S&P 500 CEOs (Economics, Engineering, and Business), the share of Economics majors who eventually become a CEO far outweighs the other majors.

I asked Lou Maccini, the long-time Chair of the Economics Dept., why he thought Economics majors were so successful and he said, “It’s our goal in the Hopkins Econ. program to not just teach facts, but to provide students both an analytical framework and the perspective to apply it to the complicated issues that CEOs routinely deal with.”

The study also found that the path to becoming a CEO doesn’t end after attaining an Economics degree. 62% of S&P CEOs have advanced degrees. The most common advanced degree held is an MBA, which just less than forty percent of CEOs report having.