Big-name institutions such as Harvard and Stanford routinely sit atop lists of the universities that produce future titans of industry. But a new study finds there's a more surprising name that mints more CEOs than nearly any other school: Pennsylvania State University.
Based on data from 12,000 CEO profiles from 20 countries, LinkedIn ranked Penn State No. 2 on its list of universities most attended by CEOs, trailing only Stanford. Notable Penn State alumni who became CEOs include Nike's Mark Parker, Merck's Kenneth Frazier, and CEO Jacqueline Hinman of CH2M.
Penn State is one of only two public universities to rank among the top 10 on LinkedIn's list. The other was the University of California, Berkeley, which took the No. 4 spot.
LinkedIn's list included alumni with post-graduate education as well as those with undergraduate degrees. About one-third of the 12,000 CEOs that were assessed had a Master's degree or MBA. Computer science was the most popular field of study for future CEOs, followed by economics and business, LinkedIn found.
Penn State, which has about 46,000 undergraduate students, also ranked 52nd on U.S. News & World Report's list of the nation's best colleges. The school's Smeal College of Business supply chain program in particular has garnered high praise, ranking No. 1 in the country by research firm Gartner Inc. multiple times.