One hot August day when I was 15 years old I helped my dad dig footers footers, by hand, for an addition to our house. I was accustomed to helping -- that's the way things went in our house -- so I knew not to complain.

But after a few hours my guard dropped and I paused, leaned on the shovel, and said, "Man, this is hard."

My dad pounced. "Son, that's why you want to go to college," he said. "Unless you'd rather do work like this for the rest of your life."

Of course he was right. While college also helps broaden our horizons and expose us to new ideas and new people... college is still a financial investment that should provide a return. That's why most people hope their studies will lead to interesting and rewarding careers.

And to earning more money.

Research shows that approach works. Those with college degrees earn an average of 65 percent more than those without. That's also true at the high end of the salary scale., makers of an online resume builder tool that provides field-tested resume templates (so far over 1.3 million people have built resumes using their service) compiled a list of the highest-paid CEOs in each state, along with where and what they studied. 

Even though Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates famously dropped out of college, it turns out most CEOs in the U.S. have a college degree.

  • Yet contrary to conventional wisdom, only 6 received a Bachelor's degree from an Ivy League school.
  • In fact, less than half went to a private school. 
  • And for those with graduate degrees, nearly three-fourths have an MBA. (Surprisingly -- at least to me -- 16 percent earned law degrees.)

Here's a list of the highest-paid CEO in each state, along with how much each earns and where they went to school:

  • Alabama: Thomas Fanning, $15.7 million. Georgia Tech (Engineering)    
  • Alaska: Ronald Duncan, $3.2 million. Johns Hopkins (Economics)    
  • Arkansas: Doug McMillon, $22.8 million. Univ of Arkansas (Business)
  • Arizona: Richard Adkerson, $18.4 million. Mississippi State (Accounting)
  • California: Michael Rapino, $70.6 million. Lakehead University (Business)
  • Colorado: Gregory Maffei, $67.6 million. Dartmouth (Religion)
  • Connecticut: Glenn Fogel, $27.8 million. Penn (Economics)
  • District of Columbia: Thomas Joyce, $14.8 million. Holy Cross (Economics)
  • Delaware: Hervé Hoppenot, $16.1 million. ESSEC Business School (Business)
  • Florida: Brian Jellison, $29.2 million. Indiana University (Business)
  • Georgia: Ronald Clarke, $52.6 million. Colby College (Economics)
  • Hawaii: Constance Lau, $5.9 million. Yale (Admin Science)
  • Iowa: Daniel Houston, $11.9 million. Iowa State (Business)
  • Idaho: Darrel Anderson, $6.69 million. Oregon State (Accounting)
  • Illinois: Dirk Van De Put, $42.4 million. University of Ghent (Veterinary Medicine)
  • Indiana: Joseph Swedish, $18.6 million. UNC Charlotte (Political Science)
  • Kansas: Thomas Gentile, $9.9 million. Harvard (Economics) 
  • Kentucky: Bruce Broussard, $19.8 million. Texas A & M (Business)
  • Louisiana: Glen Post III, $14.7 million. Louisiana Tech (Accounting)
  • Massachusetts: Douglas Ingram, $56.9 million. Arizona State (Psychology)
  • Maryland: David Zaslav, $42.2 million. SUNY Binghamton
  • Maine: Melissa Smith, $10.8 million. University of Maine (Business)
  • Michigan: Mary Barra, $21.9 million. Kettering University (Engineering)
  • Minnesota: James Cracchiolo, $23.9 million. NYU (Accounting)
  • Missouri: Michael Neidorff, $25.3 million. Trinity University
  • Mississippi: Joe Sanderson Jr., $6.6 million. Millsaps College
  • Montana: Kevin Riley, $1.8 million. Northeastern (Business)
  • Nebraska: Lance Fritz, $13.8 million. Bucknell (Engineering)
  • Nevada:  Stephen Wynn, $34.5 million. Penn (English)
  • New Hampshire: Manning Rountree, $6.6 million. Wake Forest (English)
  • New Jersey: Alex Gorsky, $29.8 million. West Point (Engineering)
  • New Mexico: Patricia Collawn, $4.4 million. Drake (Journalism)
  • New York:  Frank Bisignano, $102.2 million. Newport University (Finance)
  • North Carolina: Doug Legda, $59.6 million. Bucknell (Business)
  • North Dakota: David Goodin, $4 million. North Dakota State (Engineering)
  • Ohio: Nicholas Howley, $61 million. Drexel (Engineering)
  • Oklahoma: Robert Lawler, $14.9 million. Colorado School of Mines (Engineering)
  • Oregon:  Mark Parker, $13.9 million. Penn State (Political Science)
  • Pennsylvania: Brian Roberts, $32.5 million. Penn (Business)
  • Rhode Island: Scott Donnelly, $14.8 million. Colorado (Engineering)
  • South Carolina: Jack Sanders, $8.8 million. Louisiana State (Business)
  • South Dakota: Tyler Haahr, $11.9 million. South Dakota State (Accounting)
  • Tennessee: Kenneth Lowe, $28.8 million. UNC (Arts & Humanities)
  • Texas: Randall Stephenson, $28.7 million. University of Central Oklahoma (Accounting)    
  • Utah: Sunny Sanyal, $6.6 million. University of Bombay (Engineering)
  • Vermont: John Casella, $2.9 million. Castleton State College (Business)
  • Virginia: Phebe Novakovic, $21.5 million. Smith College (Government)
  • Washington: Mark Okerstrom, $30.7 million. University of British Columbia (Social Science) 
  • West Virginia: Richard M. Adams, $3.6 million. West Virginia (Political Science)
  • Wisconsin: Kevin T. Conroy, $13.3 million. Michigan State (Engineering)
  • Wyoming: Colin Marshall, $4.4 million. Brunel University (Engineering)
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