Leading Leaders: Princeton Producing the Most Tech CEOs

More tech billionaires have college degrees than those who are college dropouts

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Though many of tech’s most successful entrepreneurs are college dropouts —Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Michael Dell, just to name a few—a degree can goes long way when it comes to starting a business, reports Business Insider. Whether it’s because of a strong business and engineering curriculum or a helpful alumni network, some top universities tend to produce more tech executives than others.

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Bloomberg ranked the top 10 schools based on the number of CEOs in U.S. technology companies with market capitalizations of more than $1 billion. Business Insider took it step further, studying the alma maters of executives of large tech companies like Cisco and Microsoft, as well as young startups like Snapchat and Instagram, and schools that have the most venture capital-backed startups. Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Rice, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Yale, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California at Berkeley were in the top 10 schools with the most CEOs in the tech industry.

Princeton seized the top spot. According to Bloomberg, the Ivy League school is the country’s top college for producing CEOs of tech companies with market caps of more than $1 billion. Eight Princeton grads have served as CEOs of major U.S. tech companies. Well-known tech alumni include Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, HP head Meg Whitman, former Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy, and Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

Although Princeton has produced the most tech CEOs, according to Bloomberg’s ranking, the Business Insider found that Stanford was clearly No. 1 when it comes to the tech industry. From HP’s William Hewlett and Dave Packard to Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, many founding stories of major tech companies have centered on Stanford’s Palo Alto campus.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman, PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom all have undergraduate degrees from Stanford. An additional 17 tech CEOs have graduate degrees from the school.

Business Insider noted among Harvard’s well-know tech CEOs are Mark Zuckerberg (dropout), Bill Gates (dropout), former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Zappos’ Tony Hsieh and Sun Microsystems cofounder Scott McNealy.

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