Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

A growing proportion of CEOs and company founders have technical engineering backgrounds, and their average age is declining. (Hemera Technologies/Hemera Technologies)
A growing proportion of CEOs and company founders have technical engineering backgrounds, and their average age is declining. (Hemera Technologies/Hemera Technologies)

Leadership

Engineers on the rise in leadership ranks Add to ...

The Revenge of the Nerds includes the boardroom, a new study has found.

Company founders and chief executives are far more likely to hold advanced engineering degrees than MBAs, according to the analysis by online recruitment site Identified.com. Culling through 36 million U.S. and Canadian professional profiles on Facebook, the company found that 3,337 company founders and chief executives have an advanced engineering background, compared with 1,016 MBAs.

More related to this story

Not only are founders more likely to be technically oriented, they’re also getting younger, with the average age dropping to about 33, from 36 in 2008.

The shift could have a significant impact on corporate culture, said Brendan Wallace, co-founder of Identified.com. “It seems the tables are turning in the modern corporate hierarchy,” he said. Engineers are not only in demand in the workplace, but more engineers are also launching new businesses, particularly in information technology, social media and mobile industries.

Ontario’s University of Waterloo was one of the top 10 schools in the world producing top-ranked engineers, the study found. The others were several well-known universities in the United States, the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, and China’s Tsinghua University.

In the know

Most popular video »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most Popular Stories