Careers

Here’s where 10 of the most powerful Fortune 500 CEOs went to business school  

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple
Michel Porro | Getty Images
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple

Earning an MBA is not the only way to become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company — but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Nearly 40 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs have an MBA on their resume, and graduates from the top 10 business programs earn starting salaries well over six figures.

Every year, U.S. News & World Report analyzes thousands of schools to determine the best business schools in the country, and they also keep an eye on which schools produce the most powerful industry leaders. Recently, U.S. News looked at where 10 of the most powerful Fortune 500 CEOs went to business school.

Here’s where some of the most powerful business leaders on earth earned their MBAs:

Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors
Mary Catherine Wellons | CNBC
Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors

Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors

School: Stanford Graduate School of Business

U.S. News business school rank: 4

Gail Boudreaux 
Getty Images | Taylor Hill/FilmMagic
Gail Boudreaux 

Gail Boudreaux, CEO, Anthem

School: Columbia Business School

U.S. News business school rank: 9

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc.

Tim Cook, CEO, Apple

School: Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

U.S. News business school rank: 11

Jamie Dimon speaking at the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Sept. 12, 2017.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Jamie Dimon speaking at the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Sept. 12, 2017.

Jamie Dimon, CEO, JPMorgan Chase

School: Harvard Business School

U.S. News business school rank: 1

Marvin Ellison
Jim Spellman | WireImage | Getty Images
Marvin Ellison

Marvin Ellison, CEO, Lowe’s

School: Goizueta Business School at Emory University

U.S. News business school rank: 20

Alex Gorsky on Mad Money.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Alex Gorsky on Mad Money.

Alex Gorsky, CEO, Johnson & Johnson

School: The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania

U.S. News business school rank: 3

Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart.

Doug McMillon, CEO, Walmart

School: Collins College of Business at the University of Tulsa

U.S. News business school rank: not ranked

Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo.

Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo

School: Yale School of Management

U.S. News business school rank: 11

Doug Parker
Cameron Costa | CNBC
Doug Parker

Doug Parker, CEO, American Airlines

School: Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University

U.S. News business school rank: 26

Darren Woods, Chairman and CEO, Exxon Mobil.
Katie Kramer | CNBC
Darren Woods, Chairman and CEO, Exxon Mobil.

Darren Woods, CEO, ExxonMobil

School: Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

U.S. News business school rank: 6

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon attended Harvard Business School, which tied with the University of Chicago for the title of best business school in 2018. With an acceptance rate of just 9.9 percent, getting in to a program like this one isn't easy. The average undergraduate GPA of a student accepted by Harvard Business school is 3.71 on a 4.0 scale, and the average GMAT score is 731 (out of 800.)

For many top-tier programs, applicants must also complete an interview. In order to prepare yourself for business school interviews, be sure to practice your answers to the most common business school interview questions and prepare several thoughtful questions.

Above all else, learn how to clearly communicate the skills and experiences you will bring to the program and what you hope to take away.

Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!

Don't miss: