More than half of the leaders studied 55 % had other subjects, 44% social sciences or 11 % humanities.
Those in government jobs were more likely to have studied social sciences. Younger leaders (aged under 45) were more likely to have a social science or humanities background, while those over 45 were more likely to have studied science, technology, engineering or maths.
There’s no single specific subject that defines career success
Research findings don’t suggest that a particular academic discipline leads to greater career success. What they do show is that you can achieve professional success with a humanities, social sciences, or a STEM degree.
Extracurricular activities can boost your career success
Degree just provides direct learning. Many students find they learn new skills from activities and experiences outside their academic study.
International experience is important
Nearly half of the leaders studied (46 per cent) had some sort of international experience either overseas study or international work experience. International experience, whether through work or study, seemed to help people develop important ‘soft skills’, such as communication skills, cultural understanding, flexibility, and the ability to solve problems.
Canada, UK and the US had the highest percentage of humanities graduates
The highest percentages of humanities graduates came from Canada, the UK and the US (19 per cent); Poland, Russia, and Ukraine (18 per cent); and China, Japan and South Korea (16 per cent). Given the focus on science and technology in countries like China.
Leaders from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey were most likely to study abroad
Study also found that nearly three quarters of the leaders from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey (71 %) had international experience, compared with a quarter of those from Canada, the UK and the US.