Harvard CEOs Make Less on Average

Karen Zhou

Looking to make it big out of Harvard? A recent study says you may be in the wrong place.

The study, which was sponsored by the University of Hawaii at Hilo and the Institute for Business and Finance Research, found out that even though Harvard University produces the most CEOs of any institution, it does not produce the wealthiest. Despite boasting 722 chief executives, Harvard alums were recorded as receiving an average of $9.4 million per year—modest in comparison to the $11.5 million average for the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford, and minuscule against the $59.2 million average of CUNY-Queens, the top earner in the survey.

Interestingly enough, when searching for correlations between education, salary, and background, Ivy League institutions showed no traceable impact in success. Although most of the CEOs with graduate degrees came from top-50 ranked schools, the best paid among postgraduates were alumni of CUNY-City, boasting an average $44.9 million salary.

Still, the results are by no means conclusive. For CUNY-Queens, the most lucrative of the bunch, the high average salary is likely due to a couple  high-earning executives skewing the statistics; it wasn't listed anywhere near the top 50 for CEO-producing schools, having only churned out less than a tenth of Harvard's executive alumni.

Similarly, Harvard's low ranking near the bottom of the top-50 wage-earning list is also likely due to its top ranking for size, with some of the more modest millionaires bringing down the average salary. It's interesting to note that the conclusions may have been different had the study compared median salaries, not averages, which may allow current Harvard students to breathe a sigh of relief.