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Monday, 25 February 2013 12:06

CIO Succession - Educational Attainment Featured

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It should be no surprise that these CIOs are well-educated and well-rounded executives with combinations of business and technology education. Nearly 70% hold one or more advanced degrees, and two hold PhDs. Two-thirds of these advanced degrees (29 executives in all) are MBAs. Among the non-MBA Master's degrees, five are in computer science, and the others are in a variety of disciplines, including engineering, public administration, HR, cognitive science, and transportation management (JetBlue's CIO). Undergraduate majors cannot always be determined, but the most common are computer science and business, and we estimate that about one-third of these CIOs have undergrad or graduate degrees in computer science.

Figure 6: Highest Degree Attained by Gender

Highest Degree Attained by Gender

These CIOs attended a wide variety of well-respected universities. The percentage of undergrad and graduate degrees from Ivy League and other traditionally elite institutions is lower than the percentage found among CEOs and CFOs. The women CIOs are slightly more educated than the men, with higher concentrations of Master's degrees. That's not surprising since women often feel they need to be better educated to get ahead. Smaller company CIOs have a higher concentration of MBAs than larger companies, where it's more common to move up through the IT ranks. These smaller company CIOs need a solid business background because they tend to be hands-on, and they are probably afforded fewer opportunities for executive education than in larger companies.


Read 319 times Last modified on Thursday, 02 July 2020 15:58
Dora Vell

Dora Vell is the Managing Partner of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston focused on recruiting technology executives and board members. Vell has successfully completed numerous board member and C-level executive searches, including CEOs, COOs, CIOs, and Vice Presidents - at both public and private companies.

Prior to founding the firm in 2005, Vell was a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles' Technology practice for seven years.  Before her career in executive search, she worked at IBM for 11 years, managing software engineering organizations of 100 people and software sales organizations with revenues of $150 million. She has also served as an executive assistant to the CEO of IBM Canada for one year.

Vell holds seven worldwide software patents. She has published several Business of Leadership reports on governance and leadership and has been quoted in numerous articles including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, Agenda Week, MSNBC, Mass High Tech, the OPUS for the World Economic Forum, Boston Business Journal, The Globe & Mail, CIO Magazine, and IEEE. She also has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.

Vell is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for developmentally handicapped adults,, and RBC Capital Partners.

She has received an MBA from the University of Toronto, a Master in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor in Computer Science from Carleton. She has also completed the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s program.

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