CEO Qualifications in SA


Just how qualified do you think South African CEO’s are? And what should you study if your aim is to be the CEO one day? Research done by executive placement agency, Rebmormax, has revealed that 38% of the country’s CEO’s are CA’s – this research was done from the 2012 top 100 companies as surveyed in the Sunday Times.

Among the top 100 companies in the 2012 Sunday Times survey, 16% of CEOs hold a MBA, while a BCom degree remains a popular choice with 33% of CEO’s holding this qualification. As expected not many CEO’s have no formal qualifications, with only 6% in this group.

Rebmormax CEO, Sam Deuchar says the CA remains one of the top qualifications that young graduates pursue in terms of achieving positions in corporate leadership.

The BCom degree on its own in the current scenario is generally not enough and there is a strong drive to enhancing base level commercial qualifications with good post graduate qualifications such as the CFA and the MBA,” she said.

Deuchar added that executive development programmes are viewed as nice to haves.

The research also shows that while most of the top CEO’s studied at international learning institutions, the University of Witswaterstrand topped the local list of preferred Universities, followed by the University of Cape Town.

The latest 2013 Financial Times (FT) Education rankings of academic institutions supports these local University findings, with South Africa having a good showing among the top 70 providers considered worldwide for offering executive programmes.

The rankings include two categories; customised programmes and open enrolment. The next assesses programmes developed by educational institutions for individual companies.

One educational institution that scored tops across the board in this category is Duke Corporate Education (DCE) located in the US, UK, India and South Africa. This is the eleventh year that DCE has topped the list, and according to the FT, its strong international exposure has been a key to its success.

In the same category, the Gordon School of Business Science (GIBS) dropped ten positions on the rankings, moving from number 42 in 2012 to 52 in 2013. However, it is ranked ahead of Stellenbosch University’s (USB) executive development programme (ranked at 64th) as well as the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) (ranked at 65th).

About Julia Goodman

Julia is a research and marketing executive at Rebmormax