New Research Shows Engineers Far More Likely Than MBAs to Start, Run Companies

Identified Study Finds over 3X as Many Founders/CEOs Hold Advanced Engineering Degrees; Average Age Dropping

SAN FRANCISCO--()--In the latest edition of its “Revenge of the Nerds” white paper research series, Identified has discovered that company founders and CEOs today are far more likely to hold advanced engineering degrees than MBAs and that the overall age of business leaders is steadily trending downward. This shift could have a significant impact on corporate culture with younger, more technically inclined entrepreneurs at the helm.

Although the ratio of undergrad business and engineering founders/ CEOs is about even (9,461 versus 9,334), a significant shift occurs in the number of leaders who have advanced degrees. In culling through 36 million professional profiles in the Identified database, the company found 3,337 founder/CEOs have an advanced engineering background compared with 1,016 MBAs.

And, not only are founders more likely to be technically-oriented, they’re also getting younger, with the average age dropping to around 33 years old from 36 in 2008. The data is based on an analysis of Facebook profile data, 90 percent of which is US-based.

“It seems the tables are turning in the modern corporate hierarchy. Not only are engineers highly in-demand in the workplace, but they also are accelerating past their business-educated counterparts as they advance in their education and mature in their careers-- founding and running companies at over three times the rate of MBAs,” said Brendan Wallace, co-founder of Identified. “It will be interesting to see what kind of implications this will have on the business world and the economy overall.”

While it’s unclear exactly what’s driving this rampant rise in young engineering entrepreneurs—perhaps the widely chronicled nerd-inspiring story of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg—the fact is that more engineers are striking out on their own to launch new endeavors, particularly in the IT, social and mobile industries.

The study also tracked the Identified Scores of engineers to discover where some of the top talent could be found studying. International programs such as the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Canada’s University of Waterloo and China’s Tsinghua University joined the list of usual suspects like Stanford, MIT, UC Berkeley, CalTech and Carnegie Mellon.

“The data confirms that innovation is truly an international endeavor and that it doesn’t take a business background to be successful in business. All it takes is a brilliant idea, a vision and determination,” Wallace said. “It also proves that engineers continue to be in very high demand on the hiring side as well, with newer companies like Palantir, DropBox and Quora attracting some of the top talent in the industry.”

To read more about the recent “Revenge of the Nerds,” visit

About Identified:

Identified is the largest professional database on Facebook and includes over 50 million Facebook users and 1.2 billion data points on professionals' work history, education and demographic data. We’ve assembled a world-class team of 15 engineers and data scientists to analyze this vast database and identify interesting trends, patterns and correlations. 90 percent of users are based in the United States.

The Identified Score tells you how ‘in demand’ your professional background is right now. By tracking and analyzing what thousands of companies are searching for, Identified gives each professional an Identified Score. Over 50 million professionals worldwide have received their Identified Scores. Hundreds of companies and tens of thousands of people access Identified Scores each day to evaluate professionals for recruiting, sales, networking, background checks and various other purposes. Identified was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in San Francisco. Identified was conceived at Stanford University by Brendan Wallace and Adeyemi Ajao and grew virally across campus, signing up 80 percent of the university in just one week before being shut down by administration. Subsequently, Identified raised $5.5M from Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Draper Fisher Jurvetson’s Tim Draper, Bill Draper and others. For more information and to find out your Identified Score today, visit


SS|PR for Identified
Tony Keller, 847-421-1477

Release Summary

New Research Shows Engineers Far More Likely than MBAs to Start, Run Companies: Identified Study Finds Over 3X as Many Founders/CEOs Hold Advanced Engineering Degrees; Average Age Dropping


SS|PR for Identified
Tony Keller, 847-421-1477