Mark Zuckerberg

Could You Run a Fortune 500 Company? [infographic]

The companies that comprise Fortune magazine’s annual Fortune 500 list are some of the most powerful and profitable in the world. The men and women who run them are often at the top of their careers, having spent years or even decades climbing the ladders of their respective industries. These titans of industry are well-educated, experienced, and driven by ambition whose size is rivaled only by the enormous companies in their care.

But running a Fortune 500 company isn’t just about having a fancy degree or spending forty years relentlessly scaling “Mount Business.” The average time a CEO on the list has spent at the company they now run is just under thirteen years. And while it’s true that 165 of the CEOs on the 2013 list have M.B.A. degrees, 163 have no advanced degree whatsoever. Creativity and ambition, it would seem, are just as important as earning a diploma and punching the clock.

A place on the list isn’t just for elder statesmen, either. Facebook wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg made the annual review for the first time in 2013 when he was just 28. He’s in good company; Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer also made the cut, and at 37, shared the under-40 spotlight. Just over the line at 40 years of age was Google head Larry Page (who was only 25 when he became Google’s first CEO back in 1998).

Whatever their age, experience, or education, it’s clear that those helming a company on the Fortune 500 list need a certain dedication to innovation and a will to succeed. Wondering if you’ve got the right stuff to become a Fortune 500 CEO? Take our quiz and compare yourself to the elite. You might be closer to the taking command of a corporate juggernaut than you think!

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