The greatest number of MIT founders--some 13% of the total--come from the Institute's electrical engineering and computer science program (the two are linked in the same department). Other programs heavily represented among the founders are management; mechanical, civil, and chemical engineering; physics; architecture; and aeronautics.
There's been an interesting shift over the years in the course majors taken by company founders. More than 60% of the founders who graduated more than 50 years ago were engineering majors (Chart 16). Only 40% of company founders who graduated in the last 15 years are engineers, while 43% are from the social sciences/management.
There's no predictable connection between the founder's course and the type of company. For example, only 18% of biotech and medical companies are founded by life-science graduates; 40% are founded by engineers. Social science and management graduates account for 13% of electronics firms, 27% of other manufacturing firms, and 26% of software companies while engineering graduates account for 45% of the companies in finance and 33% of the management consulting firms.
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