What route should students take to become a successful CEO?

Peter Collins, currently the CEO of Permasense, has obtained a PhD Computational Fluid Dynamics and an MBA prior to his various managerial and director roles. He built on his knowledge and skills as an engineer prior to management.

This is perhaps the conventional way to proceed in one’s career, but there are many other opportunities for newcomers these days. The British schooling system creates a dilemma for students at numerous stages. Having to graduate with only few A-levels suggests that you are required to narrow your focus down at a very early stage. However, individuals’ personalities only shape after “teen” years, where confidence and ability to manage others become evident. So there is no clear-cut answer to which is the best route to take.

In order to get an understanding of which route successful CEOs prefer, we asked Peter whether he feels his career advancement was the key ingredient in his success or whether if he could go back in time, would he have done it in any other way…

I have no regrets…

Engineering based businesses are best run by engineers. You cannot build a great engineering business without knowledge of and passion for engineering, as you cannot build a great hotel business without a knowledge of and passion for hotels.

It’s a pity that more engineers don’t remain in engineering, in particular to build engineering businesses…