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Want Your Kid to Be a CEO? Name Them Peter. Want Them to Be a Cop? Name Them Billy

By Sunny Chanel |

Future CEO or Future Cop? Does it Depend on the Name?

You can’t judge a book by its’ cover and you can’t judge a person’s career based on their name… or can you? Checking out a slew of statistics, the popular networking site Linkedin has apparently found a trend in names and what kind of careers those people with said names go into.

They used data from the 100 million or so profiles on their site and made a correlation from first name to jobs. This just makes the baby naming process even more stressful! So what names are destined for CEO-dom and which ones lead to careers in law enforcement or athletics?

Here is what they found via their informal study:

Top CEO Names:
1) Peter
2) Bob
3) Jack
4) Bruce
5) Fred
6) Bill
7) Ron
8) Christian
9) Alexander
10) Don


1) Deborah
2) Sally
3) Debra
4) Cynthia
5) Carolyn
6) Pamela
7) Ann
8) Cheryl
9) Linda
10)  Janet

For  Law Enforcement they found the names Billy, Darrell, Pete, Rodney and Troy were popular. For Human Resources the names Emma, Katie, Claire, Jennifer, and Natalie were big. And for athletics, the names Ryan, Matt, Jessica, Matthew and Jason were common.

There are also some other things they noticed.

Short, four-letter names are even more popular in sales (Chip, Trey) but not in engineering (Rajesh) or the restaurant industry, where the top over-represented names are Thierry, Philippe and Laurent.

Monosyllabic CEO names are also not necessarily popular in all countries – here are the top over-represented CEO names across the globe:

Do you think a person’s name has anything to do with what kind of career they’ll go into? And in naming your child, did you take their future career path in to consideration?

Photo: Flickr ElisaVarelaT

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About Sunny Chanel


Sunny Chanel

Since 2007 Sunny Chanel has written thousands of pieces for Babble. She currently writes for Babble's celebrity, moms, and Disney voices sections and has her own blog aptly named Sunny Chanel. You can find Sunny on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon. Read bio and latest posts → Read Sunny's latest posts →

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3 thoughts on “Want Your Kid to Be a CEO? Name Them Peter. Want Them to Be a Cop? Name Them Billy

  1. Gagagolly says:

    I think this is mostly a chicken/egg thing. I mean, Rajesh for engineer is just because so many Americans are too dumb to be engineers anymore. Also, names go in cycles, right. Alot of these names aren’t being used anymore right now. One thing that does makes sense, though, is that so many CEOs are named Peter, because it seems that in many cases you have to be a total dick to be a successful CEO.

  2. holly says:

    I had the “Chief Justice” test when naming. i.e. Chief Justice Firstname Lastname had to sound appropriate. Sure, we may end up with a SCOTUS full of Brodys and Jaydyns, but I kind of doubt it. Freakonomics had it right – names are a product of education level of parents and education level of parents is the best indicator of that kind of success.

  3. Gagagolly says:

    I’m sure Barack would beg to differ.

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