I think it depends on whether or not there is (a demand) for the particular discipline of that degree major, the school they graduated from, the status of the economy, the location of the perspective employee or their willingness to relocate or not, their (personality), and their networking contacts within the industry. It's always the (intangibles) that cause managers to hire and promote people.
If he/she doesn't "like the candidate" none of their educational accomplishments matter. People still interview and hire (people).
Chemistry and likability are not to be underestimated!
In addition they'd have to have leadership traits, show initiative and ambition. Simply having the degree alone is not enough to take anyone to the top. Some folks also subscribe to the belief that one has to change jobs every 3-5 years to move up in salary and title promotion. If you stay in one place too long it's harder for them to see you in a different role. However most employees prefer stability.