The decision to undertake tertiary studies is a big one and picking the ‘right’ degree can be an important choice.
According to the Forbes 400, 84% of the richest 400 Americans hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Around 40% of The Forbes 400 went on to get graduate degrees, the most popular being a Master of Business.
A survey conducted byWealthInsight & Spear’s ranked Engineering degrees as the most common degree among the world’s top earners. Involving the use of science and maths to design and build engines, machines and structures, this STEM based degree uses both left and right brain hemispheres to problem solve.
22% of the world’s top 100 billionaires have studied some form of engineering. Perhaps a contributing factor to the popularity of this degree among billionaires is the sheer number of disciplines that it encompasses, ranging from civil and electrical to biomedical.
Economics and Finance
It’s no surprise economics and finance are the most popular degrees studied by billionaires. Economics graduates include former U.S. presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Donald Trump.
Valued at $67.5 B, Berkshire Hathaway finance investor Warren Buffett studied double degrees in business administration and economics, two degrees that land among the top five held by billionaires.
This sector has been booming for over a decade now and continues to grow with the increased usage of apps, social media and ecommerce. Payscale’s 2019 College Salary Report listed that computer science graduates earned an average early career salary of $68,600 and a mid-career salary of $114,700.
Valued at $113 B, Jeff Bezos studied electrical engineering and computer science before deciding to establish an online bookstore, which ultimately lead to his riches as the CEO of Amazon.
Known as being a profession with long hours, Lawyers salaries vary substantially between firms and country. Studying Law, however, can set you up financially for life.
The 2020 QILT Graduate Outcomes Survey, showed that the average starting salary for law grads is roughly $60,000 per year within three months of graduation, and $82,000 three years out.
Master of Business Administration
An MBA will typically take 1-2 years to complete after a bachelor’s degree and can be used in almost any field. Whilst completing a master’s degree adds time and money to your undergrad, the evidence is clear that the short term expense can have a huge impact on the rest of your career.
Of the top 100 people on the Forbes list 11 hold MBA’s. This includes Michael Bloomberg, the founder, CEO, and owner of tech giant Bloomberg LP which raked in 10 B in revenue in 2019. If you are considering advancing your career prospects, you can get an MBA degree online with unis like UTS, offering comprehensive programs that can potentially catapult you into the league of the successful individuals mentioned in this list.
Other billionaires have majors ranging from Japanese literature to religion, showing there is no sure fire degree which will turn you into a billionaire.
It’s important to keep in mind that many billionaires have inherited money, with some ‘billionaires’ actually being families whose combined wealth has allowed them into this minute league.
Furthermore, only 10 of the world’s billionaires today are under the age of 30.
WealthInsight & Spear’s editor, Josh Spero says “Entrepreneurs, who ultimately end up being the wealthiest in the world, are innovators, and the top subjects are those which encourage new and smart thinking, whether technical or financial.”
Disclaimer: Of the top 10 billionaires in the world today, half did not study or dropped out. Bill Gates (Microsoft), Bernard Arnault & family (Louis Vuitton), Larry Ellison (Oracle Corporation), Amancio Ortega (Zara) Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Jim Walton (Walmart) make up half of the world’s richest.