What are the majors of people who become billionaires?

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What is the likelihood that your academic degree will make you a millionaire? There are many reasons we seek higher education.

 

For some, we seek higher education because we are passionate about learning. Others want a career that requires an individual educations path.

 

Still, many people go because that is what their parents or friends want them to do. And for some, they go to college because they dream of being wealthy.

 

Do you want to be a millionaire someday? Is your field the right one if you are interested in becoming a millionaire?

 

According to a study from WealthInsight, the top millionaires had ten college majors in common.

 

The study analyzed the world’s top capitalists; what they studied and their academic histories, finding the commonalities in both their undergraduate and graduate degrees.

 

Here is an interesting fact if you are wondering whether a college degree is essential to becoming a millionaire or whether you should drop out.

 

Only around one percent of the millionaires in the world dropped out or did not attend college, so staying the course and getting your degree is the wiser course.

 

In fact, 80% of millionaires have a college degree.

 

If you are looking to emulate the millionaires in this study, most also had entrepreneurial and business skills in addition to one of these top ten degrees.

 

Interestingly, most of the richest people in the world identify as entrepreneurs and don’t mention their college degree. It is often a combination of mindset, education, and a little bit of good luck.

 

Top ten degrees that millionaires hold:

 

1. Engineering

 

Engineers top the list. Engineering is the most common major of the world’s millionaires, and it is because of the purpose of the study of engineering.

 

Think about it; engineering studies center around envisioning a design and making it work in the real world.

 

It requires fortitude and focus and enables an engineering student for the realities of the world and sets them up for success because their brains are trained to see an opportunity and create.

 

All the traits of an entrepreneurial spirit that define millionaires.

 

Charles and David Koch are some of the most famous American engineers. They both studied chemical engineering and began a company, Koch Industries, and they are worth $31 billion!

 

 

Michael Bloomberg was a three-term mayor of New York City and majored in electrical engineering. He is also worth $31 billion.

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Jeff Bezos gave us Amazon and studied electrical engineering and computer science. He is worth $28.9 billion!

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2. MBA (Any Field)

 

12.8% of the millionaires hold an MBA degree. An MBA stands for Master’s of Business Administration, and many MBA graduates study business, business administration, or economics in undergrad, but the advanced degree is where the success lies.

 

An MBA education helps students identify deficits and how to overcome them. Are you noticing the trend of seeing the big picture and finding unique answers to an issue or need?

 

Meg Whitman is the CEO of Hewlett-Packard and enjoys a net worth of $1.7 billion.

 

 

Indra Nooyi grew up in India, studying science in undergrad and going on for her MBA. She is now the CEO of PepsiCo and earns about $20 million a year.

 

 

George W. Bush former, two-term President of the United States, studied and received his MBA. His estimated worth is approximate $20 million.

 

 

 

3. Economics

 

Many of the millionaires in this study, majored in economics. This degree probably helps them make better investment and business decisions.

 

Studying economics helps you see the puzzle of business and economics and how to fit the pieces together within the intricacies of a global economy.

 

Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook, and her net worth is estimated at $1.17 billion.

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Elon Musk has been at the heart of many important businesses. He is a co-founder of PayPal and Tesla Motors and SpaceX, works as the chairperson of SolarCity.

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If that doesn’t keep him busy enough, he also produced Iron Man 2. His net worth is $13 billion.

 

Zhang Xin is the co-founder and CEO of SOHO China, the largest real estate developer in Beijing. She is worth $3 billion.

[6]

 

 

4. Pre-Law/Law

 

Lawyers are number four on the list of majors. When you consider what it means to be a lawyer, it overlays with what it takes to be a millionaire.

 

Lawyers learn the art of negotiation and critical thinking skills. They put in long hours and are deadline driven. These skills serve them well in making sound business and financial decisions.

 

Jerry Springer earned his law degree and ended up entering politics for a short time, including serving on Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign.

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He landed a radio show in the 1980’s and now the Jerry Springer Show. His net worth is $75 million.

 

Steve Young, a former NFL star, returned to school and earned his JD after retiring from football. His current net worth is $40 million.

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Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, is a Harvard Law School graduate. Her net worth is $11.8 million.

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5. Business Administration

 

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The BBA (Bachelor’s in Business Administration) is the undergraduate equivalent of the MBA. A business background is crucial for many of the world’s millionaires, laying the groundwork for successful entrepreneurship.

 

One BBA educated millionaire told GoodCall, one of his keys to success was learning to take calculated risks, including saving money by attending a state school instead of the pricier universities.

 

Warren Buffett studied business administration and went on to a net worth of $66 billion, and one of the most famous billionaires alive!

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Kevin Costner received his BBA and began a career in marketing before quitting to pursue his marketing degree. His current net worth is about $150 million.

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6. Commerce

 

The understanding of the economy and systemic processes involved helps entrepreneurs to make significant business decisions.

 

This degree also provides students with courses designed to develop their managerial skills. Most millionaires manage people and money, so it is no surprise this shows up number six on the list!

 

Lakshmi Mittal, an Indian steel magnate, based out of the UK. He is worth $12.3 billion according to Forbes.

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Dilip Shanghvi is one of the richest people in India. Founding and heading Sun Pharmaceuticals and is reported to be worth $15.6 billion.

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7. Accounting

 

Accounting aids those who are successful in making smart investments in the financial sector, but accounting majors also learn basic business skills.

 

This assists them in making both sound financial and business decisions, and it is a recipe for wealth.

 

Nikki Haley is the governor of South Carolina, but first, she studied accounting. Her worth is estimated around $1.6 million.

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Arthur Blank‘s resume includes founding Home Depot and owner of the NFL team, Atlanta Falcons.

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He studied accounting before going on to change the face of home improvement in America. His net worth hovers around $2.6 billion.

 

Vito Fossella is a former US Congressman from New York, and he also studied accounting. His net worth is $1 million.

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8. Computer Sciences

 

Computer sciences are not at the top of the list, but with the ever-changing world of technology, it is very likely it will top the list in coming years.

 

It is not surprising to understand why this degree would make the top ten when you consider some of the most successful companies right now include Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

 

Each center around the use of information technology and computer science at the core of their success.

 

Sergey Brin studied computer science at Stanford University where he met Larry Page. Together they founded Google, and Brin’s net worth is $34.3 billion.

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Jason Fried studied computer science and successfully established and leads Basecamp, a company that has developed thousands of apps.

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He chooses not to know his net worth or the valuation of his company. But Basecamp is highly successful.

 

Brendan Eich is the CEO of Mozilla Corporation (think: Firefox!), and he also developed the JavaScript programming language.

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His current net worth is approximate $52.7 billion, one of the top ten richest people in the world.

 

 

9. Finance

 

It is pretty obvious that having a background in finance can help you become successful in any field and giving you the know how to make smart investments in the financial sector through investments.

 

Studying finance gives you a firm grounding in mathematics, statistics, business, and accounting.

 

Mark Shuttleworth studied finance at the University of Cape Town. He is an entrepreneur and founded Canonical Ltd. He also was the first space tourist. His net worth is around $23 million.

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Christine A. Poon received her MBA in Finance and was the vice chairperson of Johnson & Johnson with a net worth not reported at this time.

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Vikram Pandit is the CEO of Citi and counts 25 years of resume experience from Morgan Stanley. His net worth is $60 million.

 

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10. Politics (political science)

 

You don’t enter politics for the money but to change the world. But many politicians learn how to make sound financial investments in other sectors providing them with their wealth.

 

Richard Anderson is a political science major graduate who is the current CEO of Delta Airlines. His net worth is about $22 million.

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Larry Fink had a “soft” major of political science, but he is the successful founder and CEO of BlackRock, an investment firm. His net worth floats around $2.2 billion.

Conclusion

If you are still undecided about your college major, one of these ten are ones to consider. Each of these majors teach you specific skills helping you make wise financial choices. But what they all have in common — they teach you critical thinking skills that goes beyond understanding a theory or principle. Instead of sighing and giving up when a problem seems insurmountable, these courses of study train you to find new ways of doing things and build tenacity.

 

Whatever you choose, pursue your dreams and find joy in what you are doing!

About Aurora 70 Articles
Aurora is studying Business Administration at California State University - San Marcos. She is a nontraditional college student that loves to help out other students since she had no help when she was starting out college. During her free time, she loves to play with her two chihuahuas and read.

21 Comments

  1. Awesome post, very insightful. Have a few engineer friends haha know they will be crazy boasting once they see this. Might even pick up their week. Thanks.

  2. Good to know. And it’s a good point that most billionaires actually got a degree, because common misconception is that it is better to drop out… however, i think it’s not just a degree but the way of thinking – all those courses have something in common – developing analytical thinking.

  3. My three boys are dreaming of becoming an engineer so I guess I would be having at least one millionaire/billonaire. Haha. Seriously though, I believe, those who would likely to succeed are those who follow what their heart dictates.

  4. These are really cool to know. Thanks for the facts and the details. I really don’t mind if my networth is not as big as the people listed here.

  5. A few of these are still good fields to get into, but a lot of them are difficult to get jobs in these days.

  6. Interesting to know. I did one year of an engineering degree… realised I didn’t like it at all and now look at me, not even a millionaire.

  7. This is such an interesting post. I didn’t know that Engineering would be at the top of the chart. That’s really great!

  8. Awesome post and it such an interesting, I have a nephew and study about engineering course, I wish someday he can billionaire to help his family.

  9. It’s a good post. It restores beliefs with education and its importance. Although it’s true that a degree alone won’t get you anywhere, it’s definitely a right start.

  10. This was a fascinating read.
    I love the mix of personas involved/shared.
    Thank you.
    I agree that higher education gives you a good stand to better your world.

  11. This is a GREAT MOTIVATION for all kids out there to finish their studies and don’t take things for granted. Who doesn’t want to be a millionaire? and most especially a billionaire? C’mon Study! and DREAM BIG! Put all THINGS IN ACTION!

  12. This is a GREAT MOTIVATION for all kids out there to finish their studies and don’t take things for granted. Who doesn’t want to be a millionaire? and most especially a billionaire? C’mon Study! and DREAM BIG! Put all THINGS IN ACTION!

  13. Super intersting post! I have a PPE degree… Politics, Economics and Philosophy. Still working on that billion! ; )

  14. What an interesting article! I never really thought about this before, but I bet high school grads would be very interested.

  15. Such an interesting article that could be a motivation to many. It is quiet surprising to see that Engineering tops the list here. But at the end of the day, dedication is what matters to come up despite what you choose.

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