Heading off into higher education is a major decision for many, and picking the best subject to study while at university can be an even bigger, and more important, choice – especially if the course you choose determines whether you will join one of the world’s rarest groups – the billionaire league.
With less than 2,000 in the entire world today, the team at Gocompare.com, for the first time, has looked at the education of the top 100 billionaires – from the past 20 editions of Forbes’ 100 list – to see how things have evolved for the super-rich over the past two decades.
The comparison site has put together its own comprehensiveBillionaires League list where would-be students with big ambitions can see which country has the most, where their money came from, how old they are, what gender they are, how many are dropouts – the list is endless.
Key findings from the research have shown a quarter of the world’s entire billionaire population are college dropouts or received no higher education at all, just 23 per cent have a Master’s, 47 per cent have a Bachelors to their name, and just six per cent have a Doctorate.
Bachelor of Sciences degrees have featured most in the Billionaires League, with a total of 42 of the world’s richest with a BSc to their name. But what exactly are the top ten subject areas most likely to catapult you into the league of the super-rich, and how many billionaires currently hold a qualification within that area?
- Engineering – 48
- Business – 38
- Economics – 36
- Law – 15
- Science-based i.e. physics and chemistry – 8
- History – 7
- Computer-based i.e. engineering or science – 6
- Commerce – 5
- Mathematics – 5
- Philosophy – 4
On the whole, when it came to the institutions they graduated from, Harvard University came out on top for having the most billionaire alumni with 20 of the world’s top 100 billionaires from the last 20 years having studied there. Moscow State Institute emerged as the next most-attended – with eleven – and Pennsylvania University with a total of six.
The London School of Economics (LSE) was found to be the only British institution to have produced two billionaires over the past two decades: business magnates George Soros – currently worth around $24.9bn – and Spiros Latsis, who has a net worth of around $1.98bn.
The Gocompare.com team also found the number of self-made billionaires has dropped ten per cent on 1996, something the site said could “reflect the current state of modern entrepreneurship.”