What Degrees Do Billionaires Have?
A new research, conducted by B2B buying platform Approved Index, recently evaluated the academic backgrounds of the world’s richest 100 people on the Forbes’ 2015 list. The study found that more than 22 per cent of the wealthiest people in the world studied an engineering degree at university level. This figure consists of almost double the number of billionaires included in the next most common billionaire's degree. It was found that around 12 per cent of world's billionaires made their fortune by studying business education at university. The study also found that almost 9 per cent of the respondents pursued an arts degree; whereas 8 per cent of them studied economics for their university degree. Finance and economics had merely 3 per cent takers; while mathematics, and science found only 4 per cent billionaires on the list.
Although only a small percentage studied science and maths at university, the heavy pull towards engineering degrees will encourage the advocators of STEM subjects, which include science, technology, engineering and maths, in schools and colleges. The billionaire degree study by Approved Index also revealed that Engineering degree holders were also among the richest of the billionaires that were surveyed. Engineering graduates had an average wealth of £17.3 billion; whereas finance graduates had a net worth of £15.1 billion.
Need For Studying STEM
The results of the study will hopefully encourage future students to pursue engineering which is a comparatively less popular discipline than arts subjects. Last year, the Sutton Trust revealed that studying engineering at university level can enable students to earn £8 000 or 55 per cent more than arts or design related degrees, within 6 months after leaving college. The results of the new study will also motivate growing number of students to pursue science and maths A-levels that are required for studying an engineering degree.
With the renewed focus on STEM subjects, aspiring billionaires could focus on these subjects to achieve their goals. The volume of students pursuing chemistry at A-level has increased by around one fifth; whereas maths, biology and physics had risen by 8 per cent, 12 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.
Should You Get A Degree?
However, it should be noted that the study suggests that future multi-millionaire should plan to avoid university education altogether, as around 33 per cent of the richest people in the world are either drop-outs or do not own a degree. The interesting this is that the average wealth of these individuals are relatively lower than the engineering graduates surveyed.
Amy Catlow, director at Approved Index, commented “These findings undoubtedly add a new dimension to the debate about the relevance and value of a degree today and suggest that in order to have a thriving and diverse economy, we need to encourage a varied range of specialisms.”