If the student debt crisis has taught us anything, it’s the importance of taking as much time as possible to decide on the right university and major. Studies have shown time and time again how this one decision lives on to pervade everything from job satisfaction to financial independence down the pike.
Thankfully, new research published by Debut Careers ranked the institutions and majors that evidence the world’s highest concentration of future billionaires.
“One of the most important things that people consider when they’re weighing up their choices for university or college is what it could do for their future career prospects, but if you want the best chance of success, where should you be looking to study?” writes study author Andrew Frobisher. “We’ve analyzed the educational careers of every self-made billionaire in the world, to find out where and what they studied on their way to the top.”
As of 2019, Harvard University has housed more self-made billionaires than any other institution in the entire world. A collective 51 attendees have gone on to secure a combined net worth of $377 billion. Stanford University (34 billionaires), Harvard Business School ((20 billionaires), Columbia University (16 billionaires) and The University of Southern California (14 billionaires) round out the top five.
Fudan and Peking University-which are both located in China and Moscow State University in Russia are the only intuitions outside of the US to crack the top ten.
Despite conventional wisdom, the greater share of self-made billionaires did not study economics during their college careers but are instead holders of Bachelor’s degrees in the fields of Arts and Science.
Master’s degrees in Business Administration (MBA), and Master and Doctorate degrees in Science were the next most popular choices with 148, 94 and 38 billionaires pursuing them respectively. A modest 31% of self-made entrepreneurs hold more than one degree.
“A small number have three degrees to their name, while just 3 out of over 800 have managed to find the time to pursue four degrees, such as hedge fund manager Cliff Asness, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with dual degrees, before completing an MBA and a Doctorate from the University of Chicago, Frobisher explained. “However, it turns out that you don’t necessarily need to go to university at all to be successful.
It should be noted that 40 of the most affluent individuals in the world have never attended a university and 62 entrepreneurs belonging to this same demographic dropped out before they received a diploma. These self-made magnates began their respective organizations right out of high school. Ralph Lauren, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, and Bill Gates are some of the more renowned members of this elite club.
- Harvard University, 51
- Stanford University, 34
- Harvard Business School, 20
- Columbia University, 16
- University of Southern California, 14
- Fudan University, 13
- Moscow State University, 13
- New York University, 13
- University of California, Los Angeles, 12
- Cornell University, 11
- Bachelor of Arts/Science, 526
- Master of Business Administration, 148
- Master of Science, 94
- Doctorate, 38
- Bachelor of Science in Engineering, 33
- Doctor of Jurisprudence, 32
- Diploma, 31
- EMBA, 23
- Medical Doctor, 17
- Ph.D, 16
- United States, 615
- China, 150
- Russia, 92
- India, 36
- United Kingdom, 30