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College Majors of Billionaires
#1
I don't know that the article excerpted below has any great significance beyond satisfying curiosity, but I found it interesting and thought others might also.  One lesson it teaches is that if you want your son or daughter to become a billionaire bite the bullet and help them get at least a bachelors degree.  With the notable exceptions of Gates and Zuckerberg most billionaires have at least a bachelors.


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Quote:College Majors of Billionaires
 
Quick! Name a billionaire. If you thought of Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, then you also might think dropping out of college is a necessary step to becoming one of the wealthiest people on earth. If you look at those two guys, it isn’t hard to convince yourself the best route is to do a few years in undergrad, meet some really smart people, and then drop out and form your own company.
While it’s true that more than a few billionaires did drop out from their undergrad institutions, a far greater number stuck around to get their bachelor’s degree. We’ve assembled a list of fifty of the world’s wealthiest people — none have a net worth of less than ten billion dollars — who earned a degree at an undergraduate institution.
More importantly, we’ve also listed what each of these billionaires majored in at their colleges. If you’ve been asking yourself, “What should I major in?” and also wouldn’t mind being listed among the world’s wealthiest people, this list is certainly worth a look. Let’s take a look at which majors had the most billionaires.
[Image: engineering.png]
Charles Koch
Net Worth: $41.3 B
Undergraduate Education: General Engineering at MIT
David Koch
Net Worth: $41.3 B
Undergraduate Education: Chemical Engineering at MIT
Michael Bloomberg
Net Worth: $34.5 B
Undergraduate Education: Electrical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University
Larry Page
Net Worth: $31.5 B
Undergraduate Education: Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan
Jeff Bezos
Net Worth: $30.4 B
Undergraduate Education: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Princeton
Carlos Slim Helu
Net Worth: $77 B
Undergraduate Education: Civil Engineering at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
Bernard Arnault
Net Worth: $34.5 B
Undergraduate Education: Engineering at Ecole Polytechnique
Mukesh Ambani
Net Worth: $23.6 B
Undergraduate Education: Chemical Engineering at University of Mumbai
Viktor Vekselberg
Net Worth: $17.6 B
Undergraduate Education: Engineering at Moscow Transportation Engineering Institute
Stefan Quandt
Net Worth: $16.3 B
Undergraduate Education: Engineering at University of Karlsruhe
Leonid Michelson
Net Worth: $16 B
Undergraduate Education: Civil Engineering at Kuibyshev Civil Engineering Institute
Gennady Timchenko
Net Worth: $15.7 B
Undergraduate Education: Electrical Mechanical Engineering at Mechanical Institute of St. Petersburg
Azim Premji
Net Worth: $15.5 B
Undergraduate Education: Electrical Engineering at Stanford
Hansjoerg Wyss
Net Worth: $11.5 B
Undergraduate Education: Civil and Structural Engineering at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Zurich
You probably already knew engineering was among the best college majors for finding a job after undergrad. But while computer engineer salaries are nothing to sneeze at, it also seems as though this type of degree has given a lot of people a leg up in becoming super-wealthy as well. Of course, as with any of these majors, it’s difficult to say for sure whether these engineers would’ve became billionaires because they majored in engineering or if they would’ve made a ton of money no matter what they did in undergrad. But, the high number of billionaires with this degree cannot be ignored.
For some, it seems an engineering degree had a much more direct effect on their career than it did for others. Take Viktor Vekselberg for instance. A graduate of the Moscow Transportation Engineering Institute, Vekselberg used his engineering knowledge to actually work as an engineer before he founded an aluminum company. His engineering background undoubtedly helped him have a good foundation of knowledge for the aluminum business.

You don’t just have to be somebody who was able to benefit from the collapse of the Soviet Union to get incredible results from your engineering degree. Stefan Quandt, the heir to the BMW throne, must have found his engineering degree to be very useful while he helped run one of the most engineer-friendly companies around.
Others were able to find success in fields not exactly related to engineering. Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in electrical engineering. Instead of going into the engineering field, he decided to attend Harvard Business School. After getting his MBA from Harvard, he made most of his money in investment banking. This is a far cry from becoming an aluminum magnate in Ukraine, but still a good use of his degree.
[Image: economics.png]
Steve Ballmer
Net Worth: $20.8 B
Undergraduate Education: Applied Mathematics and Economics at Harvard
Jorge Paulo Lemann
Net Worth: $22.8 B
Undergraduate Education: Economics at Harvard
Masayoshi Son
Net Worth: $18.2 B
Undergraduate Education: Economics at UC Berkeley
Tadashi Yanai
Net Worth: $16.4 B
Undergraduate Education: Economics and Politics at Waseda University
Laurene Powell Jobs
Net Worth: $16 B
Undergraduate Education: Economics at University of Pennsylvania
Donald Bren
Net Worth: $15.5 B
Undergraduate Education: Business Administration and Economics at University of Washington
Vladimir Potanin
Net Worth: $15.5 B
Undergraduate Education: International Economics at Moscow State Institute of International Relations
Georg Schaeffler
Net Worth: $14.8 B
Undergraduate Education: Business and Economics at University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Rupert Murdoch
Net Worth: $14.5 B
Undergraduate Education: Philosophy, Politics and Economics at University of Oxford
Lee Kun-Hee
Net Worth: $12.8 B
Undergraduate Education: Economics at Waseda University
Rinat Akhmetov
Net Worth: $12.8 B
Undergraduate Education: Economics at Donetsk National University
Hans Rausing
Net Worth: $12 B
Undergraduate Education: Economics, Statistics and Russian at Lund University
Sergei Galitsky
Net Worth: $11.9 B
Undergraduate Education: Economics at Kuban State University
Andrey Melnichenko
Net Worth: $11.7 B
Undergraduate Education: Economics at Plekhanov Russian University of Economics
If you were asked what college major makes the most money, chances are you probably wouldn’t choose one in the liberal arts. However, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that economics ties for the top spot in this list. The whole purpose of the major is to educate students on money and the many ways it can be made, lost, and traded.

Some billionaires with an economics degree found it necessary to also pursue some sort of grad school degree, as well. Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, decided to get an MBA from Stanford after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics. She definitely didn’t base her decision to go to grad school off of not being able to find employment as an economics major, though.
She worked at Goldman Sachs as a trading strategist before moving on to Stanford. Although she received a significant portion of her fortune from her husband, Powell is certainly no trophy wife. She used the knowledge from her economics degree to co-found a natural foods company before she ever met Steve.
Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, graduated from Harvard with a degree in economics before he went to Stanford to pursue an MBA. However, he dropped out before he graduated in order to join a gentleman named Bill Gates, to work at Microsoft. Once again, it’s hard to tell for sure how useful the undergrad degree was here, especially since Gates did just fine without one at the same company. But in theory, the knowledge Ballmer got from his degree would have been applicable while helping to run a young company. At the very least, it couldn’t have hurt.
Some people might consider economics to be one of those degrees that require you to go to grad school. While you’re asking yourself “What should I major in?” you probably also want to ask yourself if you’d be willing to go to grad school to get the most out of your degree. But, you should know that economics doesn’t necessarily need to be followed by an MBA.
Not every billionaire on the list found it necessary to try for a Master’s degree. Masayoshi Son founded an electronics company called “Unison” after graduating from Berkeley with a degree in economics. He was able to recognize the economic potential of computers without an MBA.
Likewise, Jorge Paulo Lemann made due with just his undergraduate economics degree. After graduating from Harvard, Lemann used his knowledge in economics to found a Brazilian investment banking firm that soon became one of the country’s best.
It appears that economics might not be the best college major for finding a five-figure salary right out of undergrad, but it’s really valuable if you plan to start your own company or find yourself working for an amazing start-up somewhere.
[Image: business.png]
Warren Buffett
Net Worth: $66 B
Undergraduate Education: Business Administration at University of Nebraska
Aliko Dangote
Net Worth: $26.6 B
Undergraduate Education: Business at Al-Azhar University, Ciaro
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud
Net Worth: $21.1 B
Undergraduate Education: Business Administration at Menlo University
Susanne Klatten
Net Worth: $18.4 B
Undergraduate Education: Business Finance at International Institute for Management Development
Charles Ergen
Net Worth: $17 B
Undergraduate Education: Business Administration at University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Lakshmi Mittal
Net Worth: $16 B
Undergraduate Education: Commerce at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata
Dilip Shanghvi
Net Worth: $15.6 B
Undergraduate Education: Commerce at University of Calcutta
Donald Bren
Net Worth: $15.5 B
Undergraduate Education: Business Administration and Economics at University of Washington
Georg Schaeffler
Net Worth: $14.8 B
Undergraduate Education: Business and Economics at University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Ronald Perelman
Net Worth: $14.2 B
Undergraduate Education: Business at University of Pennsylvania
John Paulson
Net Worth: $13.5 B
Undergraduate Education: Finance at NYU
You might be surprised not to find this major at the very top of the list, but business majors are still very well represented here. If you’re wondering what college majors make the most money, a business major is very much among them. We’re only looking at undergraduate degrees for this list, but if you counted business degrees earned in Master’s programs, then business would certainly be at the top of the list.

Warren Buffett has got to be one of the most well-known billionaires in America and he managed to earn his astounding $66 billion by not attending an Ivy League school. Well, not for undergrad anyway. Buffett did go on to get his MBA from Columbia Business School, but not before he earned his bachelor’s in business administration from University of Nebraska—Lincoln.
It’s very fitting that Buffett went for a business-related degree immediately because he was not one of those people who needed college to figure out where he was going in life. He spent his childhood going door to door selling magazines and soda, and first invested in the stock market at the age of 11. If you already love saving and investing money, you might want to be like Warren and major in business.
John Paulson, on the other hand, took a different kind of route to earn his finance degree. Paulson, who made his money as a hedge manager, studied topics as diverse as creative writing, philosophy, and film production during his first years at college. After staying with his rich uncle in Ecuador, Paulson realized he would prefer to be a wealthy person — seriously — and decided to major in finance, after all. That decision played no small part in getting him the $13.5 billion he is worth today.
[Image: other.png]
Steve Ballmer
Net Worth: $20.8 B
Undergraduate Education: Applied Mathematics and Economics at Harvard
Sergey Brin
Net Worth: $31.1 B
Undergraduate Education: Computer Science and Mathematics at University of Maryland
Ananda Krishnan
Net Worth: $11.8 B
Undergraduate Education: Political Science at University of Melbourne
Carl Icahn
Net Worth: $23.9 B
Undergraduate Education: Philosophy at Princeton
George Soros
Net Worth: $23 B
Undergraduate Education: Philosophy at London School of Economics
David Thomson
Net Worth: $24.1 B
Undergraduate Education: History at Cambridge University
Alisher Usmanov
Net Worth: $19.5 B
Undergraduate Education: International Law at Moscow State Institute of International Relations
Phil Knight
Net Worth: $19.3B
Undergraduate Education: Journalism at University of Oregon
Abigail Johnson
Net Worth: $18 B
Undergraduate Education: Art History at William Smith College
Tadashi Yanai
Net Worth: $16.4 B
Undergraduate Education: Economics and Politics at Waseda University
Rupert Murdoch
Net Worth: $14.5 B
Undergraduate Education: Philosophy, Politics and Economics at University of Oxford
Alejandro Santo Domingo Davila
Net Worth: $13.4 Billion
Undergraduate Education: History at Harvard
Robin Li
Net Worth: $13.4 B
Undergraduate Education: Information Management at SUNY Buffalo and Peking University
Henry Sy
Net Worth: $13.1 B
Undergraduate Education: Commercial Studies at Far Eastern University
Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken
Net Worth: $11.6 B
Undergraduate Education: Law at University of Leiden
James Simons
Net Worth: $12.5 B
Undergraduate Education: Mathematics at MIT
You may notice that the numbers of billionaires with each major don’t add up to fifty. That’s because some of these overachieving billionaires had a double major. A double major is a good idea if you have a passion for learning, but also want the benefits of a more practical degree. Steve Ballmer’s applied mathematics degree, for instance, might not have been able to get him much work outside of academia, but we’ve already seen how useful his other degree, economics, became.
Some billionaires though, managed to make their way in the world pretty well with degrees people typically love to scoff at. A total of three billionaires on the list majored in philosophy, two of which didn’t have any other majors. Rupert Murdoch had a cross-disciplinary major in philosophy, politics and economics, but his recent legal trouble suggests he could’ve paid more attention when he was learning about ethical dilemmas in his philosophy courses.

Article continues at:  http://www.vistacollege.edu/blog/resourc...llionaires
I dream of an America where a chicken can cross the road without having it's motives questioned.
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#2
Even more impressive than the majors are the institutions. Lots of elite places on the list. Even Buffet, which they listed as U. of Nebraska, actually learned about investment during his masters at Columbia where he studied under Ben Graham.
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#3
to me it seemed to be about FILTERS more than EDUCATION.

the types of degrees and school they went to are NOT things anyone can get or go to,
they first, and separately, MUST FIRST BE extraordinarily SMART and DRIVEN and Raised for it.


IOW these were all great people with this potential BEFORE,
you could NOT just pick Joe Blow at birth, support him getting a Bachelors degree and get him into an Ivy School and then boom, we have a Billionaire.

correlation is NOT cause and effect.
they had their Degrees and school because they were billionaire potential,
NOT that they are Billionaires because of their degree and school.
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#4
(06-23-2017, 07:41 PM)DaveGillie Wrote: to me it seemed to be about FILTERS more than EDUCATION.

the types of degrees and school they went to are NOT things anyone can get or go to,
they first, and separately, MUST FIRST BE extraordinarily SMART and DRIVEN and Raised for it.


IOW these were all great people with this potential BEFORE,
you could NOT just pick Joe Blow at birth, support him getting a Bachelors degree and get him into an Ivy School and then boom, we have a Billionaire.

correlation is NOT cause and effect.
they had their Degrees and school because they were billionaire potential,
NOT that they are Billionaires because of their degree and school.

Right you are, Dave.  The logical fallacy that a college degree will get you a good job is known as the "Cargo Cult Fallacy".
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#5
The degrees definitely helped. These are all individuals that were able to apply what they learned. A college degree is probably not sufficient for this type of success, but the things they learned at University was probably necessary, for at least some of them. For instance, there is no way Larry Page creates Google without doing graduate work in computer science at Stanford. Carl Icahn studied Philosophy at Princeton; probably not necessary to do what he does but shows you that this guy thinks at a different level than your typical rube. Additionally, training and refining his ideas with rigorous studies at Princeton had to have given him an intellectual edge over the typical investor.

The fact that most of them went to Ivy leagues just tells us that they were very smart, and/or driven.

Here is an analogy. Take a Mike Tyson, one of the greatest fighters ever. Did he need to train at a boxing gym to be a tough guy? Of course not. Mike Tyson training or no training is still kicking all of our asses. But without the training, would he have been a boxing champion?

The training or the university studies is like a training gym for a sharp, and innovative mind. Not necessary, but for some, the ability to learn theory and develop one's intellectual skills is certainly an asset in life. These are just the outliers that were able to take that training and education, and benefit the most. Going back to Carl Icahn, did he need to study philosophy in order to become a great investor. Hard to say....

Here he is in his own words from an interview...

"What Carl had discovered in researching and writing his thesis gave him a philosophical framework for applying his considerable intellect to real-life challenges. “Empiricism says knowledge is based on observation and experience, not feelings,” Icahn said. “In a funny way, studying twentieth-century philosophy trains your mind for takeovers. “. . . There’s a strategy behind everything. Everything fits. Thinking this way taught me to compete in many things, not only takeovers but chess and arbitrage.” He is always looking for ways to synthesize information and to arrive at original concepts others are blind to. Relying only marginally on the advice and counsel of the lawyers and investment bankers that are at his beck and call, Icahn — who has a deep-seated disdain for self-proclaimed experts — prefers to do his own thinking and his own negotiating."

More about Icahn...
Icahn’s Princeton years were immensely cerebral. A philosophy major, he spent most of his time in his dorm room reading the works of Socrates, Plato, Machiavelli, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer. His free time was filled up with chess games and occasional rounds of volleyball.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/early-yea...mar-ismail
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#6
Business what?

Doubt they are your classic "accounting types" although accounting is important.

So, then probably Finance (like it says). I would assume that most had a steady dose of Management classes.

What about Marketing/Sales? Is SALES still a 4 letter word? Marketing? Sometimes you have to do some WHOLE BRAIN big picture thinking... MIS/Logistics could be in there somewhere, too...

Your safest bet would probably be an engineering major with an econ. minor (and extra classes in history and Philosophy, and an art class) at a top tier public/private university followed by an MBA from a top 5-10 program.

I am also guessing: be in a solid frat/sorority, being the president of some random club in college, and having hobbies that include chess and golf. A working knowledge of poker would help, too.
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#7
(06-24-2017, 06:17 PM)da bear Wrote: Business what?

Doubt they are your classic "accounting types" although accounting is important.

So, then probably Finance (like it says).  I would assume that most had a steady dose of Management classes.

What about Marketing/Sales?  Is SALES still a 4 letter word?  Marketing?  Sometimes you have to do some WHOLE BRAIN big picture thinking...  MIS/Logistics could be in there somewhere, too...

Your safest bet would probably be an engineering major with an econ. minor (and extra classes in history and Philosophy, and an art class) at a top tier public/private university followed by an MBA from a top 5-10 program.

I am also guessing: be in a solid frat/sorority, being the president of some random club in college, and having hobbies that include chess and golf.  A working knowledge of poker would help, too.

Forming network contacts at college is important too.  Gary North says forming network contacts in college is the most important part of getting a degree.

Another is completing a degree.  Employers look at the failure to get a degree as indicating one is a loser and failure, even if the reason is that one ran out of money.  Employers would rather hire a high school graduate than a college dropout.

Which is why I recommend that students get their two-year degree first, and then transfer to a four-year institution.  If one graduate from the 2-year institution and fails to graduate from the 4-year institution, the time spent at the 4-year institution can be "lost" off a resume to avoid being labeled a loser and failure who can't complete important projects. The same is true if one fails to graduate from the 2-year institution.
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#8
I think what's more important is not the billionaires but what educations are more frequently delivering millionaires.

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-1...?r=US&IR=T

The top 10 degrees that millionaires earn:

Engineering
MBA
Economics
Law
Business Administration
Commerce
Accounting
Computer Science
Finance
Politics
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#9
(06-25-2017, 12:39 AM)andrew_o Wrote: I think what's more important is not the billionaires but what educations are more frequently delivering millionaires.

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-1...?r=US&IR=T

The top 10 degrees that millionaires earn:

Engineering
MBA
Economics
Law
Business Administration
Commerce
Accounting
Computer Science
Finance
Politics

Being born into the "right" family, getting a college degree from the "right" school, the "right" social contacts, the "right" business contacts, being a great golfer or tennis player, being tall and looking good in a suit, marrying the "right" person - these things can frequently assure a very nice and comfortable life in the upper 20% of our American society.  

But the very rare billionaire status is a matter of being in the "right" field, in the "right" place, at the "right" time.  Sometimes even errors count - I always heard the story about how Bill Gates couldn't sell OS2 to Xerox, and how that system became the basis of his success.  Perhaps apocryphal, who knows.

In other words, a certain version of luck made the billionaires.  Not blind luck, but the luck of being prepared for the main chance.

oly
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#10
Agree Oly: There is a lot of luck in becoming vastly wealthy.

But you missed my point and made the standard American error - your reference group is wrong.

It matters not who Gates, Buffet or Kardashian are. They are as rare as rocking horse shit and are statistically irrelevant. All were just phenomenally lucky people.

As I mentioned above - what really matters is who gets the second tier wealth. 

What education reliably delivers millions not billions? Those millions of millionaires in the US who have just steadily worked at a job or business and slowly accumulated significant wealth.
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