Are you more likely to become a billionaire if you go to uni?

Multiple super successful people didn’t go to uni. Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, Philip Green…the list goes on. So maybe you don’t need a degree (or all that debt) to hit the big time and become a millionaire/billionaire. Here are List for Life we’re discussing what you should do and the results have proven…insightful!

To become a billionaire do you need a degree? Should YOU bother going to university? Well to answer this question we need to look at the research.

What does the research say?

A study of people appearing in the Forbes top 100 billionaire rich lists over the last 20 years found that a huge 76% (!) of them have a degree. This works out to 47% having an undergraduate degree, 23% having a masters and 6% having a doctorate. So a degree will help you make your billions, but this also shows us that perhaps a masters or a doctorate aren’t needed.

So basically a quarter of the world’s billionaires didn’t go to uni. Are you surprised or reassured?


Bill Gates is on the list but he actually dropped out of Harvard before finishing…and look how well he’s done without a degree!


What did they study?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular subjects that these billionaires studied were economics and engineering-related ones. Science proved far more popular than the humanities. Hmm maybe worth rethinking that English Lit degree then!

Harvard blah blah, but what about British unis?

Not all the world’s billionaires went to Harvard guys! In the UK universities on the list are the London School of Economics (which has produced the most billionaires in the country) and Cambridge.

Rupert Murdoch actually went to Oxford though.


What kind of salary can you be earning?

Sir Peter Lampl, the chairman of the Sutton Trust, which promotes ‘fair access’ to university, told List for Life: “It’s no surprise that many of the world’s richest people have postgraduate degrees from top universities. Our own research has identified a postgraduate wage premium of £200,000 in lifetime earnings. We do need to make sure though that the financial rewards and opportunities post graduate degrees offer are available to bright people from all backgrounds not just the well-off.”

Has that made your mind up?