Want to be a millionaire? Do an MBA (or engineering degree)

MBA blocksAn global survey on the education history of 70,000 millionaires show more of them hold an MBA than any other degree except engineering.

The survey by Spear’s magazine and research company WealthInsight, listed the top 100 universities in the world for producing millionaires and the degrees they studied. Degrees in Economics, Law and a Bachelors degree in business administration rounded out the top 5.

Millionaires – By Degree

  1. Engineering
  2. MBA
  3. Economics
  4. Law
  5. Bachelor of Business Administration

WealthInsight’s Oliver Williams said the research was slightly misleading with few millionaires actually making their money as technicians in their chosen field of study.

“Interestingly, few of these degrees turn out to be outright vocational; Most engineering graduates, for example, are not engineers but entrepreneurs,” he said. “The same goes for most law and politics graduates, who owe their fortunes not to practicing their professions but climbing the ranks of the financial services sector.”

Mr Williams said it was no surprise the academic history of millionaires was focused on quantitative fields, and less from humanities.

“You would expect to see a high number of scientific or financial degrees in the top 10, like engineering, commerce and accounting. Numerical degrees are a notable advantage when it comes to amassing a personal fortune,” he said.

The survey results also dispel the myth that college dropouts, such as Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, regularly make it to millionaire status. Roughly 1% of millionaires in the survey did not obtain a degree, meaning the other 99% clearly depended–at least in part–on completing formal tertiary education.

Which schools produce millionaires?

Ivy league schools Harvard and Stanford predictably topped the table of schools most-attended by millionaires. University of California, Columbia and Oxford rounded out the top five.

The U.S. claims nearly half of the millionaires’ 500 most-attended universities with 216 institutions on the list. The UK comes in a distant second with 42, followed by Canada and France with 27 universities, each.

The University of Sydney was Australia’s top millionaire factory with a further five making the top 100.

Australia’s millionaire universities (and international ranking)

  • University of NSW (33)
  • University of Sydney (44)
  • University of Melbourne (46)
  • Monash University (73)
  • University of Queensland (87)
  • University of Western Australia (95)

SPEAR’s editor Josh Sepro said the top schools equipped their millionaires with more than knowledge.

“The universities which dominate are exactly the ones you’d expect, not just because of the quality of the education but because of the self-confidence they instill in their students. They also have strong alumni networks which give their students a leg up when they move into the world of work.”

For the full top 100 list of global universities visit SPEAR’s story.




Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (rgcmm.com.au).