- The most common major among American billionaires is economics. Business administration and history are the second and third most popular majors. Steve Cohen, Meg Whitman, and Bob Kraft all studied economics in college.
If you want to make it into the billionaire’s club, picking the right college major might be a good place to start.
The next most popular majors were business administration and history.
Hedge fund manager Steve Cohen, Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman, and New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft all chose to major in economics as undergraduates, before launching successful careers.
Warren Buffett graduated with a degree in business administration and U-Haul CEO Joe Shoen studied history.
Economics is also popular at some of the top schools in America. At nearly all of the Ivy League schools, from which many of the billionaires hail, the most popular major is also economics.
It’s a smart move. College graduates with an economics degree earn a starting salary of $48,500 on average, almost 20% more than those who major in business administration, according to Payscale.com.
Harvard economics professor and renowned economist Gregory Mankiw believes the college major provides huge benefit. “I think it’s a great gateway into a lot of different careers,” Mankiw told Business Insider in February.
Studying economics is important “so you can read the newspaper, so you can be an intelligent voter, make intelligent decisions as you go about your personal financial life,” he continued. “It’s a great place to start to learn how the world works.”