You don’t need to have a degree to be rich - CNBC Africa

You don’t need to have a degree to be rich

Special Report

by Rofhiwa Madzena 0

When we look at the world’s wealthiest people we assume they have loads of degrees behind them. PHOTO: Getty Images

Some of the world’s richest people did not ride on the back of a degree to get their riches and the main reason is they believe in the mantra “I can make it on my own”.

According to Trilby Rajna, a blogger at Approved Index, the ability to become wealthy is dependent on a certain skillset that individuals have or learn as well as their intelligence.

Talking during an interview on CNBC Africa’s Power Lunch she cited the example of Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg saying that after he had applied his intelligence to an idea, he did not need to further his education; she jokes that if he had, “he would have aced it”.

Interestingly, a surprising 32 per cent of the world’s billionaires do not have degrees and of those that do, 22 per cent are engineering qualifications. Rajna explains that the reason that engineering is a popular field of study is because it encompasses many facets which include problem solving and thought processes.


“Engineering is a stem subject and internationally there is an emphasis on growing this among learners and encouraging students to get into stem subjects.” 

"Topping the amount of billionaires within its boundaries is the USA closely followed by Europe, according to Rajna. She did also say that infrastructure and support systems are really important because “that fires entrepreneurship.”

Meanwhile, an article published by Business Tech revealed that some of South Africa’s top earners do have degrees. Patrice Motsepe, who is worth US$2 billion, has a Bachelor of Law degree which he obtained from Wits University. Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines, has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oxford University.