2015 Archives

Millionaires are increasing in number. What degree should you get to become one?


The following is from the June 25, 2015, edition of GoodCall. SMU Business Professor Jerry White, director of SMU's Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, provided expertise for this story.

June 29, 2015

By Terri Williams

What are your chances of becoming a millionaire? The odds might be better than you think. According to the 2015 World Wealth Report, there are now 14.6 million people who have a net worth of at least $1 million – and 920,000 were initiated just last year. The U.S. can lay claim to 4.4 million members of the millionaire club. And if you weren’t born into money, don’t worry – only 20% of American millionaires inherited their wealth.

Looking for more insight into millionaires and how they got their money? 80% of millionaires are college graduates, and according to a 2013 report by Spears Magazine and Wealth Insight, most of them have degrees in only a few subject areas.

Below are the five degrees most likely to be earned by those who went on to become millionaires. GoodCall spoke with a few experts to understand how these particular degrees could pave the way to seven-figures:

#2: MBA (Master’s of Business Administration)

An MBA is the second most commonly-found degree among millionaires. Professor Jerry F. White, the Morris Endowed Director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business notes that an MBA helps many entrepreneurs expand their business operations. “Many times, we see entrepreneurs who have hit a plateau and can’t seem to take their business to the next level. Graduate business school helps them see where their deficits are, and helps them acquire knowledge and skills to overcome those deficits – often with stellar results.”

White has one student who was an entrepreneur and built a business that already had $2 million in sales, but could not get beyond that point. “However, one of the student’s management courses helped him see a serious flaw in his management approach and motivation tactics. Another class helped him understand the proper relationships between debt and equity.” White says the student’s sales doubled within a year of graduation.

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