Last Updated:

List of Billionaires Without College Degrees

As Elon Musk once said, to be successful in life, you even don’t need a college degree. You just need the exceptional ability to do great things. His statement is accurate since a majority of billionaires do not have college degrees. Many billionaires and successful people don't have a college degree and you too can be successful without one.

In this article, we are going to look at some of the world's millionaires without college degrees and what they do.

Top 10 Billionaires Without College Degrees

The following are some of the world billionaires and millionaires with no degrees.

1. Bill Gates

Bill Gates is the co-founder of Microsoft and is among the world's billionaires without a college degree. Bill Gates was a student at Harvard University but dropped out after two years. He was studying pre-law but took mathematics and graduate-level computer science.

He met Steve Ballmer at Harvard University who stayed until he graduated. Ballmer would later succeed Gates as Microsoft’s CEO serving from 2000 to 2014. Bill Gates was worth $103.6 billion as of Dec 2022.

2. Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison is another billionaire without a college degree after dropping out of University twice. He is the co-founder and Chairman of Oracle Corporation. Larry Ellison had enrolled at the University of Illinois but left without completing after his mother’s death.

Again, he enrolled at the University of Chicago to study Physics and Mathematics. He would later work as a programmer where he gained basic computer skills. Larry Ellison was worth $102.7 billion as of Dec 2022.

Also read: How long does it take to be a billionaire?

3. Amancio Ortega

Amancio Ortega is a Spanish billionaire and founder of Inditex Fashion group that is best known for Zara and Bershka clothing and accessories. He dropped out of school at the age of 14 never to return back. He got a job at a shop for a shirt maker where he learned how to make clothes.

He is among the wealthiest people in Europe after Bernard Arnault. In a short period, he was the richest person in the world in 2015 after surpassing Bill Gates. Amancio Ortega was worth 63.3 billion as of Dec 2022.

4. Michael Dell

Michael Dell is one of the most successful entrepreneurs and billionaires without degrees. He is the founder and CEO of Dell Inc., a computer and technology company dealing with the production of computers. Michael Dell dropped out of college at the age of 15 to concentrate on his business.

He developed an interest in computers at the age of 15 when he bought and disassembled an Apple computer to see how it works. Michael Dell was worth 51.5 billion as of Dec 2022.

5. Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg is the co-founder and CEO of Facebook. He owns Meta company that owns Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Mark Zuckerberg was studying Computer Science at Harvard University before dropping out to concentrate on his social media companies.

Nevertheless, even without a college degree, he is among the youngest billionaires without a college degree. Mark Zuckerberg was worth $42.5 billion as of Dec 2022.

Also read: What degree do most billionaires have?

6. François Pinault

François Pinault is a French billionaire who dropped out of College Saint-Martin in Rennes at the age of 16 after his classmates made fun of him for his rural accent. The billionaire is well known for his Kering Groupe Artemis and Pinault Collection. François Pinault was worth 34.7 billion as of Dec, 2022.

7. Steve Jobs

The late Steve Jobs is also a college dropout, yet a billionaire. Steve Jobs attended Reed College for six months, before dropping out. He would later work as a game designer where he gained computer skills. At the age of 21, he partnered with Steve Wozniak to start Apple Computer. He died on October 5, 2011, of pancreatic cancer. At the time, he was worth $10.2 billion.

8. Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren is an American fashion designer and billionaire. He is the Executive Chairman of Ralph Lauren Corporation which deals with accessories, and luxury clothing for men, women, and kids. He went to Baruch College of the City University of New York where he was studying but then dropped out after two years. Ralph Lauren was worth $6.8 billion as of Dec 2022. 

9. Richard Branson

Richard Branson is a British billionaire without degree. He dropped out of school at the age of 16 to start a magazine company and Virgin Records, a recording studio. The company grew to form the Virgin Group Empire which deals with travel, hospitality, and communication. Virgin Group includes more than 200 companies with a presence in over 30 countries. Richard Branson was worth $5.7 billion as of Dec 2022.

10. Ted Turner

Ted Turner is an American entrepreneur, television personality, and billionaire. He is also on the list of billionaires without college degrees. Ted Turner enrolled at Brown University where he was studying Economics. Ted Turner was expelled from the University after being found with a woman in his dormitory. Ted Turner was worth 2.4 billion as of Dec 2022.

Percentage of Billionaires Without College Degrees

Worldwide, 739 out of 2,473 billionaires whose education records are available do not have a college degree. Simple math shows that 30% of billionaires worldwide do not have even a college degree. 

READ: What cars do billionaires drive?

How Many Billionaires Dropped Out of College?

Out of 362 billionaires in the US whose education records were available, 44 of them are college dropouts. This means that 12.2 percent of billionaires in the US are college dropouts. Besides, a 2017 study showed that 16 percent of billionaires did not even have a Bachelor's degree. 

List of Billionaires Who Dropped Out of College 

The following are some of the billionaires who dropped out of school. They include: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, Sheldon Adelson, Michael Dell, Amancio Ortega and François Pinault.

Summary of Billionaires Without Degrees

Do most billionaires have degrees? No. A majority of billionaires do not have a college degree. As such, to become a billionaire and achieve success in life, you don’t even need a college degree as Elon Musk once stated. All you need to have a great idea, work hard, and be resilient. Most of the billionaires without college degrees have amassed lots of wealth from their business ideas and you too can.

Read More