Engineering graduates are the highest-earning billionaires (Source: Getty)
Studying engineering for three or four years might not sound like great fun to most 18-year-olds, but it's exactly what they should be looking to do if they want to earn the big bucks later in life.
Why? Because out of every possible subject you can do at university, it gives you the highest chance of becoming a billionaire. According to an analysis of the Forbes 100
rich list by business-to-business buying platform Approved Index, 22 per cent of the world's richest people studied this subject as an undergraduate degree, which is almost twice as many as from any other discipline.
Sergey Brin and Larry Page, co-founders of Google
, both studied computer engineering before making their fortunes, while Michael Bloomberg and businessman and philanthropist Charles Koch also come from an engineering background.
A business degree offers the next best chance of being a billionaire, with 12 per cent of the list's members having studied this money-focused subject. All combined, arts graduates comprise just nine per cent of the world's wealthiest billionaires.
More unusual is that engineering far exceeds any other science, technology, engineering or maths (Stem) subject in giving rise to the super-rich. Maths graduates make up just two per cent of the rich list, as do all other science graduates added together.
What's more, engineering billionaires are richer than all other kinds of billionaire - these individuals have an average wealth of around $25.8 (£17.3bn) on the Forbes list, compared to $22.5bn (£15.1bn) among those with finance degrees and $24bn (£16.1bn) among those without degrees.
Degree not always necessary
While an engineering degree can certainly help you on the road to success, it's by no means necessary. Of all the 100 richest people, a third had no degree at all.
Bill Gates, now the richest person in the world, and Mark Zuckerberg
, the youngest person on the Forbes rich list, both dropped out of Harvard to become entrepreneurs.