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Revealed: South African universities which produce the most millionaires

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As the country awkwardly phases itself into the “free higher education” era, the opportunities for our best and brightest learners are set to snowball. South African universities are amongst some of the best in the world, and according to New World Wealth’s index on the number of millionaires they produce, it’s easy to see why.

The success rates at some of our top-level institutions are a source of enormous pride for the higher education department. Of course, merely getting into university doesn’t guarantee you any future success – nor does donning the cap and gown on graduation day.

Success in the face of adversity

Youth unemployment rates are the highest in the world in Mzansi, with more than half of the young workforce (diploma-holders included) are struggling to find an employer.

But if you attend any of the prestigious South African universities listed below, it’s not just your chance of landing a job that improves: The odds of you making some serious money also increases greatly. Earlier this week, it was revealed that there are 39 000 dollar millionaires living in SA. Here’s where the super-rich citizens of this country cut their teeth:

South African universities – who has produced the most millionaires?

University Percentage of millionaires
who studied there
University of
Witswatersrand (Wits)
20%
University of
Cape Town (UCT)
19%
Stellenbosch University 12%
University of
South Africa (Unisa)
10%
Rhodes University 7%
University of
Pretoria
6%
University of
Johannesburg
4%
US Universities 4%
UK Universities 3%
Other 15%

Unsurprisingly, it came down to a battle of “Wits” between the top institutions in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The University of Witwatersrand just edges out UCT by a single percentage point when it comes down to producing the most millionaires in South Africa.

Stellenbosch comes in at a respectable third place, accounting for the education of roughly one in eight of our High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs). Unisa and Rhodes complete the top five respectively, with both outperforming the combined contribution of US and UK facilities.

South African universities – courses which produce the most millionaires

So if your grades are good enough, and you’re on course to study at one of the top South African universities, you’ll have to consider which area of expertise you’d like to investigate further.

New World Wealth have also calculated the top five most successful degrees held by our ultra-wealthy citizens. Almost 70% of Mzansi’s millionaires studied these courses, and there’s a clear favourite at the top of the pile: Better get hitting the books if you fancy putting a Ferrari in your garage…

  1. Law studies (LLB, LLM) – 28%
  2. Finance and Economics (MBA, B.Com, Business Science) – 19%
  3. Accounting (Chartered) – 10%
  4. Medicine and Science – 7%
  5. IT and Computer Studies – 5%

How many high-school leavers strike it rich?

And finally, with all this talk of tertiary education, it’s probably worth remembering that university degrees and millionaire status aren’t mutually exclusive. Just over 5% of HNWI’s only have a high school education, so it’s possible – albeit, a little more difficult – to ascend the same heights. And hey, it never stopped our former president.

You certainly don’t require a Masters to make your fortune either. Only 27% of South Africa’s millionaires went on to do a post-graduate qualification, and an overwhelming majority of 68% stayed put with their undergraduate diplomas. So if you’re not one for overachieving, the light remains at the end of the tunnel.

(Source: The South African)


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