Successful Entrepreneurs Who Made It WITH a College Degree

If you have ever searched Google for “successful entrepreneurs” you may have noticed that there is an abundance of lists highlighting entrepreneurs who succeeded without a college degree.

And while history tells us that a person can certainly go on to be a successful entrepreneur without a college degree (see Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg), we rarely hear about the notable captains of industry that succeeded with a college degree. Why is that?

Every business tycoon’s path to learning about entrepreneurship is unique and worth sharing to help inspire those that may wish to pursue running a successful business of their own.

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and are wondering if earning a degree is right for you, here are 23 successful entrepreneurs that made it with the help of a college degree. And who knows? Maybe one day your name will be on a list of successful business leaders too.

Notable entrepreneurs that earned a degree (in alphabetical order)

Andrew MasonEntrepreneur Andrew Mason

Founder of Groupon
College Attended: Northwestern University
Earned: bachelor’s degree in music
Estimated net worth: $230 Million

 

Bob Parsons

Founder of GoDaddy
College Attended: University of Baltimore
Earned: bachelor’s degree in accounting
Estimated net worth: $1.5 Billion

 

Chad Hurley

Co-founder of YouTube
College Attended: Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Earned: bachelor’s degree in fine arts
Estimated net worth: $335 Million

 

Craig NewmarkEntrepreneur Craig Newmark

Founder of Craigslist
College Attended: Case Western Reserve University
Earned: bachelor’s degree in computer science; master’s degree in computer science
Estimated net worth: $400 Million

 

David Packard*

Co-Founder of Hewlett-Packard
College Attended: Stanford University
Earned: bachelor’s degree in general engineering; master’s degree in electrical engineering
Estimated net worth: $3.7 Billion

 

Fred Smith

Founder of FedEx
College Attended: Yale University
Earned: bachelor’s degree in economics
Estimated net worth: $2.1 Billion

 

Gordon MooreEntrepreneur Gordon Moore

Founder of Intel
College Attended: University of California-Berkeley, California Institute of Technology
Earned: bachelor’s degree in chemistry; doctorate in chemistry
Estimated net worth: $5 Billion

 

Herb Kelleher

Co-founder of Southwest Airlines
College Attended: Wesleyan University, New York University
Earned: bachelor’s degree in English; Juris Doctor
Estimated net worth: $2.5 Billion

 

Jeff Bezos

Founder of Amazon
College Attended: Princeton University
Earned: bachelor’s degree in engineering
Estimated net worth: $25 Billion

 

Jerry YangEntrepreneur Jerry Yang

Co-founder of Yahoo!
College Attended: Stanford University
Earned: bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering; master’s degree in electrical engineering
Estimated net worth: $1.15 Billion

 

John Schnatter

Founder of Papa John’s
College Attended: Ball State University
Earned: bachelor’s degree in business
Estimated net worth: $600 Million

 

J.W. Marriott*

Founder of Marriott Corporation
College Attended: Weber College, University of Utah
Earned: bachelor’s degree in history and political science
Estimated net worth: Unknown

 

Larry PageEntrepreneur Larry Page

Co-founder of Google
College Attended: University of Michigan, Stanford University
Earned: bachelor’s degree in computer engineering; master’s degree in computer science
Estimated net worth: $23.4 Billion

 

Mark Cuban

Founder of Broadcast.com
College Attended: Indiana University
Earned: bachelor’s degree in business administration
Estimated net worth: $2.5 Billion

 

Martha Stewart

Founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
College Attended: Barnard College
Earned: bachelor’s degree in history and architectural history
Estimated net worth: $650 Million

 

Oprah WinfreyEntrepreneur Oprah Winfrey

Founder of Harpo Productions
College Attended: Tennessee State University
Earned: bachelor’s degree in speech and performing arts
Estimated net worth: $2.7 Billion

 

Phil Knight

Co-founder of Nike
College Attended: University of Oregon, Stanford University
Earned: bachelor’s degree in journalism; master’s degree in business administration
Estimated net worth: $14.1 Billion

 

Pierre Omidyar

Founder of eBay
College Attended: Tufts University
Earned: bachelor’s degree in computer science
Estimated net worth: $8.7 Billion

 

Ralph Roberts

Co-founder of Comcast Communications
College Attended: University of Pennsylvania
Earned: bachelor’s degree in business
Estimated net worth: $400 Million (as of 1994)

 

Reed HastingsEntrepreneur Reed Hastings

Co-founder of Netflix
College Attended: Bowdoin College, Stanford University
Earned: bachelor’s degree in mathematics; master’s degree in computer science
Estimated net worth: $280 Million

 

Sam Walton*

Founder of Wal-Mart Stores
College Attended: University of Missouri
Earned: bachelor’s degree in economics
Estimated net worth: $65 Billion (as of 1992)

 

Sergey Brin

Co-founder of Google
College Attended: University of Maryland, Stanford University
Earned: bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science; master’s degree in computer science
Estimated net worth: $23 Billion

 

Vera WangEntrepreneur Vera Wang

Founder of Vera Wang Bridal House
College Attended: Sarah Lawrence College
Earned: bachelor’s degree in art history
Estimated net worth: $115 Million

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Deceased

Image Credits: Wikipedia Commons

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Grant Tilus is an Associate Inbound Marketing Manager for Collegis Education who writes articles on behalf of Rasmussen College with the aim to inspire, motivate and inform current and prospective students in a positive way.

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