Engineering is the most common degree among the world’s top billionaires, researchers say.
More than a fifth of the 100 wealthiest people studied the subject, which accounts for twice as many billionaires’ university courses as the next most popular choice – business.
Engineering graduates are also the richest among their prosperous peers.
They have an average wealth of £17.3 billion, compared with a net worth of £16.1 billion for those without a degree and £15.1 billion for those who studied finance.
The findings will add weight to calls for more youngsters to consider studying engineering, which has traditionally been seen as less popular than arts subjects.
Last year, education charity Sutton Trust found those taking engineering can earn 55 per cent – or £8,000 – more than design and creative arts graduates six months after leaving university.
Yesterday’s results will also bolster calls for more children to study science and maths A-levels – which are typically needed to take an engineering degree.
Recent figures show only 19 per cent of girls who scored an A* in GCSE physics chose the subject as one of their A-levels. For boys, the figure was just under half.
Last year, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan called on schools and parents to encourage more children to choose maths, science and technology.
She said too many young people were making subject choices aged 15 that were ‘holding them back for the rest of their lives’.