3 most popular college majors for billionaires

If you want to make it into the billionaire's club, picking the right college major might be a good place to start.

That's because for the richest people in America, the most common major selected was economics, according to a Forbes analysis of the billionaires who made the latest Forbes 400 list.

The next most popular majors were business administration and history.

RELATED: Top 12 colleges with the most billionaire alumni

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Top 12 colleges with the most alumni

#13: UCLA

Number of billionaires: 5

Photo credit: Getty

#12: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Number of billionaires: 5

Photo credit: Getty

#11: Duke University

Number of billionaires: 5

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#10: University of Michigan 

Number of billionaires: 6

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#9: Dartmouth College

Number of billionaires: 6

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#8: Columbia University

Number of billionaires: 6

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#7: Princeton University 

Number of billionaires: 7

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#6: Cornell University

Number of billionaires: 9

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#5: University of Southern California

Number of billionaires: 11

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#4: Stanford University 

Number of billionaires: 13

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#3: Yale University

Number of billionaires: 14

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#2: Harvard University 

Number of billionaires: 14

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#1: University of Pennsylvania 

Number of billionaires: 21

Photo credit: Getty

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Hedge fund manager Steve Cohen, Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman, and New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft all chose to major in economics as undergraduates, before launching successful careers.

Warren Buffett graduated with a degree in business administration and U-Haul CEO Joe Shoen studied history.

Economics is also popular at some of the top schools in America. At nearly all of the Ivy League schools, from which many of the billionaires hail, the most popular major is also economics.

It's a smart move. College graduates with an economics degree earn a starting salary of $48,500 on average, almost 20 percent more than those who major in business administration, according to Payscale.com.

RELATED: NFL owners who became billionaires

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NFL owners who became billionaires

Dan Snyder: Washington Redskins

$1.1 billion(Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Denise DeBartolo York: San Francisco 49ers

$1.1 billion

(Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)

Jeffrey Lurie: Philadelphia Eagles

$1.1 billion

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Alex Spanos: San Diego Chargers

$1.1 billion

(Photo by Getty Images)

William Clay Ford Sr.: Detroit Lions

$1.1 billion

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Bud Adams: Tennessee Titans

$1.2 billion

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Tom Benson: New Orleans Saints

$1.2 billion

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Arthur Blank: Atlanta Falcons

$1.5 billion

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Jim Irsay: Indianapolis Colts

$1.5 billion

(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Steve Bisciotti: Baltimore Ravens

$1.6 billion

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Robert McNair: Houston Texans

$1.8 billion

(Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Robert Kraft: New England Patriots

$2.3 billion

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Shahid Khan: Jacksonville Jaguars

$2.5 billion

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Jerry Jones: Dallas Cowboys

$2.7 billion

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Malcolm Glazer: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

$3.6 billion

(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon SMI/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images)

Stan Kroenke: Los Angeles Rams

$4 billion

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Stephen Ross: Miami Dolphins

$4.4 billion

(Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Paul Allen: Seattle Seahawks

$15 billion

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

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With a masters degree, economists can make even more. Median income for economists in 2016 was $101,050 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — almost double the median income in the US.

Harvard economics professor and renowned economist Gregory Mankiw believes the college major provides huge benefit. "I think it's a great gateway into a lot of different careers," Mankiw told Business Insider in February.

Studying economics is important "so you can read the newspaper, so you can be an intelligent voter, make intelligent decisions as you go about your personal financial life," he continued. "It's a great place to start to learn how the world works."

See Also:

DON'T MISS: The 10 schools that have produced the most billionaires in the US

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