Question of the Day: What college major is most common among world leaders?

Feb 12, 2019
Question of the Day

Answer: Politics and Economics

Hat tip to Brian Page for pointing out this chart. 


  • What do you think is the ideal educational background for a country's leader? 
  • How do you think a leader's educational and career background affect the way they govern? 
  • What's a good headline for this chart? 

Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (from Visual Capitalist):

When it comes to the extremely challenging job of running a nation, a university education can help in setting up a leader for success. The vast majority of heads of government have some sort of post-secondary education – 83%, in fact – but their areas of study vary greatly.

Some leaders, like Alain Berset of Switzerland, specifically studied political science or law in university. Other leaders, such as Paraguayan president, Horacio Cartes, took a more roundabout path to the top, having studied aviation mechanics in the United States.


On the subject of college, don't miss my recent podcast with Justin Draeger of NASFAA as we discussed financial aid, the future of higher education and lots more. 




About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.