Didn’t make it to university? You’re in good company. Neither did they…

University of Life: Stats reveal that more than three quarters of the 50 richest people under 30 didn’t go to university

Young, rich, and famous: that’s what everyone wants to be, right? But while we all want to ‘get rich’, there’s no one, clear path to going about it.
Some people are born rich, some will work incredibly hard to become rich, while others are just plain lucky. So, is there any secret to it? Does it all depend on what kind of education you had? Is private school necessarily ‘better’ than state school? Should you go to university, or could it actually be a waste of money? Do some professions make you richer than others? Are there any short cuts?
The questions are endless. However, creators of eco classrooms and modular school buildings TG Escapes decided to analyse the backgrounds of the 50 richest people under thirty, who appear in this year’s Sunday Times Young Rich List, and they made some very interesting discoveries.
Firstly, only 34 out of the 50 (that’s over two thirds) went to state schools, proving that you don’t necessarily have to pay for a ‘better’ education to end up rich. If you have talent and skill, then that will take you far; just look at the likes of footballer Wayne Rooney (6th on the list, worth £96m), singer Ellie Goulding (at number 39, she’s worth £17m) or boxer Amir Khan (worth £18m, at number 36); they all went to state school, but clearly already had an innate talent that shone through.
And an even greater proportion of people (76%), didn’t go to university. Perhaps that’s not too surprising, given the crippling fees it costs these days, but it certainly didn’t do the likes of older, successful entrepreneurs like Sir Alan Sugar or Sir Richard Branson any harm; following in their path are the likes of techpreneur Pete Cashmore, who founded tech blog Mashable (and, at number 5 on the list, is worth a staggering £170m).
What is also inspiring is that 42 of them (84%) are totally self-made, and didn’t inherit family wealth. This can’t be said for the person at the top of the list, 30 year Tom Persson – who’s worth a whopping £672m – because he’s part of the family who own fashion label H&M. But for the majority of sports stars, or musicians, many of whom come from relatively humble backgrounds, they’ve made their wealth on their own, thanks to their skill. Footballer Gareth Bale, for example, amassed his £34m fortune (no 17 on the list) himself, while the four current members of One Direction are all worth £33m (at no 18).
So what are the professions which will make us the richest? Well, 40% of those on the list are in sport, while 37.5% are involved in creative industries such as film (like Emma Watson, no 16 on the list with £35m), music (like Ed Sheeran, no 14 with £45m), or fashion (such as model sisters Cara and Poppy Delevingne (worth £14m between them, at no 49). Two per cent are lottery winners, Nottinghamshire couple Matt and Cassey Topham, who won a £45m Euromillions draw in 2012.
But perhaps more soberingly, only 10% of the people on list work in industry – in electricals, property or cars – such as 28 year old Thomas Mackie, who runs the electrical goods wholesaling company his grandfather started in Kenilworth and has built it up so much that his net worth is now £380m (putting him at no 3 on the list).
“There are obviously a variety of ways to become rich and successful,” says Richard Harvey, managing director at TG Escapes.
“Good, hard graft rewards many, and talent will get you far, too. However, it’s a little sad if young people reading this think that the only way to make money is to become a pop star, actor or sportsperson, which couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s worth sticking with an education for as long as you can, which will give you so many more options later in life.”
UK rich list
1             Tom Persson £672m
2             Fawn and India Rose James £482m
3             Thomas Mackie and family £380m
4             Tim and Pollyanna Gredley and family £194m
5             Pete Cashmore    £170m
6             Wayne and Coleen Rooney £96m
7             Adele £85m
8             Daniel Radcliffe    £74m
9             Chris Phillips £70m
10           Robert Pattinson £65m
11           Andy and Jamie Murray     £58m
12           Rory McIlroy £56m
13           Matt and Cassey Topham £48m
14           Jack Cator £45m
14           Ed Sheeran £45m
16           Emma Watson £35m
17           Gareth Bale £34m
18           Sergio Aguero £33m
18           Liam Payne £33m
18           Niall Horan £33m
18           Harry Styles £33m
18           Louis Tomlinson £33m
23           David Silva £31m
24           Zayn Malik £30m
25           Cesc Fabregas £29m
25           Radamel Falcao   £29m
27           Rupert Grint £26m
28           Rhett and Alexander Hamilton £25m
29           Samir Nasri £22m
29           Jon Reynolds £22m
31           Nick D’Aloisio £20m
31           Carl Hartley £20m
31           Sam Smith £20m
31           Florence Welch    £20m
31           William Yates-Johnson £20m
36           Eden Hazard £18m
36           Amir Khan £18m
36           Marcus Mumford and Carey Mulligan £18m
39           Ellie Goulding £17m
39           Mesut Ozil £17m
39           Theo Walcott £17m
42           Jessie J   £16m
42           Vincent Kompany £16m
42           James Milner £16m
42           Ashley Young £16m
46           James Connelly    £15m
46           Juan Mata £15m
46           William   £15m
49           Gael Clichy £14m
49           Cara and Poppy Delevingne £14m