10 famous faces who studied Accounting, Finance and Economics

You might think a degree in Accounting and Finance can only lead to a job in accounting, and a degree in Economics is only suited to aspiring entrepreneurs.


A degree in these subjects will give you a variety of technical and transferable skills that will leave you qualified for roles in a range of professions. In fact, there are many famous people whose careers began and, in some cases flourished thanks to studying Accounting, Finance and Economics.

Here are 10 famous faces who studied Accounting, Finance and Economics.

John Grisham (Author)

An accounting degree served as the foundation for the incredible career of bestselling crime novelist, John Grisham. Initially planning to become a tax lawyer, he studied Accounting at the Mississippi State University. He ended up specialising in criminal law, and his first novel A Time to Kill was based on evidence he observed while working as a lawyer.

Janet Jackson (Singer)

She might have come from one of the biggest showbiz families on the planet, however, Janet Jackson initially chose education over stardom, studying an Accounting degree. Despite going on to produce a string of platinum selling albums and bagging five Grammys, she’s quoted as saying, “If I wasn’t a singer, I’d probably be an accountant” – which goes to show, it’s always good to have a backup plan.

“Janet Jackson Number Ones Tour 2011 (cropped)” by J0 anna is licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0 / Cropped from original

JP Morgan (Financier and Banker)

More than 100 years after his death, JP Morgan’s name remains synonymous with finance. Morgan began his career in accounting at New York banking firm Duncan, Sherman & Company. With this experience under his belt, he went on to set up his own Wall Street firm and was also heavily involved in the reorganisation and consolidation of financial railroads, he also financed industrial consolidations.

Bob Newhart (Stand-up comedian and Actor)

Funny man Bob Newhart has had a varied career, first serving in the US army during the Korean War, then working as an accountant at the USG Corporation upon his return. Although he later found fame as a stand-up comedian, it’s said that his career in accounting provided material for his early stand-up gigs, which goes to show, all experience is good experience.

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Actor and Businessman)

From bodybuilding to acting and politics to business, Arnold Schwarzenegger has proven that he has both the brains and the brawn. He majored in Economics at the University of Wisconsin, which has no doubt served him well in the world of politics where he’s served as Governor of California, and in business, where he’s been responsible for ‘terminating’ candidates on the Celebrity Apprentice.

“Arnold Schwarzenegger” by Governo do Estado de Sao Paulo is licensed under CC BY 2.0 /Cropped from original

Danny Glover (Actor, Director and Activist)

Before entertaining audiences in feature films such as ‘The Color Purple’ and ‘Lethal Weapon’, Danny Glover first studied Economics at the San Francisco State University. Despite going on to become an award-winning actor, Glover remains passionate about economics, currently serving as a member of the board of directors for the Center for Economics and Policy.

“Danny Glover” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 / Cropped from original

Arsene Wenger (Football Manager)

After coaching Arsenal to success in the late 1990’s, Arsene Wenger earned himself the title “The Professor”. And it’s a title that’s befitting to his academic background too – he’s fluent in six languages, has a Bachelor’s in Engineering and a Master’s in Economics. With a solid reputation in the transfer market, his Master’s has clearly served him well.

Arianna Huffington (Author, Columnist and Businesswoman)

Writer and businesswoman Arianna Huffington has certainly put the skills gained on her Economics degree to good use. In 2005, she launched global news site HuffPost and is also the CEO of tech company Thrive Global. It’s therefore no surprise that she’s been included in Time Magazine’s World’s 100 Most Influential People and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list.

“Arianna Huffington” by JD Lasica is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Cropped from original

Vince Cable (Politician)

Former MP Vince Cable’s degree in Natural Sciences and Economics from the University of Cambridge paved the way for a varied and exciting career. During his lifetime, he’s worked as an Economics lecturer at Glasgow University, Treasury Finance Officer for the Kenyan Government, Chief Economist for Shell International, and even served as the leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Paul Newman (Actor)

Hollywood legend Paul Newman had a joint degree in Economics and Drama. Despite the two being completely unrelated, he was able to put the skills learnt in both to good use during his lifetime. He starred in a string of classic movies such as ‘The Color of Money’, ‘Hud’ and ‘The Hustler’; and in 1982, launched his own food company Newman’s Own, which, to date, has donated more than $500 million of post-tax profits to charity.

Paul Newman on a water taxi in Venice in 1963” by Lmattozz is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 /Cropped from original

These examples show that a degree is what you make of it. So whatever your goals and aspirations are, if you’ve got a knack for numbers or the nous for finance, studying Accounting, Finance or Economics will give you the skills and experience needed to launch an exciting and fulfilling career.

Interested? Check out our Accounting, Finance and Economics courses.

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