Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The 10 Most Educated People on the Planet

For most of us, getting one, two or, more rarely, even three degrees is a struggle. It can take a lot of time, money, and hard work to get through, and many feel a great sense of accomplishment after finishing a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD program (and rightly so). There are others out there, however, that make the rest of us look like underachievers, sometimes earning dozens of college degrees over a lifetime. Some have made the pursuit of knowledge their life’s work and give new meaning to the term “professional student.” Others simply earn degrees as a hobby. Whatever the case, you’ll feel like you need to step up your educational game after reading about these collegiate overachievers, who may be among some of the most educated people on the planet.

  1. Michael Nicholson

    Michael Nicholson has been racking up college degrees since 1963 and doesn’t have any plans to slow down soon. The 67-year-old has taken full advantage the tuition discounts he and his wife get by working at Western Michigan University. Over his lifetime, Nicholson has amassed 27 different degrees, including two associate’s degrees, 19 master’s degrees, three specialist degrees, and one PhD. Nicholson doesn’t pursue degrees for work, he just loves to learn and likes being able to take advantage of courses that help him learn about a wide range of subjects. His wife has also taken up the college hobby, earning seven degrees of her own. Nicholson is currently working on two more master’s degrees and plans to keep going as long as he can.

  2. Zhou Baokuan

    Over 35 years of study, Zhou Baokuan has earned nine degrees in total. He’s currently finishing up what will be his tenth degree, a PhD at Fudan University, to add to his collection which, include three other doctorates, two master’s, and four other bachelor’s and technical certification diplomas. It hasn’t been an easy road for Baokuan. He estimates that his studies have taken him over 126,300 hours to complete. He currently holds the record in China for the most number of degrees completed.

  3. Benjamin Bolger

    Overachiever Benjamin Bolger hasn’t just gotten a lot of degrees (11 in total), but has gotten them from some of the most prestigious colleges in the world. He got an early start, graduating at only 19 from the University of Michigan with his bachelor’s degree. In 2008, Bolger graduated with his first doctorate from Harvard, though he is no stranger to Ivy League schools. He also holds degrees from Columbia, Brown, Stanford, Dartmouth, Oxford, and Cambridge (not to mention another degree from Harvard) and is still studying for an additional five through Penn and Cornell. What makes Bolger’s story even more amazing is that he has struggled with severe dyslexia his entire life, a disability he’s clearly never let hold him back.

  4. Dr. Hardial Singh Sainbhy

    With a total of 35 degrees to his credit, Dr. Sainbhy is one of the most degreed people in the world. This Indian super student has degrees in a wide array of subjects, holding 15 masters degrees, five post-graduate diplomas, a bachelor of law, AMIE and AMSIE certification, and numerous bachelor’s degrees. Sainbhy has spent most of his life in a college classroom and plans to keep earning degrees for as long as he’s able to attend classes.

  5. Ashoka J. Prasad Jr.

    Indian professor Ashoka Prasad is a leader in the medical field in his country, helping advance pediatrics and neonatal care for Indian citizens and has taught at schools like Columbia, U Penn, Harvard, Yale, and Cambridge. While he may teach health-related topics to his students, he has degrees in a much wider range of studies, totaling 19 degrees in all. These degrees include an MA in anthropology from Cambridge as well as MRC in psychiatry from the University of Edinburgh though he holds others in geography, history, mathematics, and aviation medicine. 56-year-old Prasad has since retired to his home in India, but he still writes and speaks on many psychiatry topics.

  6. R.K. Rai

    Some people just can’t get enough of being a student, and R.K. Rai is one of those people. Over his lifetime this 65-year-old has earned more than 30 degrees, including a mind-boggling 22 MAs, 5 PhDs, and three D. Litts – all in widely divergent fields. Now retired from his work as a professor, Rai believes that lifelong learning is essential to a happy life, which may be why he plans to keep earning degrees even though he’s retired from academics. He’s currently working on a MA in astrology from Magadh University and plans to return to college as an administrator in the coming months.

  7. Robert Raffa

    Dr. Robert Raffa is currently professor and chair of pharmaceutical studies at Temple University, and he has never shied away from academic life. This professor holds five different degrees, including two bachelor’s, two master’s, and a PhD. Unlike some of the others on this list with more degrees, Raffa uses all of his certifications, having engaged in a variety of research projects, written books, and taught classes related to chemistry and pharmacology. He’s also won numerous awards and grants, showing that you don’t need a dozen degrees to stand out in your field.

  8. Satch Ejike

    African-born lawyer and social scientist Ejike has dabbled in a little bit of everything during his academic career. He holds five degrees that include an LL.B. in law, B.L in law, MS in political science, MA in humanities, LL.M. in business and taxation, and a PhD in business history and public policy. While Ejike has had teaching positions in law and the humanities and currently works as a lawyer, he’s perhaps best known for work that has little to do with any of his five degrees. He’s the author of a number of books on the physics of attraction, with the aim of helping couples stay together and form closer bonds.

  9. Daniela Simidchieva

    With an IQ of 200, Daniela Simidchieva is one of the smartest people in the world. She’s also one of the most well-educated. She holds five masters degrees and two bachelor’s degrees, in fields as diverse as English, economics, and electrical engineering. She managed to do all that learning while still being a mother to her three children, something any parent in school should find inspiring. Currently, Simidchieva works for Progressive Business Solutions as an expert on international programs and projects, but even she, with all of her degrees and expertise, had a hard time finding a job in this economy.

  10. Michael Griffin

    While he might not hold the insane amount of degrees that some others on this list do, Michael Griffin’s educational history is still impressive, to say the least. A physicist and aerospace engineer, Griffin was the chief administrator of NASA until 2009. His degrees, seven in all, no doubt helped him to land that amazing job. He has a BA in physics, an MS and PhD in aerospace engineering, an MS in electrical engineering, an MS in physics, an MS in civil engineering and an MBA. Before being appointed chief of NASA, Griffin was also working towards finishing an MS in computer science at Johns Hopkins. In 2007, Time named Griffin as one of their 100 “Most Influential People,” and with his education and expertise, we have to agree.

Taken From Online Colleges


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