Not every Silicon Valley leader is an engineer, including these 9 super successful liberal arts majors

You would think every successful person in Silicon Valley is armed with some kind of computer science or engineering degree.

But that’s not always the case as more and more liberal arts majors make their names in tech.

As Apple cofounder Steve Jobs once said, “It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing.”

Check out 9 super successful Silicon Valley leaders who made it with a liberal arts degree.

Billionaire investor Peter Thiel majored in philosophy before finishing law school. He's best known for cofounding PayPal and Palantir, but he's also a prolific investor, having backed Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yammer.

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield also has a philosophy degree, which he says made him a better writer and debater. Slack is now one of the hottest business apps in the world worth $2.8 billion.

Parker Harris is the cofounder of Salesforce, and oversees all the product and technical sides of the company. But he never received any professional education in tech, instead majoring in English literature at Middlebury, a small liberal arts college in Vermont.

Susan Wojcicki was an early Google employee who became YouTube's CEO in 2014. She was a history and literature major at Harvard, and planned on getting a PhD, until she came across CS50, the popular computer science class at Harvard. Wojcicki also earned an economics degree and an MBA later on in her career.

Apple cofounder Steve Jobs attended Reed College, a small liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon for a semester before dropping out. It's unclear what exactly he majored in, but Reed's website says Jobs took a lot of different courses across philosophy, psychology, and calligraphy. Jobs has often said a lot of Apple's design inspiration came from the calligraphy courses he took.

Carly Fiorina once served as HP's CEO, but she started as a history major in college. After graduating, she worked as a receptionist and an English teacher before finally making it to tech as an AT&T sales rep at 25.

Jack Ma's the founder of Alibaba, one of the world's largest e-commerce businesses, but he studied English at the Hangzhou Teacher's Institute. After college, he saw 30 job rejections before finally getting hired as an English teacher. But his English skills also allowed him to read about the internet early on, which later inspired him to start his own online business.

Ben Silbermann is the cofounder of Pinterest, the $11 billion photo sharing and social media service. But Silbermann studied political science at Yale and went on to work in online advertising before coming up with the idea for Pinterest.

Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche runs one of the world's biggest online lending platforms, but he was an M&A lawyer early on, having studied law in France. Before that, he was a professional sailer and won a couple national championships too.

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