Sara Ali Khan, who has just stepped into Bollywood with two hit films, has a degree in political science and history from Columbia University in New York. In recent interviews, she has highlighted the importance of good education in shaping a well-rounded personality. However, she is not the only Bollywood actor to be well-educated. In fact there are several in the new generation of Bollywood stars who are not only highly educated but actually left highly lucrative jobs to pursue a career in acting. Here is a list of leading Bollywood stars who have chosen their passion in an uncertain film industry over job security:
- Ranveer Singh wanted to be an actor since childhood but still completed a degree from H R College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai before going to the United States to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University. After completing this degree, he returned to Mumbai and worked as a copywriter for a few years with leading ad agencies, before trying his luck with films.
- Vicky Kaushal graduated in 2009 as an electronics and telecommunications engineer and received various job offers via campus interviews. But he refused these offers to become an actor and joined theatre instead, before landing roles in films.
- Parineeti Chopra holds a triple honours degree in business, finance and economics from Manchester Business School in the UK. While pursuing her degree, she also worked for the Manchester United Football Club, leading their catering department. Before her debut in Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl, Parineeti also worked as a PR consultant at Yash Raj Films Studio.
- Ayushmann Khurrana studied in Chandigarh at St. John’s High School and DAV College in Chandigarh. He majored in English literature and then earned a master’s degree in Mass Communication from the School of Communication Studies, Panjab University. While doing theatre, he worked as a popular radio jockey and then a VJ on MTV India.
- Sonakshi Sinha studied design at Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University in Mumbai and became a costume designer. The Dabangg actress did styling for some films and also walked the ramp at Lakme Fashion Week before making her acting debut.
- Taapsee Pannu graduated in Computer Science Engineering from Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology in New Delhi. The Pink actress initially worked as a software engineer, before getting selected for Channel V’s talent show Get Gorgeous, which eventually took her to Bollywood.
- Randeep Hooda holds a bachelors and a masters’ degree in business management and human resource management from Melbourne, Australia. Before his Bollywood debut in Monsoon Wedding, the actor worked for a marketing firm in India.
- John Abraham studied at Bombay Scottish School and Jai Hind College in Mumbai, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in economics. He went on to earn a master’s degree in Management Sciences from Mumbai Educational Trust. Prior to becoming an actor, John worked as a media planner for an advertising agency.
- R. Madhavan graduated in communications and public speaking, and due to his speaking skills, ran his own small business for conducting workshops on related subjects, before joining films.
- Sayani Gupta is a graduate who worked with an infrastructure research firm in New Delhi, in the marketing and sales departments, but eventually left to specialise in acting at The Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.
- Riteish Deshmukh graduated in Architecture and Environmental Studies from Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute and worked for an architectural firm in New York. Along with his acting career, Riteish currently runs his own architectural and interior designing firm.
These multi-talented stars show how it’s okay to explore and work in different fields before choosing your career path. Gone are the days when many stars, such as Kajol and Karisma Kapoor, left high school to pursue a career in acting from their teenage years. Even several star kids, such as Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan and daughter Suhana, are completing their higher education before they join Bollywood, revealing how the new generation thinks a strong educational foundation can help them achieve more.