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Education and Career

Learning without School: Proven by College Dropout Billionaires

We have grown up in a society where knowledge is measured by the number of degrees a person holds. Since childhood, we have always been told that we need to go to the school, study hard, compete with other students, get the best grades, get admit into the topmost colleges, complete degrees and then go for a good job or start a business. I am sure that all of you would agree to it. It’s been an age-old scenario and nobody ever tries to question it. But, as it is said that exceptions are everywhere! There are people who broke all the stereotypes and made it big without the best grades or college degrees.

  1. Bill Gates

“I will always choose a lazy person to do a job because he will find an easy way to do it.” – Bill Gates

An American business magnate, investor, author, and philanthropist, Bill Gates has always been an inspiration to millions of people. He has been on the top in the Forbes’ list of world’s richest people for many years. His parents always wanted him to pursue a career in law and so, he even joined the college at Howard in 1973 to study law. But, he was passionate about programming languages and computers since childhood. Two years later, Bill Gates dropped out of the college because he wanted to pursue his passion and ended up being a co-founder of the world’s first software company – Microsoft. 

  1. Mark Zuckerberg

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk” – Mark Zuckerberg

With a great interest in programming since the elementary school days, Mark created a messenger called the ‘ZuckNet’ when he was just 12. He joined the Howard University and quickly got famous as a computer programmer on the campus. But, Mark dropped out of college to make Facebook his full time business. His risk paid off and within a year Facebook reached over 5 million active users. Today Facebook has a network of more than 74 billion users, making Zuckerberg the fifth richest man in the world.

  1. Evan Williams

“When you’re obsessing about one thing, you can reach insights about how to solve hard problems. If you have too many things to think about, you’ll get to the superficial solution, not the brilliant one.” – Evan Williams

The co-founder of Blogger and Twitter dropped out from the University of Nebraska at the age of 20 as he wanted to become an entrepreneur as early as possible. Firstly, he started up a company with his father to provide instructional material for the World Wide Web. But, they ran it for a short time only. He eventually became a co-founder of Pyra Labs where he developed Blogger which was a huge success. Blogger was acquired by Google which was indeed a great accomplishment for Evan. But he left Google ultimately to start his own venture and thus founded Twitter, which is now a giant social networking platform.

  1. Steve Jobs

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs

Who doesn’t know the story of the great Apple founder? He is an inspiration for those who are lost and clueless in life. Steve Jobs attended the Reed College in Portland but, dropped out after 6 months only. From taking up a job in a video game company to heading to India for spiritual enlightenment, Steve Jobs kept experimenting with his life and exploring new passions. A Zen Buddhism practitioner with diversified experiences Jobs collaborated with Steve Wozniak and started ‘blue-box’ which eventually led to the birth of Apple. But this was not just the end, his life path always reflected that he was a born genius.

  1. Jan Koum

“We won’t stop until every single person on the planet has an affordable and reliable way to communicate with their friends and loved ones.” – Jan Koum

The CEO and co-founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum has taken messaging services to new horizons. With an early life full of struggles, Jan pursued a keen interest in computer programming since his school days. He studied computer programming using manuals that used to buy from a second-hand bookstore. Jan dropped out from the college before graduating and started working at Yahoo. Later he founded WhatsApp Inc in 2009, which is an unbeatable messenger app in the world.               

  1. Matt Mullenweg

“Money and salary is not a particularly good motivator in the long term.” – Matt Mullenweg

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world which was created by Matt. At the age of 18, Matt used a blogging service called b2cafeblog to post photographs that he used to click on his own. But, eventually, that company shut down which disturbed Matt as he had no place to keep all his photographs.  Being familiar with coding and computer engineering Matt decided to create a software just like b2cafeblog to share his photos, which was known as the WordPress. Matt eventually dropped college at the age of 20 to pursue his passion and raise WordPress.

  1. Larry Ellison

“If you do everything that everyone else does in business, you’re going to lose. The only way to really be ahead, is to ‘be different’.” – Larry Ellison

With a worth of more than $54 billion, the Oracle founder, Larry Ellison dropped out of college twice. He has never attended a computer class yet, he was working as a programmer. He learnt computer programming on his own. But the will to do something big made him left his job and he eventually started a database company with two of his former colleagues. It became the most popular database all over the world – the Oracle. In many interviews, Larry often said that he never expected to become rich and he started Oracle because of his ultimate passion to create an environment where he can enjoy working.

  1. Arash Ferdowsi

“We continue to focus on actually solving problems that real people have and not being distracted by what power users want. “- Arash Ferdowsi

Arash Ferdowsi with Drew Houston launched Dropbox in 2007. He was interested in building a business since the beginning. Arash has often stated that his keen interest in Algorithms and performance provided a good foundation for creating the infrastructure of Dropbox. Arash dropped out of the MIT in his final year to start his own venture. Dropping out of college on the verge of completing your degree is really risky. One wrong decision and years of regret! Arash’s story is not only inspiring but it encourages the young entrepreneurs to take strong decisions in their business.

  1. Michael Dell

“There’s always an opportunity to make a difference.” – Michael Dell

An entrepreneur, author, and founder of Dell Inc, Michael Dell had an extreme interest in computers. From a very early age, he wanted to get into the business world. While pursuing his degree at the University of Texas, in 1984, Michael Dell started his own company which dealt with assembling and selling of computers. But soon he decided to quit studies and focus fully on his business. He later renamed the company as Dell Computer Corporation, which soon became the largest PC manufacturing company in the world.

  1. John Mackey

“The right actions undertaken for the right reasons generally lead to good outcomes over time.” – John Mackey

A lifelong vegetarian, yoga practitioner and business strategist, John Mackey was a college dropout who made a huge name in the industry of whole foods. In the 1970’s when he started, whole food was considered a risky business. Being in such a volatile business John’s extreme dedication, hard work and amazing business skills were the reason behind his success. Today, the Whole Foods Market has a net worth of $100 million which is enough to prove his efficiency.

Some people build the path to success on their own and inspire millions. No matter how huge your goals are, a vision is really important. A vision to achieve the goals no matter what, is what that matters. In a world of rankings and grades where everyone dreams of getting into the best schools, we have forgotten the worth of knowledge and the power of passion. But, do these rankings really matter? Is getting a degree enough to ensure a successful career?

Have you read?

Written by: Himanshu Dixit is a blogger & academic dissertation help expert at Godissertationhelp. He writes for a wide variety of topics including Digital Marketing, Health, Fitness and Technology.

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Education and Career - Learning without School: Proven by College Dropout Billionaires
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Featured Columnists at the CEOWORLD Magazine is a team of experts led by Camilla O'Donnell, James Reed, Amarendra Bhushan, and Amanda Millar. The CEOWORLD Magazine is the worlds leading business and technology magazine for CEOs (chief executives) and top-level management professionals.