College and university are considered to be a necessity today. We are all taught to get an education in order to be successful and able to fully pursue our dreams. It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to get a job when the economy is falling and job positions are being replaced by machines so it’s obvious why this message is being pushed on society. However, for those of you who feel like they weren’t made for college, there’s a silver lining!
There are many successful business people and entrepreneurs, who have either never attended college or dropped out before graduating. Here are 10 successful stories without being an Ivy League alumni.
1. Mark Zuckerberg
This name is known to most of us as the founder of Facebook. He attended Harvard but dropped out in 2005 choosing to focus on his business idea The Facebook which was the original startup name of the now-famous social media platform that nearly everyone uses. Today, Facebook is worth over $200billion and new users join every day.
2. Matt Mullenweg
The founder of WordPress, which now powers around 22% of the web, dropped out of college in 2004. He worked at CNET Network before quitting to found Automattic that eventually led to WordPress.
3. Arash Ferdowsi
This co-founder of Dropbox dropped out of college in his last semester in order to fully commit to his project. What began as a tiny enterprise is now worth over $4billion.
4. David Karp
The person behind this success story never even graduated high school, yet he created one of the most popular websites in the world – Tumblr. He dropped out of Bronx Science High School in 2001. Now, his net worth is estimated to be $200million.
5. Bill Gates
The Microsoft founder is worth over $80billion in spite of dropping out of Harvard in 1975. However, when asked about college he says that “It’s a much surer path to success.”
6. Steve Jobs
Bill Gates completed only one semester at Reed College, Oregon. After dropping out, he worked odd jobs and then backpacked through India. In 1976, alongside another college dropout, Steve Wozniak built the first Apple product in his parents’ garage. Till this day, he’s one of the most successful people.
7. Jack Dorsey
He’s a New York University dropout as well as the co-founder and CEO of two famous startups, Twitter and Square. After dropping out, he briefly worked in fashion and as a masseur. He founded Twitter in 2006 and has since been estimated to be worth $1.43billion.
8. Rachael Ray
This media personality completed two years of literature and communication at Pace University before quitting. After that, she reconsidered her career goals and became a famous author, television host, and businesswoman who’s worth over $60million.
9. Michael Dell
He attended the University of Texas in 1983 but dropped out soon after since he wasn’t focused on his education. During his studies, he fixed computers in his dorm room which led to his passion for electronics. As his last name may give away, he’s the CEO of Dell Computer Corp. and one of the youngest to achieve this position at the age of 27.
10. Jan Koum
He’s the founder of the very popular messaging app, Whatsapp. He dropped out from San Jose State University, where he studied math and computer science, after working for Yahoo for several years. When asked, he said he didn’t like school.
These successful people show that it is possible to make it without a degree. This is not to dismiss the value of education, but no one should see it as a dreadful must have that makes you want to claw your eyes out. Education should be exciting and beneficent rather than pure torture. So, always remember that if for some reason you can’t or won’t go to college, there’s still a chance you can come up with something pretty special.
Image credit by Austin Distel