A College Degree Does Not Equal Success


college degree
In the business world, I work in, it is interesting to see the value placed on a college degree. If you look at studies on income they all come to the same conclusion that an advanced degree equals higher pay. Yet, when we look at some of the most successful people throughout history we see many of the most successful and innovative people are often the ones without the college degree.
 
Examples: 

Orville and Wilbur Wright - The first to successfully fly using parts from a bicycle shop and a desire to each human powered flight. Yet at the time many people were attempting to achieve the same goal. A large number of those people with advanced degrees in fields that should have set them ahead but didn't.

Henry Ford - Designed the modern production line and founded the car company that now sells its vehicles worldwide.

Abraham Lincoln - Self-taught lawyer and considered to be the greatest president in American History.

Maya Angelou - Recently deceased,and dropped out of school at the age of 14, to become a poet, novelist, and awarded the Medal of Freedom.

John D. Rockefeller - High school dropout who was the richest man in the world at the time of his death.

 Richard Branson  - You might have heard of this person, still living, and never completing a college class. And if you haven't heard of him, you have probably been to one of his Virgin Record stores, or flown his Virgin Airlines, or have seen the video of his company Virgin Galactic sending people into suborbital flight.

Bill Gates - You are probably reading this on a Windows computer, through internet explorer, or have used any of the numerous other products currently on the market thanks to Microsoft and this college dropout. His company now looks for employees with college degrees. Makes you wonder if he were to apply, if he would actually get hired on.

Pete Cashmore - CEO of Mashable which he founded at 19 and ins now on Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people.

Michael Dell - The founder of Dell, Inc., dropped out of college at 19.

Mark Zuckerberg - This name that everyone recognizes did attend college but dropped out to work on a small company called Facebook. 

Mary Kay Ash  - So that you don't think I'm neglecting the ladies, Mary Kay used $5,000 dollars to start the company that is now worth much more - Mary Kay Cosmetics.

This is just a few by the way, the list goes on and on with other entrepreneurs, actors, writers, athletes, in every other field available.  So it makes me wonder why as a society we place so much value on a college degree. The statistics show that people with degrees earn more money. But, is it because they're more deserving having earned a degree, or the fact that the employer won't hire them without it? Does a degree equal a quality employee, or just it just prove one's ability to sit in front of a desk all day and retain information long enough to regurgitate it later?

Comments