A college degree might be overvalued. It’s costly, it doesn’t necessarily stimulate critical thinking, and many people study for the sake of studying. While we don’t recommend dropping out of college, there are situations when education hasn’t shown to be a necessity for success, as you’ll learn from these 10 People who prove college isn’t necessary for success in life.
According to official statistics, if you go to college and acquire a bachelor’s degree or higher, you’re likely to earn much more. The regular norms, however, do not seem to apply to the wealthiest of the affluent. In fact, Wealth-X discovered in 2016 that roughly one-third of the world’s billionaires lacked a bachelor’s degree. Here are some highly successful individuals you may not know who didn’t go to college or dropped out once they got there.
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Let’s get started right now.
10. Ellen DeGeneres
Net worth: $370 Million
Ellen Lee DeGeneres is an American comedian, television presenter, actor, writer, and producer. She featured in the comedy Ellen from 1994 to 1998 and has presented her syndicated television talk program, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, since 2003. DeGeneres is one of the most popular entertainers and hosts in Hollywood history, but she had to grind her way up. She joined the University of New Orleans but dropped out after just one year. She did odd jobs ranging from house cleaner to vacuum salesman to oyster shucker (source).
In the 1980s, she performed stand-up in comedy clubs before landing a national audience on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. Ellen finally found herself with prospects in cinema and television after almost a decade of pursuing her goal with little success. This is one dropout who never lost her good attitude, a genuine testimony to where hard effort can bring you.
9. Brad Pitt
Networth: $300 Million
Brad Pitt is a well-known American actor recognized for his depiction of unusual characters as well as his excellent looks. Just weeks before graduation, this well-known actor left the University of Missouri to follow his passion for movies. Brad Pitt took odd jobs in Los Angeles for around five years while also appearing in TV series as a guest star.
Brad Pitt secured a part in Thelma & Louise in 1991, 9 years after enrolling in university, which opened the door to future film appearances. It took another two years, though, for Brad to receive recognition for his parts in A River Runs Through It and Kalifornia. Brad Pitt’s commitment to his passion made all the difference in his career, as it did for another college dropout who needs perseverance and tenacity.
8. Kim Kardashian
Net worth: $1.8 Billion
Kim Kardashian is a reality television star, businesswoman, and social media influencer. She came to prominence on Keeping Up with the Kardashians in 2007. She is also the owner of KKW Beauty, KKW Fragrance, and SKIMS. Kim Kardashian and her family epitomize millennial stardom, having placed their opulent lifestyle in front of cameras for Keeping Up with the Kardashians and successfully established a massive company off their identities.
Kourtney and Rob Kardashian are the only Kardashian and Jenner offspring that have completed college. Kim was attending Pierce College in Los Angeles and working at the family’s Dash business when the E! reality program began, and she quickly left both behind. Kim, who has become almost associated with selfies, has said that when she is older, she would want to further her studies and maybe pursue a law degree.
7. Ted Turner
Net worth: $2.3 Billion
Robert Edward Turner III is an entrepreneur, television producer, media owner, and philanthropist from the United States. He is most recognized as the originator of the Cable News Network, the first 24-hour cable news program. Turner did not, in fact, drop out of college. Instead, he was expelled from Brown University for having a female companion in his dorm room.
Fortunately, he was able to work for his father’s lucrative advertising firm, which he ultimately developed into the Turner Broadcasting Company, founding CNN, the first 24-hour cable news network.
6. Lady Gaga
Net worth: $150 Million
Lady Gaga is a Grammy and Academy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actor, and entrepreneur worth $150 million at the age of 34. When it comes to her ability, she was born with it: Growing up in New York as Stefani Germanotta, little Gaga began playing the piano at the age of four and began performing at open mics at the age of fourteen. Lady Gaga, too, is a college dropout.
Lady Gaga was one of twenty qualified students in a conservatory program at a New York University art campus when she was known as Stefani Germanotta. Lady Gaga, on the other hand, left out after her second year to pursue a music career. The singer/songwriter came to stardom with her debut solo album after working with two different music groups, years of performing clubs and pubs, and a few unsuccessful record deals.
Lady Gaga, who is consistently one of the world’s best-selling musicians, is as successful as any other college dropout on our list.
5. Larry Ellison
Net worth: $109 Billion
Larry Ellison is an American businessman who co-founded the software company Oracle Corp. in 1977. Oracle developed from a three-programmer start-up to the world’s biggest provider of database software and the second-largest supplier of business applications under his guidance.
Ellison has had an eventful life, beginning with his birth in the Bronx as the son of a single mother and culminating with the purchase of his own Hawaiian island. In addition, he failed out of college twice. When his aunt died in his second year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he left.
He attempted to return to school at the University of Chicago but was only able to complete one semester. He was able to create his own software firm, Oracle, after accumulating computer and programming abilities in many positions. He went on to become a tech legend.
4. Henry Ford
Net worth: $199 Billion (In Today’s Money)
Henry Ford was an American businessman, business leader, and the founder of the Ford Motor Company, as well as the primary innovator of the assembly line method of mass manufacturing. With his vehicle company’s breakthrough, the assembly line, Ford transformed manufacturing and transportation.
But he achieved it without a fancy engineering or business background: at the age of 16, he left his family’s farm and moved to Detroit to work as an apprentice in a machine shop. In 1896, he built his first automobile.
3. Steve Jobs
Net worth: $250 Million
This guy does not require an introduction, but Steven Paul Jobs was an American business entrepreneur, industrial designer, media owner, and investor. He is also the creator of Apple Inc. and Pixar. In many respects, Apple’s genius was a renegade, and this included schooling. He was interested in computers from an early age and attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, but left out after just one semester.
He ended up studying Eastern spiritualism in India before returning to the United States and persuading his buddy Steve Wozniak to join him in starting a company.
2. Mark Zuckerberg
Net worth: $89.6 Billion
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is a media mogul, internet entrepreneur, and philanthropist from the United States. He is most known for co-founding the social networking website Facebook and its parent company, Meta Platforms, of which he is chairman, CEO, and controlling shareholder. Zuckerberg left Harvard in 2005 to concentrate on establishing Facebook, which was not yet known as Facebook at the time.
While attending the prestigious institution, he founded the social media network. Zuckerberg began developing web apps for his friends and family at a young age. Zuckerberg created the communications application ‘Zucknet’ around the age of 12 using Atari BASIC.
Edward Zuckerberg, Mark’s father, utilized Zucknet at his dentist practice to interact with his receptionist. It was also used by the Zuckerbergs at their home. Despite excelling in literature and captaining the fencing team throughout his early schooling, Zuckerberg was captivated by computers. He designed an earlier version of the music program Pandora while in high school.
1. Bill Gates
Net worth: $131.7 Billion
William Henry Gates III is a business entrepreneur, software developer, investor, author, and philanthropist from the United States. He and his late boyhood buddy Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft. The billionaire is well-known for dropping out of Harvard to establish Microsoft.
Today, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is assisting students in making more informed decisions about where to attend college. When Bill Gates left Harvard University to create Microsoft in 1975, he basically coined the college-dropout millionaire cliché.