Growing up, I was fed with the idea that once your academic life missed the success train, you would be doomed. I grew up thinking only college and university graduates got to lead the comfortable life. Teachers would mention that you could possibly be homeless if you didn’t concentrate on school, while your friends that did would have the best jobs and cars. When I look back at such, I hope my teachers mentioned such as a way to help us attach more importance to school than as a matter of fact. Education is very important and may make your life easier, but I guess university drop outs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg may have a different story to tell.
We all know of people that are successful, but never set foot into university. How different are these people from any of us? What drives them and not us? We may go to university and get as many credentials, but may never equal their success. Are we being teased that education is a waste of our time in our quest to succeed?
Reading their biographies, you will discover that Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs have a mutual tendency; dropping out of school. They turned out to be billionaires without degrees. As a matter of fact, Bill Gates got his first degree in 2007, prior to which he had already amassed billions. I dread being the best student in Zuckerberg’s class, because even after I graduated with the highest credentials, Mark would be among the youngest billionaires and I wouldn’t. Bill Gates is quoted as saying, “I failed in some subjects, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer at Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft.”
These men are of negative influence to a scholar whose hopes of succeeding are built on education because their works are too great to be erased from history and because those works succeeded without a single degree possessed by any of them. So many people will graduate, but will never be in a position to become philanthropists. Because of people like Steve Jobs, we are made to question the necessity of education in our lives.
I know of a UNZA graduate who is always joking that I should never be like him because he feels he works so many hours without being rewarded enough. Recently, he had to resign from his position because he had been offered a better job elsewhere. Having a single degree today is not enough because everyone has one. So are we going to have to rush back to university time and again to draw more degrees to become successful? I guess one will become old even before that pursuit is over. Today Bill Gates’ Net worth is US$ 77.2 billion. The combined net worth of billionaire drop outs is US$ 246 billion. It goes on to triple that of billionaires with Ph.Ds. according to Wikipedia.
As much as these drop outs are successful today, the step they took was arduous. If one is going to drop out of college because they want to avoid hard work, they are absolutely making a wrong turn. Work will always be filled with challenges. The IPhone or IPod did not just come into existence; Steve Jobs had to go through challenges. For example he was ousted out of the very company he created. These men simply dropped out to focus on their passion and interests. They realised education could impede their development. Bill Gates for example just got a leave of absence from Harvard, but could not even return because he was so committed and had obviously realised his success without school. Education was simply unnecessary because had it been a necessity, it wouldn’t have taken him 30 years to realise he should have graduated. It is definitely visible that School wasn’t his priority.
So should the whole world take this famous turn? Well I do not believe so because education is key. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Steve Jobs may have changed the world as a drop out, but in many a way, education did help him. Today we celebrate people like Ben Carson who comes to the scholar’s rescue by proving how important education is. In no world would Dr Ben Carson operate on Siamese twins without going to medical school. You cannot wake up and decide to be a lawyer or a pilot without any form of education. For your clients’ safety, you may need proof that you are qualified for your job; you will need to graduate. Lots of our interests require us to go through university. We cannot all go the Zuckerberg way. We are meant to succeed in different angles.
Dr Ben Carson went through university and is not a billionaire today. He has earned himself a net worth of about USD 10 million. Ben Carson may not be that famous too, but he is saving lives which I believe is priceless. The point here is how we define success. Is success the money, the fame, winning the heart of the people or a level of complacency? It all depends on you. All we need to know is that education may or may not be necessary in our hope to succeed; the mutual activity though is hard work. When you work hard for something you want, you will get it eventually. Find out what way is best for you- University, or not. Be innovative at all costs.
Education like man is not any perfect; it has its pros and cons. Discover your success root today. There are many keys to success and they are all accompanied by hard work.