At present society still continues to place a huge premium on a college diploma or university degree. Parents and teachers can seldom imagine other possibilities, especially for bright and budding young entrepreneurs. Many employers still use use college qualifications and university degrees as an easy way of screening out job candidates. Socially, people who don’t go to college are often regarded as weird, introvert or eccentric.
The only way to overcome the education bias will be the widespread perception that many of our society’s most successful people do not have a degree and don’t care about those who do.
Eventually, the economic inefficiency of the education bias will be overcome by economic reality. But, until then, we might be able to make progress by reflecting on the individuals who dropped out and still made it.
So how many famous entrepreneurs do you know that never graduated from college or University to pursue their dreams?
Henry Ford, Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Bill gates all dropped out of their Colleges, Schools and Universities to launch and build their own their businesses. Check out this list of the top 30 college drop outs who made it big.
The real question is can you still be successful and drop out today?
Convention tells us we need to continue our education, go to school, get into college and then get a degree from a good University before finding a job and working for an employer. However these examples have managed to make billions in the pursuit of happiness, following their own path and chasing their own dreams rather than following the crowd.
Besides that they have build companies that have changed our lives. Basically they have changed the world we live in and made a significant contribution that has had a good impact on the world as we know it.
Peter Thiel who co-founded PayPal with Max Levchin and Elon Musk is a huge advocate of droping out to start up, In 2011, billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel made waves when he set up a fellowship to pay promising college students $100,000 to drop out of school and start companies instead. So who is the next billionaire college drop out?
Elizabeth Holmes, Visionary Silicon Valley Entrepreneur
In 2003 and at the age of 19, Elizabeth Holmes was a softmore studying at Stanford University. She decided to drop out to launch her own company.
Born in Washington, D.C., Ms. Holmes had dreams of working in healthcare – but, due to her extreme fear of needles, she knew that she could not become a doctor. She would later describe this fear as one of her motivations for launching her business. Ms. Holmes learned Mandarin Chinese and visited China during her teenage years before enrolling at Stanford University.
Her knowledge of Mandarin Chinese helped her gain an internship at the Genome Institute of Singapore, which was in the process of developing new methods to detect the SARS virus in blood and nasal swabs. Ms. Holmes had been thinking about better ways to conduct laboratory tests throughout her work in the Engineering school at Stanford.
Making History in the Medical field
She wrote a patent application in 2003, at the age of 19, and decided to leave school so that she could pursue her vision that could ultimately change the country’s healthcare system.
Ms. Holmes used the money her parents had saved for her education to establish Real-Time Cures, which she later renamed Theranos, an amalgam of “therapy” and “diagnosis.” She built the company around her patents and her belief that access to health information is a basic human right. Theranos’ breakthrough advancements have made it possible to quickly process a full range of laboratory tests from a few drops of blood at unprecedented low costs.
These advancements are now directly accessible to people and their physicians through Theranos Wellness Centers opening nationwide. Today, with more than 700 employees, the company is valued at more than $9 billion. Ms. Holmes has retained control of more than 50 percent of Theranos’ equity and currently has 23 U.S. patents and 84 non-U.S. patents to her name. She is the youngest self-made woman billionaire on the Forbes 400 list.
“I want to create a whole new technology, and one that is aimed at helping humanity at all levels regardless of geography or ethnicity or age or gender”
“Elizabeth Holmes’ distinctive background reflects her courage to travel a different path to success, especially at a young age,” said Tony Novelly, president and CEO, Horatio Alger Association and 2000 Horatio Alger Award recipient. “She is both a visionary and an exceptional leader. We are proud to induct someone of Ms. Holmes’ caliber not only to honour her professional accomplishments but also, how her work has helped change our world for the better. She provides our Scholars – past, present and future – with an exceptional role model and we warmly welcome her to the Association.”
Ms. Holmes is a powerful advocate for the advancement of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curricula and aims to help young people excel in these fields. She has a particular focus on the engagement of young girls in science, technology and business and encourages young women to leverage these academic areas in seeking out leadership opportunities. Her voice on this important issue is gaining increased influence with an appearance recently at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen conference where she served as a keynote speaker.
Elizabeth Holmes is a testament to innovation and the principles of making a positive impact on society. She has shown that self driven passion and belief can take you way ahead of the constraint of traditional education and employment conventions. Through entrepreneurship and creativity you can change the world for the better around you.