Do you need a degree to succeed?

It’s a common question that young people ask; “Do I really need a college degree to succeed in life?”

“Success” in this context is: earning a good living, being able to provide for a family, being financially stable.

Parents often encourage their kids to pursue a degree with the thought that if they don’t they won’t succeed in life. But, they couldn’t be more wrong.

This article does not condone dropping out of school. However, it does aim to rectify the misconception that people without a college education can’t be successful.

A degree gives you a certain amount of job security

The US is coming out of a recession, yet unemployment is still high and as a result there are thousands of young adults graduating school with huge debts (approximately $25,250 in student loans on average), not having any luck finding a decent paying job.

Lest we forget that those who have no university education are finding it hard landing a job too – and this problem is not exclusive to any particular demographic.

If you are seeking security then the short answer is yes, a degree will increase the likelihood of having a cushy life – given that the majority of jobs created in the market place require a university education.

Success isn’t handed to everyone on a silver platter

The American dream of earning millions is not possible by simply having a diploma in your hand. Evidence of this is pretty common knowledge though.

Success isn’t exclusive to those with an ivy league education – although it doesn’t hurt if you have one. Some of the most innovative and revolutionary business magnates in the US didn’t go to/complete college.

As a means of highlighting this point, below is a list of extremely successful Americans who did not graduate from university:

Bill Gates

Founder of Microsoft
Dropped out of Harvard
Forbes richest man of 2013

Lawrence J. Ellison

CEO of Oracle
Dropped out of University of Illinois and University of Chicago.
Compensation: 96,160,696 USD (2012)

Michael Dell

Founder and CEO of Dell Inc.
Dropped out of the University of Texas – Austin
Net worth of more than $15 billion USD

Mark Zuckerberg

Co-founder, CEO and Chairman of Facebook
Dropped out of Harvard University
One of the youngest billionaires in history

Ralph Lauren

Owner of the Polo Ralph Lauren clothing brand
Dropped out of Baruch College

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