It has long been believed that a college education is necessary to get on in life; however this is not always the case. In fact there are many very successful people out there who either never went to college, or dropped out; some of these people are billionaire businessmen.
Probably the most famous college drop out is Bill Gates. Yes, the richest man in the world and co-founder of Microsoft dropped out of Harvard at the age of nineteen to set up his company. His partner in founding Microsoft, Paul Allen, also dropped out of college to work as a computer programmer before he and Gates set up Microsoft.
Michael Dell, founder of the computer making company Dell, left college at the age of nineteen. He had been building and selling computers out of his college dorm room at the University of Texas, when his business became so successful that he decided to leave college to work on his business full time.
Jack Taylor, the man who founded Enterprise Rent-A-Car was also a college drop out. He dropped out of Washington University to join the Navy, going on to become a car salesman before starting his own company in 1957 which he named after the USS Enterprise, the ship he served on during his time in the navy.
Other famous businessmen who dropped out of college include: David Geffen the founder of Geffen records, who dropped out of both Santa Monica City College and later Brooklyn College. Steve Jobs, the man who founded Apple, dropped out of Reed College in Portland, Oregon after just six months, although he did keep dropping in on some creative classes for a while. This includes a calligraphy class which he credits as the reason for the Mac having multiple typefaces. Fashion designer Ralph Lauren dropped out of a business degree at Baruch College after two years.
Probably the most famous British drop out who actually dropped out of high school aged sixteen is Sir Richard Branson. Branson actually opened his first record shop at the age of seventeen with a friend, Nik Powell. Since then, Branson has diversified his business going from mail order records to record shops, to a record label which he later sold, and branching out into the aviation industry, home and mobile telecommunications and digital television amongst other ventures. According to Virgin’s website, the Virgin Group has around 200 companies in over 30 countries, not bad for someone who didn’t even finish high school! Branson was knighted in 1999 for services to entrepreneurship and according to Forbes is the sixth richest UK citizen with a net worth of around $4.6 billion.
Many of these famous college drop outs have went on to become billionaires, proving that although helpful a college education is not necessary to become successful in business. Going to college is a valuable experience, and certainly helpful to your future career; however, these famous college drop outs prove that with enough drive and determination anything is possible, whether you have a college degree or not.