You Don’t Need a Degree To Become Wildly Successful

In their article, These 19 Insanely Successful College Dropouts Prove You Don’t Need a Degree, shows that the traditional form of “conveyor belt education” is not the only way to make your way in this world.  Getting a degree not only doesn’t guarantee you a job – it doesn’t even guarantee you an interview.

There are so many examples of success without formal credentials that a new wave of entrepreneurship is being born on college campuses as students opt to strike out on their own in order to strike it rich.  One of the reasons is because anyone, regardless of their success in school, can create the life they’ve always wanted by building their own business.

For the full article, click here.

Here is an excerpt from the article to enjoy!

God Bless, Tim Marks



As the school year starts up again, the class of 2017 is heading off to college for the first time, and a whole crop of high-school seniors is beginning to consider where they’ll go next year — or whether they should go at all.

College still pays off in the long run, but as tuition prices continue to climb, debt loads are higher than ever. And the first years out of school are extremely tough.

Some, like PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel, claim that college just isn’t worth it in the age of startups. He’s giving 20 bright young people $100,000 each to start a company instead.

Despite the fact that Thiel himself is a Stanford graduate, people who choose to follow his advice and drop out find themselves in pretty good company. Beyond Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, some of today’s most successful businesspeople didn’t graduate from college. Here are a few that prove a college degree isn’t the only path to success.


Ben Milne took his payment platform from a $1,200 investment to a multi-million-dollar company by the age of 22.

A decade ago, 28-year-old Ben Milne dropped out of the University of Northern Iowa to start his first company, Elemental Designs. In 2008, he moved on to Dwolla, an online payment system that allows you to eliminate credit cards completely.

“I started college because I thought that’s where I was supposed to go,” Milne told Business Insider.  “I applied to one college, I got in, went, and realized it wasn’t for me. I had customers, so I stopped going to class.”

Four years after starting Dwolla, the company is moving more than $350 million.


Matt Mullenweg started WordPress, which now powers 16% of the web.

Mullenweg dropped out of the University of Houston in 2004. Even then, he was so precocious that he didn’t bother with their computer classes. At 20, he had already developed the beginnings of WordPress and was fielding job offers from tech companies. He dropped out to work for CNET in San Francisco, with a promise that he could continue developing his side project 15% of the time.

He left to found Automattic, the company behind WordPress. WordPress alone gets 140 million visits a year with a staff of just 140, and all of Automattic’s sites see nearly half a billion visitors.


Arash Ferdowsi is a co-founder of DropBox, which is now worth an estimated $4 billion.

Ferdowsi dropped out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007 after three years at the school. He left to found DropBox, which quickly grew from a tiny startup to a service used by hundreds of millions of people.

He’s currently the company’s Chief Technology Officer and became a multi-millionaire at the age of 27.


David Karp created Tumblr, now the 9th-most visited site in the United States, despite never graduating high school.

Nevermind college, Karp didn’t even graduate high school. He was already a product manager at UrbanBaby, an internet forum for parents, at the age of 16. He had droped out of Bronx Science high school a year earlier in 2001 to be home schooled, and never obtained a high school diploma.

From there, he started Davidville, where he built the beginnings of Tumblr. That quickly became his full-time focus, and the company’s now the United States’ 9th most visited web site.   Karp himself is worth an estimated $200 million.


JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman dropped out of college with a year left until graduation.

Neeleman discovered his knack for business when he was a child working at his grandpa’s grocery store, but he never excelled quite the same way in school due to a learning disability.

After three years at the University of Utah, Neeleman dropped out of college. He went on to found the commercial airlines Morris Air, JetBlue Airways, and Azul Brazilian Airlines.


Whole Foods Founder John Mackey dropped out of the University of Texas several times, never graduated, and never took a business course.

Mackey dropped out of several different Texas colleges   in the mid ’70s. At the age of 25, he was a religion and philosophy major at the University of Texas. He joined a vegan co-op, met a girl, dropped out for the final time, and borrowed money to open his first storeTwenty-five years later, Whole Foods has gone international and does more than $12 billion in sales.

3 thoughts on “You Don’t Need a Degree To Become Wildly Successful”

  1. Great article Tim, here are some recent stats that I compiled I think you’ll find interesting.
    Is College a good investment?
    According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2013–2014 school year was $8,893 for state residents at public colleges, and $22,203 for out-of-state residents attending public universities, $30,094 at private colleges, .
    According to the US Department of Education, students who started their college studies at a four-year institution, the average time it took to receive a bachelor’s degree was 5 years and 8 months.
    So you spend around $50,000 in state, $132,000 out of state, or $180,000 at a private school for a Bachelor Degree. Add to that 6 Years you could have been working and learning a skill. But what do you get in return?
    The Associated Press reported About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor’s degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years.
    US Bureau of the census estimated that just 27 percent of college grads had a job that was closely related to their major.
    According to the AP, today’s college graduates are more likely to be “waiters, waitresses, bartenders and food-service helpers than as engineers, physicists, chemists and mathematicians combined.”

  2. An amazing Inspirational talk, for Everyone that has considered College and being successful and extremely wealthy.

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