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Without A Degree And With Money: Successful People Without Higher Education


A diploma does not necessarily guarantee a successful career, nor does its absence necessarily mean that you cannot do well in life. History is littered with different examples. We looked into the biographies of successful people and found out that some of them became rich and famous despite their lack of higher education.



Henry Ford

The American industrialist and inventor Henry Ford did not go to university. The quality of the education he received in the parochial school that he attended from the 1st to the 8th form left much to be desired. The children were taught morals rather than spelling or mathematics.


At 16, Henry ran away from home to Detroit, where he took a job as an apprentice mechanic. Money was tight, so he had to work part-time even at night. The experience was crucial to his later life: Henry Ford became a mechanic with the Edison Illuminating Company, then built his first car and founded the Ford Motor Company.


In his memoirs, My Life and Work, Henry Ford wrote that the main aim of learning should not be to gain factual knowledge but to learn how to think.


Generally, his life is so curious, that we can't write it in one article. What is more, if you want to prepare a perfect essay or research paper about Henry Ford, you can just contact a paper writer, who is a professional in his field. Any tasks from essays to lab reports are within his power. Any time you contact the best essay writing service, you get the perfect papers and the excellent mark from your teacher. So don't hesitate, think about the topic and order the papers. And we go forward to the next personality.



Walt Disney

Since childhood, the American animator Walt Disney loved to draw: he was a cartoonist for the school newspaper, and in the evenings he attended courses at the Art Institute of Chicago. But at 16, he dropped out of school to go to the front and never received a higher education.


After World War I, Disney took a job as an artist in an advertising studio where he created his first animated features. In 1923, he and his brother moved to Hollywood, where they founded the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, now known as Walt Disney Studios. World fame for the artist brought the feature animated films "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", "Bambi", "Cinderella", "101 Dalmatians" and many others. Walt Disney's achievements in the field of cinema arts are recognized with 26 Oscar statuettes.



Coco Chanel

The world-famous fashion designer, after her mother's death, ended up in an orphanage in a convent, where she only completed a parochial school but learned how to sew. At 18 Gabrielle (Coco's real name) got a job as a salesgirl in a clothes shop and in the evenings she did odd jobs singing in a cabaret.


According to biographers, Coco had a rare flair and could guess fashion trends before anyone else. Her lack of education did not prevent her from becoming a trendsetter: the little black dress, the quilted chain handbag, and the legendary perfume all came from her. She was also adept at managing finances and had a reputation for being an excellent marketer.



Steve Jobs

Apple founder Steve Jobs went to school without pleasure: according to him, he was subjected to a lot of authority and obedience, which he didn't like at all. One teacher, Mrs. Gill, did manage to make a good deal of sense to the boy, promising him $5 and a lollipop if he would start learning. But there was no such Mrs. Gill at the university, and Steve lost interest in his studies again. Already after the first term, he saw no point in continuing his studies, especially since all his parents' savings were used to pay for college.


After his expulsion, Steve remained a free student at the university for some time, living with friends and even giving away bottles to have some money. Later the young man returned to California and there, together with his friend Steve Wozniak, he gave himself to his main interest - electronics - and founded a company in his garage, which was destined to change the computer world in many ways.



Bill Gates

One of the richest men on the planet, co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates didn't get his degree from Harvard University until 30 years after he left.


The fact is that by the time he entered university, Bill was already engaged in software development. In particular, together with his classmates he founded Traf-O-Data company and sold software for optimizing street traffic. But despite his passion for computers and programming, Gates chose the law department at Harvard University. And because he still preferred mathematics over the humanities, he was expelled from the university after two years for failing and truancy.



Mark Zuckerberg

According to Forbes, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's wealth in 2020 was estimated at $63 billion; this was due to his long-term passion for computer programming, and not as a result of his college education. However, Harvard University was nevertheless indirectly privy to the American entrepreneur's success: it was from his student campus room that Mark launched Facebook in 2004.


Like Bill Gates, Zuckerberg chose the wrong major. He enrolled in psychology at Harvard University in 2002 but left it two years later to devote himself entirely to Facebook.



Amancio Ortega

Founder of the leading clothing retailer Inditex (Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, and other brands), Amancio Ortega doesn't even have a secondary school leaving certificate (and doesn't like talking to journalists or being photographed).


His career started at 13, first as an apprentice in a studio and later as a manager in a clothing shop. At the age of 27, Amancio Ortega founded a factory where he sewed bathrobes and lingerie. A couple of years later he opened his first clothing shop, Zara, and here we go. In June 2012, Bloomberg Magazine named him Europe's richest man, and in 2020, his fortune was estimated at $55 billion.



Peter Thiel

The founder of the PayPal payment system, billionaire Peter Thiel graduated from Stanford University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy. So in our list, he serves not as an example of someone who has succeeded without a college degree, but as a fierce critic of it. An investor and entrepreneur, Peter believes the need for higher education is vastly overestimated. He advises employers to hire more people without higher education and school leavers to think ten times before going to university.


In 2010 he even founded The Thiel Fellowship, a fellowship program to select 20 people under 23 every year and pay them $100,000 to leave university to do something he thought would be more useful, such as starting a start-up or devoting themselves to scientific research or public speaking.



Higher education: is it worth it or not?

In terms of rationality and logic, the 5-year format of education does not fit well with the pace of the modern world. Technology and knowledge are being updated much faster than even the best higher education system can process and implement.


But in terms of our reality and human psychology, a diploma does matter. Unfortunately, the views of most companies (or individual HR professionals) are quite conservative. Therefore you still risk being left behind if you do not have a degree.


I advise you to start from your chosen field and profession. If you are planning to start your own business, a diploma is not essential. If you want to become an accountant, there is no sense in completing hundreds of tasks like essay writing. Fortunately, there are the best writing services, which help you with such tasks, and you finally get a diploma in accountancy. If you want to develop in design, video, or other creative industries too, the portfolio and skills are more important than the diploma. Just like in IT (here's a curious study on the subject, by the way). But if you see yourself in more traditional fields (economics, law, finance), you cannot do without a diploma.
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