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Why CEOs Dropped the College Factor

There’s a new trend going on in education – students aren’t getting the education they need. College tuition is skyrocketing and it’s pushing current students and recent grads into the poorhouse; student loan debt is now eclipsing credit card debt. Experts will continue to stress that getting a college degree is essential and an important factor to being successful.

However, while more and more young adults are wanting to learn, they aren’t necessarily doing it while sitting in a classroom. Thanks to the recent economic downturn, young adults began to make their marks when it came to being entrepreneurs, essentially creating their own businesses and becoming CEOs.

young entrepreneurs

photo credit: akiey

Think about all the CEOs that are currently or previous ran their own company. You’d be surprised at how many of them never graduated college in the first place. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, both of whom revolutionized the personal computer, their products, and their software, both dropped out of college. In fact, many of the current leaders in technology and business didn’t bother with getting a degree.

Is college important? The stigma of college–besides the degree getting you a job one day–is often fraught with the dangers and disadvantages of going. Young people, no matter how intelligent they are, make mistakes. Sometimes big mistakes, like drunk driving. Indeed, the search for a drunk driving lawyer will usually start at the onset of getting that first alcoholic ticket (regardless if you’re of legal age or not), and more interestingly, the college dropout rate is also high.

So if these CEOs dropped out of college, what are current students going to do? Well, thanks to these innovators, we have technology that has enabled a wide array of students to find courses online, take classes, and get certified in a certain subject. Websites like Coursera and Udacity allow anyone to sign up for classes. Usually offered by major universities and colleges, it gives them the tools they might be looking for.

But if students are taking classes online, without the traditional brick and mortar structure, how will businesses hire them? That above all is the whole crux of students dropping the college act. Many businesses are still under the impression that if a person hasn’t spent an additional four or more years, surrounded by others, and accruing thousands of dollars in debt, they aren’t hireable. That’s probably a bit harsh, but many businesses want to see a degree of some sort on an incoming resume.

Regardless of whether a new hire knows how to do the work they were hired for, someone who may have the skills for the position may get passed over because he or she hasn’t gone or finished college. But why cater to the whims of other businesses when one can start their own? Certainly, knowing what skills you possess and ones you need can be found online and you can teach yourself what you need.

This isn’t to say that college degrees are important; certain disciplines should be required to have one. Doctors and lawyers, for example. But some positions – like office manager or admin assistant – shouldn’t require a four or more year degree just to answer phones or work an office software suite. That’s great for the rest of us and possibly the economy. More innovators means more technological advancements, more abilities we didn’t think existed, and more problems solved.

About the Author: The article is written by Tara Miller

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