Below is an ironic infographic that so nicely illustrates how some of our most iconic (and wealthiest) entrepreneurs never graduated college. This is an attractive meme based largely on casual evidence. Apparently this evidence is enough to power the belief, or implication, that college is irrelevant or even detrimental to entrepreneurial success. So powerful and attractive is this belief that even Stanford-educated-billionaire-Paypal-founder-Facebook-investor Peter Thiel established the Thiel Fellows aka “20 under 20”:
Thiel Fellows are given a no-strings-attached grant of $100,000 to skip college and focus on their work, their research, and their self-education.
While I don’t want to be the one to challenge or question anything Peter Thiel thinks will be successful, I do question the underlying logic. If the top Billionaire/Entrepreneurs all skipped college – then does this necessarily mean skipping college made them entrepreneurs? I’ll also point out that, the iconic entrepreneurs below all are men. By that same logic we should be encouraging only men to drop out of college and become entrepreneurs.
I called the infographic ironic because it was created by and forwarded to me by an organization whose purpose is to get people to enroll in college. Then again, they offered a coda many might miss:
But not so fast!
These outliers were driven by passion and became incredibly successful, while most of the 1.2 million people who drop out of college every year will just end up being dropouts.
Created by: AccreditedOnlineColleges.net