Two of the most famous college dropouts of our time are Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Steve felt he was wasting his parents’ money, and was convinced he could do better selling circuit boards out of their garage. Bill got booted from the Harvard dorm for running an illegal software business, and decided to quit school altogether. Both challenged assumptions and did rather well in the process. Another billionaire, Peter Thiel (Facebook, PayPal) is challenging the assumption that a college degree is a necessary passport to success. Peter is basically paying promising young men and women to forgo college and pursue their real dreams. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development rated the U.S. as “average” worldwide for education (specifically, the U.S. ranking was 14th in reading skills, 17th in science and 25th for math). The Obama administration has been working hard to improve on that, proclaiming this to be the key to America’s economic future. Maybe it’s time we challenged that assumption.
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