Elon Musk: ‘There’s No Need Even To Have A College Degree’

The tech genius said that while college isn’t a bad investment, it is not for everyone as there are many tracks to success.

Credit: Screenshot/YouTube

Tech genius Elon Musk – the founder of SpaceX, Tesla, and PayPal – doesn’t buy into the hype that in order to be successful, one needs a college degree. He admits that while having a degree doesn’t hurt, as the path ultimately exists to give one an advantage entering the workforce, he says it is unnecessary because plenty of people – such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates – have done well without obtaining theirs.

During the interview, which took place in 2014, Musk said:

“I ask them to tell me the story of their career, what are some of the tougher problems they dealt with…and how they made decisions at key transition points. That’s usually enough for me to get a very good gut feel about someone. What I’m really looking for is evidence of exceptional ability. There’s no need even to have a college degree. If you look at Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs…these guys didn’t graduate from college, but if you had a chance to hire them, it would be a good idea.”

A snippet of the entire length interview follows:

Without a doubt, education is one of the most worthwhile investments. However, Musk makes an important point when stating that a college degree isn’t necessary for success, quite simply because there are a variety of ways one can attain the knowledge required to excel in a certain field.

First of all, now that the internet exists and is easily accessible to all, information can be acquired at the touch of a button. Additionally, one can attend trade schools or take part in an internship to learn more about their desired field. Finally, college is becoming more and more out of reach for the majority of citizens in the U.S., where tuition is not free. By enrolling in a four-year institution, a newly graduated high school student acquires a substantial amount of debt which they will likely pay off for decades due to the present job market. Acknowledging all, it makes sense why Musk says college isn’t necessary.

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