Top 10 Successful College Dropouts

College Dropouts Who Ended Up Making It Big

I had an interesting discussion with some friends the other night about "nature versus nurture", a debate that argues whether our being and consciousness is determined by biological predispositions or the environment. Everyone would usually conclude that it's a bit of both. Along that line of topic, we could ask: are geniuses born or are they formed?

I'm more persuaded to side on the environment aspect. I believe that our immediate surroundings and interpersonal relationships have a lot to do with our psychology and behavior.

The Skinner Box concept is one example. Imagine if your whole life you grew up in a box with two buttons. Your knowledge of the world is limited to only what is exposed to inside the box. You can easily be conditioned or brainwashed with propaganda.

It does remind me of Plato's Allegory of the Cave where the cavemen are only exposed to shadow puppets and that's all they can know but some are not satisfied and decide to go out of the cave.

The people in this article, for me, are those who decided to step out of Plato's cave or escape from the Skinner Box. As much as I am critical of contemporary schooling, I recognize the advantages of having a college degree. Statistically, even when there's been a lot of them in history, these few super successful people are somewhat of an anomaly. Nevertheless, we must understand that they are proof that although the college educational system is a sufficient cause to success, it's not a necessary cause.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

Dropped out at age 18. Along with many in this list, this guy obviously needs no introduction. The one thing so hardcore about him why I made him first in the list is before and after his dropout, he really did a lot of pot, LSD, and whatnot. He just went against all rules, social conventions, and standards society tells us are needed to have a secure and successful future.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates
Bill Gates

Dropped out at age 19. I'm obviously a bigger fan of Steve Jobs since I do enjoy being a Mac user more than with Windows. If we'll measure success by wealth, he beats Steve Jobs. One great movie about their story I can recommend would be Pirates of Silicon valley.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg

Dropped out at age 19. Zuckerberg, as everyone knows, created what is probably one of the most influential websites of all time: Facebook. The story of his success was adapted in the film The Social Network.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods

Dropped out at age 20. This is one amazing example of Malcolm Gladwell's concept from his book The Outliers: the Story of Success that you need to do something for at least 10,000 hours to be a genius at something. Naturally, if you've been playing golf your whole life, you'll eventually be really good at it. It's the old-time proverb of practice makes perfect.

James Cameron

James Cameron
James Cameron

Dropped out at age 20. Your probably aware of his films Titanic or Avatar. For a good while he was just a truck driver and would go to libraries on his spare time to research and learn film-making, special effects, cinematography, etc.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren didn't even attend any sort of fashion school. He dropped out of college after two years and later on started what would be one of the biggest and most successful clothing brands in the world.

Ted Turner

Ted Turner
Ted Turner

This guy didn't even choose to drop out. Apparently, he was expelled! Later on he founded CNN which is now one of the biggest and most successful new channels in the world. So even those who get expelled and not just those who drop out also still have a chance at becoming big.

Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg

This is the guy responsible for Wordpress. All web developers and many bloggers would understand what kind of impact his opensource CMS had on the internet world most especially to online entrepreneurship. He dropped out at age 18.

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell

Aside from being popular in being an annoying and arrogant judge in reality TV shows, he has also singed many of the most successful musicians in the world and his label is definitely one of them most successful in the world as well.

Henry Ford

Henry Ford
Henry Ford

This guy is the hipster dropout. He was a dropout long before dropping out became mainstream haha. He is credited for having thought of how assembly lines work today in automobile factories. Without him, the mass production of cars may never have been possible. Something so significant to society even up to now from a guy who doesn't have that piece of paper called a diploma.

Top 10 Successful College Drop Outs

We can discuss all we want on what it is that makes one a genius or the advantages/disadvantages of contemporary schooling but the bottom line is that the stories of the people in this list are very inspiring.

More by this Author


Comments 1 comment

pinoymmafan profile image

pinoymmafan 4 years ago from Philippines

Idol..Galing mo talaga..hehehehe..I have Henry Ford on the top of my list.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working