I pity all the Indian parents who think getting a degree is important for making a living, a recent campaign by The New York times really got me thinking, they were promoting“College is for suckers” and were distributing T-shirts for the same.
It promoted the fact that degree is not an education (education is wisdom); Degree is something that can prove you attended college, nothing more than that.
There are many famous dropouts, The founder of Facebook dropped out of college and made it to the Forbes Billionaires list in just three years (he was just 23), Microsoft was by a dropout, Reddit, Twitter, Dell, Google (PhD dropouts) and also a small tech company I really love called “Apple”. Apart from these famous dropouts, I know a lot of guys who dropped out to perceive their passion, to do what they really cared about. Education is not really necessary to run a successful business. Click here to know why.
But one thing that was common with all these guys was the passion to work, the passion to change.
I met a guy who makes a 6 digit living by selling pet products online in India (yes, you guessed it right, a dropout of India, running a niche e-commerce company)
Dropping out has become the next cool thing happening in the West and Asia is following the lead big time.
“Education isn’t a four year degree, it’s a lifelong learning experience.” said Shehzan Azad the founder of the famous Fitness blog FitnFine.com in a meeting at his office in Pune. Ironically, he happened to get into Aeronautical engineering, after his education, he got introduced to the power of web in 2009, and thought of starting up, he learnt all by himself about web, tech and code.
He added “Consider the fact that I spent 4 years of my life learning about something that is irrelevant for me anymore, but it was important as if I haven’t been fortunate to get introduced to the internet what would I do?” But at the same times he believes in burning all your boats before you get into a startup, so, as you put in your 100% into it.
Another web entrepreneur added, college is important because you need people in life whom you can call upon in bad times, acquaintances you make aren’t friends, they are people you need in life to grow, but they ain’t gonna call you to hang out, to chill in weekends, a big mistake I did was to not make friends in college, he adds I always focused on work , always, says Annkur P Agarwal (the founder of PriceBaba & Onlygizmos)
I think College is important as it gave me people I can count upon in life, the best learning years of my life were in hostel where I met some smart people which would have been impossible if I haven’t got into college.
College is becoming more and more irrelevant, the courses are becoming outdated. Online education is catching up big time, but I still feel college is important as it helps you in knowing about the world, knowing about yourself.
The idea that a degree will guaranty you a job still holds good, but It’s secure upto a certain level, but won’t take you anywhere, at the end you have to do something to prove your worth.
The competition is getting tougher and tougher, startups don’t hire people for their degrees, they hire people for their skills.
But ironically, “Companies started by dropouts, are looking out for GPA’s these days” tweeted Vivek Wadhwa.
One Silicon Valley entrepreneur was quoted saying college puts constraints and limitations around what we can do.
He described it as a box that keeps people from truly getting to know them and fulfilling their dreams.
That is so true, college lacks the uncanny freedom internet can give you, but you still need college for practical learning, you need college to have a check on you for what you are up to.
These great men dropped out of college after they had the basic prototype ready, they were from the best of the best universities, they had the relevant connections. All of them were from The USA, which is considered to be the best country in the world to do a startup.
Here you can read about 10 things I learnt while working for a startup.
So, yes, consider twice before dropping out of college to startup, get a mentor first, and remember startup is a scary journey.
You can read followup article of this here
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