Is it worth having a degree?

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Famous College dropouts

These days we hear a lot about college dropouts who created successful businesses and even became billionaires. Bill gates , Steve jobs and Micheal Dell are among the famous billionaires who dropped out of college. Steve Jobs once said in his famous speech at Stanford "I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation".

I am pretty sure you already know that Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder, had dropped out of college as well. So the question now is "Is it worth having a degree?"

If people can be that successful without a degree then why spend 4 or 5 years studying things you don't like?
The question seems troubling to so many people and this is why i decided to write this post to answer it.

When you shouldn't Join college

  • 1) Because everyone else is doing it: Here in Egypt 95% of people who join colleges do it because it's part of the system and not because that's what they really want. It's very shameful for any person in class A or even B in Egypt to admit that he didn't complete college. The result? those 95% never reach anything in life except the degree they got.
  • 2) When you hate it: You don't have to love your work in order to succeed but if you hate it then there is a great possibility that you won't make it. If you hate something then why waste 5 years of your life studying it?
  • 3) When you know exactly what you want: jobs knew he would drop out to create a successful business, the same happened with Zuckerberg and gates. It would have been a total waste of time if those people continued in college. Imagine Jobs not bringing the Apple Macintosh to live because he had to study physics!

When you should join college:

  • 1) When it fits in your plan: If you love computer science and managed to join the computer science department in a reputable college then it might be wroth it to spend sometime there but again in case you found a brilliant idea that took off fast you can always free your time by dropping out
  • 2) When you have no other plans: If you don't know what are you gonna do with your life then it makes a lot of sense to have a career to back you up in case you don't find anything else to do.
  • 3) When you are sure that you will use what you will learn: If you are pretty sure that you need to learn certain things at college in order to have a better career then certainly you should go for college

Time is very precious don't waste it for nothing

I personally joined a college because everyone else was doing it. In the end , after wasting 5 years, i started a business that became successful that had nothing to do with what i studied. I certainly wasted 5 precious years of my life for nothing and if i can go back in time i will certainly drop out.

Again this is not an invitation to drop out but it's a invitation to think wisely about what best suits you without being influenced by the ones round you.

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