10 Stories Proving That You Don’t Need a Higher Education to Achieve Success
The myth that a person needs to have a higher education to succeed was debunked long ago by the achievements of such talented individuals as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. But what about the less famous stories? Can an ordinary person lead a fulfilling life without a university diploma?
Bright Side presents a collection of true tales and tips from internet users to help you decide whether you need a degree for a solid and dynamic career.
- I’m 26, I own a large flower shop chain, and — I don’t have higher education. One of the things that helped me succeed was this phrase I was told when I was 18: "You’re a nice guy, but you have no money." And that’s when I decided to get even. With a few hundred bucks in my pocket, an old car, and my classmate, I started to do flower deliveries. 3 years later, the girl who once said those fateful words to me returned, eager for a relationship. But, as it turned out, she wasn’t worth being with. As for my studies, I quit university in the 2nd year. One day, I found myself forced to choose between sitting an exam and handing out salaries to my employees. So I simply chose the latter.
- Jeez, I’ve just realized that now that I have 2 degrees, I don’t need to get up at 7 a.m. to go to lectures anymore! Instead, I have to get up at 6 a.m. to go to the office...
When I was in my 2nd year, one of my professors gave me an awful grade with no possibility of resitting the exam (which meant automatic dismissal). I decided not to waste time and turned to freelancing. Before long, I managed to acquire clients. By the time it became possible for me to get reinstated, I was already making $300-500 a week. Having returned to my studies, I suddenly realized that university was limiting my opportunities. In the end, I got my degree through distance learning, and I didn’t even show up to collect my diploma. At that point, I was already working for a well-known studio, as part of a team of professionals. From then on, things went from strength to strength. The studio, a startup, and eventually a huge corporation. I wish I could remember the name of the professor who gave me that lousy grade — I’d sure like to thank him from the bottom of my heart!
While studying at a legal academy, I began working in a bank. In just half a year, I went from being a small-time employee to supervising an important project. And that’s with my higher education still unfinished. I soon got bored with my job, so I waved goodbye to the bank and went into internet marketing. At first, I was intent on finishing my studies, but then I realized I didn’t actually need a degree. So I ditched university and continued to hone my marketing skills. In my career so far, I was only once asked to produce my diploma. But I easily joked myself out of the situation by saying that my dog ate it. My employers were much more interested in my experience and knowledge, and, after I gave them a demonstration of both, we never went back to the education issue again.
Graduating from university and finding a good job in your line of study go together about as well as Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscars. It seems that higher education doesn’t really help when it comes to making a good impression on potential employers. Not as often as one would have liked, anyway.
In the past 5 years, I have worked for 3 different companies, taking orders from people who didn’t have a higher education. And all the while, I, with my 2 diplomas, have never even been considered for any kind of managerial post.
If you want to establish your own business, you need to learn things they don’t teach you at university: how to make choices and take responsibility. If you want to climb to the top, you’ve got to work for 12 hours a day (at least), continuously expand your knowledge, and avoid wasting time on nonsense. My journey from being a university dropout to becoming the owner of a successful advertising company took 6 years. The things I’ve done along the way included working for "the other guy," reading through a mountain of books, running into enormous debts, facing many risks, and getting prematurely gray hair. Also, throughout those years, never once could I say that I felt confident in the future. In fact, I still can’t.
- When my sister came home from her graduation ceremony brandishing her freshly received diploma, my mom couldn’t think of anything to say except. “Well done! Now put it somewhere where you won’t lose it — you’ll be showing it to your kids one day!“
- Last week, my friend freaked out at work. She’s a supermarket assistant, and she just got totally fed up with stacking shelves and having to put up with her nagging supervisor. So she told the guy exactly what she thought of him and reminded all her colleagues that she had 2 university diplomas. To that, her supervisor replied, ”Well, what do you want us to do? Applaud each time you shift a tin of cat food?“
- Lately, my son got me really annoyed with phrases like, “Why study? Bill Gates doesn’t have a higher education, and he’s a billionaire!” or ”Steve Jobs never went to university either!“ I finally decided I’d had enough. I walked into his room, handed him a disassembled PC system unit, and declared, ”I’ve turned off our Wi-Fi. See if you can reassemble this without any help from Google. If you make it work, you’re free to drop out of university!" 2 hours later, my son came to me saying, “Dad, please, turn the Wi-Fi back on — I’ve got a term paper to finish!”