Success without degrees

In this day and age we are all taught that to have any chance at business success you need to at least have a degree, preferably even more. However a University education is no guarantee of success; as these well-known businessmen below have proved, you don’t need a degree or even have to finish school to become a highly successful entrepreneur.

Alan Sugar

British business magnate (and unfortunately also television personality) Alan Sugar is currently worth around £770 million. His business interests have included Amstrad and even a football club – Tottenham Hotspur. But what you may not know about ‘Lord’ Sugar is that he left school at 16! It was not long after this that he started selling car aerials out the back of a van, and then a bit later on he formed the company that was to give him his greatest financial success, Amstrad.

Richard Branson

You may have heard of Richard Branson? He is the fourth richest British citizen, chairman of the Virgin Group of over 400 companies including Virgin Airways and has a net worth somewhere around the $4 billion mark. A successful as he is, it wasn’t because of his school qualifications. He performed poorly academically and suffered from dyslexia. Part of his approach is to recognise where strengths lie. So as a dyslexia sufferer, writing is not his strong suit. In a recent interview he talked about the need for a good business plan in starting any new business. If you fancy yourself as the founder of the next Virgin Empire, but perhaps lack the writing skill to get your business plan off the ground, try getting to write it for you. After all, Mr Branson didn’t let a lack of skill in that department hold him back.

David Karp

Moving away from the older British entrepreneurs to a much younger American. David Karp is the founder of blogging platform Tumblr, and has only 26 years under his belt. His personal net worth is said to be around the $200 million mark, and around $800 million for that of his company. The reason why he is included here is because he dropped out of school at 15, received home schooling, never received his high school diploma and certainly did not attend college. I’m sure he laments that fact while rolling around in big piles of money.

Henry Ford

Our final example of a highly successful businessman lacking a college/university degree is 20th Century legend and founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford. Aside from his business success in the early 20th Century with his little car company, he also pioneered several advancements that we take for granted today- such assembly line production, affordable cars for all and a decent working wage (the $5 dollar working day, equivalent to $110 in today’s money, was hitherto unheard of). All this success achieved with just a basic school education.


2 Responses to “Success without degrees on “Success without degrees”

  • I’m presently carrying out a-levels in school, and know I’d rather not come with an regular office job like an average joe does. I have observed that lots of effective people own their on business and lots of really left school at 16 even (for instance Alan sugar) . But exactly how hard could it be to really do, for instance if I needed to, do you know the obstacles in the manner?? I understand money to setup and individuals not implementing a 17 years old seriously could be two problems problems… How do we get it done?? Thanks.

  • Appears just like a silly Q. But im battling with my memory. Its terrible. Im attempting to study for any second degree but cannot appear take enough info in and RETAIN it. i am going over things over and over but with no success. HELP!

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