Before we even start, let us state up front—we are proponents of education and recognize that a university diploma is a requirement for many fulfilling careers available today. That said, it might not be for everyone, and it’s certainly not a requirement for following your dreams.

Case in point: Chad Ingram, JUMP’s CEO. Chad left his studies at the university to focus on his entrepreneurial goals. JUMP is now his third successful enterprise. Chad even recently landed on Utah Valley’s list of 40 under 40 and with a previous venture landed on their list of  30 under 30. He will admit that it hasn’t been easy but it has been possible. JUMP is his latest business venture.


You may have heard of these other college dropouts that ended up doing quite well for themselves:

Bill Gates was enrolled in Harvard when he decided to drop out in 1975 to form Microsoft with partner Paul Allen. We think that move payed off just slightly. Bill did say, “Although I dropped out of college and got lucky pursuing a career in software, getting a degree is a much surer path to success.” But, we don’t think anyone would argue that he made the wrong move.

Steve Jobs is another college dropout. In fact, he only finished one semester, but later went on to found Apple with another college dropout, Steve Wozniak. Jobs was worth $11 billion when he passed away. Not bad for someone who never even finished a full year of higher education.  

Mark Zuckerberg left Harvard in 2005 to work on what would become Facebook, which is now worth $200 billion. To be fair, Zuckerberg did start Facebook in his dorm room in 2004, so it’s likely it would never have existed if he didn’t attend college in the first place.

Evan Williams was a student at the University of Nebraska before he dropped out to start Blogger which he and a partner sold to Google in 2003. As the co-founder of Twitter, Evan served as the President and CEO from 2009 to 2010 and started Medium in 2012. What is Ev’s net worth? It’s estimated by Forbes at 1.8 billion dollars.

There are several others who we could fill this list up with but hopefully, these few inspire you to reach for the stars no matter what your situation is. You can do it.


If a four-year degree isn’t for you, there are other avenues of education that can help you gain a successful career. Many coding camps exist for would-be developers that take only months to complete. Or, you could become a tradesman, such as an electrician or plumber, by completing a certification program. Business Schools, Online Certifications, etc etc.

It’s been said that experience is the currency of a career, so whatever route you take, be prepared to work hard and gain applicable knowledge to achieve your goals.

And, finally, we recommend you have a plan in place or specific ambitions you want to fulfill if you’re considering dropping out of college. While it’s true that you can be extremely successful without a college degree, the majority of today’s successful careers still require a certain amount of education and experience. So don’t quit without a vision. Keep kicking butt!

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