Many people who have never attended college have been successes in their fields. Richard
, Bill Gates
, and Steve Jobs
just three of the most notable examples that come to mind. It must be remembered, however, that these three individuals possess what can be
truthfully called genius, a quality that is not defined by either IQ or formal education.
In the case of Jobs and Gates, both were able to learn what they needed for success on their own or working for others in an industry that was being
defined at the time and timing, hard work, and specialized knowledge trumped a degree any day of the week.
Suggesting that others should forgo a college education because a handful of individuals have been successful despite having dropped out is, well,
ill-advised. Plenty of people can do just as well in life without a college degree, but a college degree does enhance most peoples earning potential.
The benefits of formal education are, however, not limited to money. In my view, an education is its own reward, enriching one's life by providing
the basic understanding of many disciplines so that they can be more fully appreciated.
It is true that many people become well-educated without acquiring degrees and that many manage to earn degrees without becoming well-educated, but
for the vast majority, institutions of higher learning are the quickest most sure way of gaining an education.
I agree with Jobs in some respects. Poverty can be a good educator, if one doesn't become embittered by limited means. Most of my life has been
spent in extreme poverty and I learned much that is indispensable from those experiences. I often tell people that I have been blessed by having been
poor. But, those experiences, in no way, made a formal education more or less valuable. Each is the source of completely different bases of
[edit on 05/6/14 by GradyPhilpott]