Mehak Vohra

Successful people who didn’t go to college

If it were the only option, then everyone who didn’t go to college would be a failure, right?

We know that isn’t true, because we’ve all heard the dropout-to-billionaire stories of tech geniuses like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg.

1. Ross Alex

2. Yashar Ali

Ali is a journalist responsible for breaking some of the biggest news stories in recent years from the Fox News sexual harassment scandal to Harvey Weinstein, to the Russia investigation, but he never went to college.

3. Paul Allen

When you think of Microsoft, you probably don’t think of Paul Allen. But like Gates, Allen dropped out of college after two years to pursue computer programming. In fact, it was Allen who convinced Gates to leave Harvard.

4. Mary Kay Ash

Ash was the founder of Mary Kay, the multi-level cosmetics marketing company, which today has over $3.6 billion in revenue per year. Ash didn’t go to college because her family couldn’t afford to send her. Instead, she got married at 17 before getting divorced nearly 20 years later in 1953. After her divorce, she attended the University of Houston for a year before dropping out. In 1963, she formed Mary Kay Cosmetics.

5. Julian Assange

Julian Assange

Assange was obsessed with computer programming as a kid and used his self-developed expertise to become one of the world’s best hackers and most controversial figures.

6. Zachary Babcock

Babcock is the author of Prison To Promised Land, which talks about his five years in prison and how anyone can find happiness and fulfillment after addiction, loss, and other struggles. Today, he’s a motivational speaker, has a podcast, and runs a Facebook ad agency.

7. Cathal Berragan

8. Patrick Bet-David

Bet-David‘s family immigrated to the United States at 10 as Iranian refugees. He joined the military after high school and then took a few traditional jobs at finance companies before being inspired to launch PHP Agency, an insurance sales, marketing, and distribution company, before the age of 30.

Patrick Bet-David

Bet-David is an Iranian immigrant and US Army veteran who worked a few traditional jobs after his military service ended before starting his own financial services company.

9. Gautam Bhargava

10. Chandler Bolt

11. Matt Boney

12. Richard Branson

Branson is a high school dropout and founder of Virgin Group, a multi-national venture capital company. Though extremely smart and hard-working, Branson struggled with dyslexia that made attending traditional educational institutions nearly impossible.

13 Travis Brodeen

Brodeen is the CTO of Newchip and was making $150,000 per year by age 19. He’s been involved in startups for 20 years and recently founded MVP Institute, a company that helps startups raise early-stage capital.

14. Mitchell Broderick (Praxis)

Broderick attended a local community college before deciding he wanted to take his life in a different direction. He dropped out and discovered Praxis, which helped him land a sales job for Advantage Media Group. Broderick thrived in the role, and after graduating from Praxis, he was promoted to VP of Business Development. Today, Broderick is the VP of Client Development at Platform, a real estate marketing agency.

15. James Cameron

Cameron is one of the biggest names in film, directing movies like The Terminator, Aliens, Titanic, and Avatar. He enrolled in Fullerton College in 1973 to study physics before switching to English and ultimately dropping out in 1974.

James Cameron

Cameron got into film because he was blown away by Star Wars in 1977 and worked his way up from production assistant to model maker to art director before becoming the household name he is today.

16. Holly Cardew

Cardew is a college dropout who founded, which helps e-commerce stores optimize their products and images to increase online sales. She also founded Vop , which makes your TikTok feed shoppable.

17. AJ Cartas

18. Pete Cashmore

19. Tim Chermak

20. Mike Clum

Clum dropped out of college in 2011, bought a camera for $600, and started Clum Creative. At first, he cold-called companies asking if he could shoot videos for them. Nearly 10 years later, Clum Creative has grown to become a full-fledged video production company with over $3 million in annual sales.

What are Some Jobs You Don’t Need a College Education for?

1. Entrepreneur

2. Sales

3. Skilled Trades

3. Real Estate Agent

4. Recruiter

5. Personal Trainer

billionaires who didnt finish high school | successful people who went to college | college dropout success rate

6. Social Media Manager

With a little training, you can become a social media manager and help businesses grow their online presence. Familiarize yourself with the various platforms, marketing trends, and user behavior.

7. Event Planner

8. Technical Writer

If you have strong writing skills and are familiar with a particular subject or industry, you can become a technical writer. You will most likely need some certification for certain positions.

9. Website Developer

10. Public Relations Specialist

A public relations specialist is responsible for creating and maintaining a positive image of their client. This can be done through various forms of communication such as social media, press releases, and events.

11. Graphic Designer

A graphic designer creates visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas. You need to become an expert at various graphic programs. Many in this field are also self-taught, but some go to art or design schools.

12. Copywriter

13. Photographer

do you have an eye for capturing a moment? If so, then photography might be the perfect career for you! You can get started by taking classes or workshops. Many photographers are self-taught.

14. Videographer

Videography is a similar field to photography, but with video. If you have a passion for film and video, then this might be the perfect career. You can work for a company or be a freelancer.

13. DJ

14. Nutritionist

A nutritionist helps people make healthy choices when it comes to their diet. This can be done through consultations, cooking classes, and more. You will need some schooling and certifications to become a nutritionist. A college degree is required for certain positions but not all.

15. Hair Stylist

16. Personal Shopper

17. Makeup Artist

20. Fashion Designer

Vin Diesel


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Asked by the San Francisco Chronicle where he went to school, JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman put it succinctly: “University of Utah. But I dropped out.” Neeleman said a Mormon missionary experience in Brazil broadened his horizons; the “A” student would leave school to start his own travel business.

Rachel Lim


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Sources generally list Truman’s higher-education resume as consisting of a semester at an unnamed Kansas City, Missouri, business school, and night classes at what was then known as Kansas City Law School. He didn’t earn a degree at either campus.