Do you need a College Degree to be successful?

Do you need a College Degree to be successful?
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Parents, grade teachers, and community leaders are telling us we need a college degree in today’s world to be successful.  However, today we are seeing more and more successful entrepreneurs without a college degree.  If you are a parent with college age child or if you yourself are a high school senior,  you are probably wondering… do you need a college degree to be successful?  In this article you I will show you that you can become successful with or without a college degree.  The path you choose will be totally up to you!

The Truth Do you need a college degree to be successful?

Do you need a college degree to be successful?  Today, we are seeing more and more successful people on YouTube, in the media and aired on Podcasts.  Which leads us to believe that you don’t need a college degree to be successful.  But in reality, there are just as many people who are successful with a college degree as there are without a college degree.  Just as there are many unsuccessful people with a college degree there are also unsuccessful people without a college degree.

What is Success?

Success is defined four ways in the English Oxford Living Dictionaries as the following:

  1. The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
  2. The attainment of fame, wealth, or social status.
  3. A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame, wealth etc.
  4. The good or bad outcome of an undertaking.
    Do you need a degree to be successful?

Do you need a college degree to be successful? As I have mentioned, that depends on you.  You can become successful with or without a college degree.

Steve Jobs also known as Steven Paul Jobs is Apple Computers’ CEO and co founder.  He is a successful person without a degree.  Jobs is an inventor, designer, and entrepreneur.  As an individual, Jobs was smart but directionless.  He dropped out of college and tried different pursuits before becoming Apple’s co founder.  Apple is known for its revolutionary products such as iPhone and iPad.  If interested, you can read more about him here: Steve Jobs Biography

Tim Cook also known as Timothy Donald Cook is also Apple’s CEO.  He is a successful person with a college degree.  Cook received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University and his MBA from Duke University’s Fugua School of Business.  He established his career at IBM then went on taking executive roles at Intelligent Electronics and Compaq before he joined Apple.  Cook became Apple’s new CEO following the death of Steve Jobs.  If interested, you can read more about him here: Tim Cook Biography

Well Known Successful People

Successful People without a College Degree
  • Steve Jobs – Apple CEO
  • Ellen DeGeneres – Talk Show Host
  • Anna Wintour – Editor in Chief of Vogue Magazine
  • Michael Dell – CEO of Dell Technologies
  • Rachel Ray – Food Network and daytime TV Host
  • Kim Kardashian – Reality TV
Successful People with a College Degree
  • Shaquille O’Neal – Sports Analyst/Former Basketball Player
  • Tim Cook – CEO of Apple
  • Doug McMillon -CEO of Walmart
  • Indra Nooyi – Chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo
  • Michael Bloomberg -CEO of Bloomberg L.P
  • Eamonn Sinnott – Vice President and General Manager of Intel

Characteristics of a Successful Person

All successful people whether they have a college degree or not, share similar characteristics such as the ability to network, commitment to long-term learning, having the sky is the limit mindset and they take action.

Ability to Network 

Individuals who are successful make friends everywhere.  You never know which person you meet will be the one to launch your career.  Don’t be selective in connecting with people and don’t just make friends with people who can move you up the ladder.  Everything is done through people as a result, get to know as many people as you can.

Commitment to Long-Term Learning

Do you need degree to be successful?

To be up to date with the world, you need to know what is current, what the world is interested in, how to fulfill people’s needs and much more.  The only way to do this is to study, research and keep on learning. Continue your education through self learning or through higher education.

The Sky is the Limit

Believe in yourself… have the “you can do it mindset”, don’t let negativity get in your way.  The sky is the limit! Surround yourself with positive people.  Make friends with people who are already where you want to be in life.

Take Action

Don’t just talk the talk but walk the walk.  Successful people have proof of their doings whether its having a degree, experience, talent, knowledge or fame.  They have credibility.  Their actions got them where they are.


Do you need a college degree to be successful?  Whether you need a degree to become successful or not depends on you, your ability and your effort.  It is your choice and no one knows you better than you.

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