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Are all college dropouts successful?

Posted Jun 01 2010 8:13am
I have, twice today, come across attempts to belittle getting a graduate degree. 

The first was in an advertisement on radio for an institute that trains girls to become air-hostesses. There is this girl who compares herself to MBAs and says that she is getting Rs. 70,000 per month after class 12 and questions condescendingly how much an MBA gets.

The second was a more serious attempt by Allu Sirish, son of producer Allu Arvind and brother of actor Allu Arjun who linked to his blog post titled " Billionaire college drop-outs " where he points out how Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Micheal Dell among others had dropped out of college and gone on to become billionaires. 

What these people forget is the vast majority of people who have succeeded in life who have a college degree. Now, they may not have succeeded solely due to their college degree but to argue that a college degree is absolutely useless is plain ridiculous.

Whether you succeed or not depends on a lot of factors, the indescribable and completely illogical thing called luck being one of them. To say it is ok not to go through college and give these examples and say you will succeed irrespective is not right.

A college degree may not give you the best education in terms of subject matter (again this depends on the college you go to and the teachers you have). However, education is not only about the things you learn from text books. It is a lot about how to handle situations, how to deal with pressure, deadlines and the very important aspect of dealing with different kinds of people. I have always found my classroom to be a microcosm of the world outside. You find one of every kind.

A degree also gives you a backup. In case someone wants to pursue his or her dream of becoming an air-hostess or a film producer, he or she is free to do so even after completing his graduation, right? Is there are a condition in any field that says 'Graduates are not permitted'? In case things don't work out and you are not able to achieve your dream, you at least have a degree to back you up and get you a decent living. 
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