34 Reasons Why A Degree May Not Be For You

diploma-certificate1Although this article could speak to anyone out there. This is directed more toward the Filipino way of thinking.


Over the last 2 or 3 decades, their system has convinced the people — rich or poor — that without a degree, you’ll never amount to anything. Nor will you be able to carry around a status symbol that says “I am better than you.”

The other sad-sack excuse, is that too many parents demand that their first-born must go to college, so he/she can help the family. As well as send all the remaining siblings to school.

“HEY MOM AND DAD?!” That’s your fucking job!!

Well, I think the following list proves otherwise. and keep in mind, That nearly everyone on this list — aside from #22, who took moms advice — followed their heart. and not the expected demands of others.

1. Funny lady Ellen DeGeneres dropped out of the University of New Orleans after just one semester. Guess she got the last laugh after all.

2. Mark Zuckerberg left Harvard to invent that site you spend way too much time on. Facebook.

3. Media mogul Russell Simmons dropped out of Manhattan City College just shy of finishing his sociology degree.

4. Brad Pitt was set to be a JOURNALIST when he dropped out of the University of Missouri two weeks before graduation.

5. Ted Turner, the creator of the 24-hour news cycle, known as CNN, was expelled from Brown University after he was caught with a girl in his room. GASP!

6. Fierce songstress Natasha Bedingfield withdrew from the University of Greenwich after a year to focus on singing. Good choice.

7. Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College to become the father of all things Apple.

8. Oprah Winfrey dropped out of Tennessee State University and seems to be doing all right.

9. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to pursue his love of poetry. Just kidding, he founded Microsoft.

10. F. Scott Fitzgerald left Princeton University because of poor grades.

11. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey dropped out of the University of Texas after seven years… It was probably time to leave at that point.

12. John Mayer dropped out of Berklee College of Music, only to come back later and major in sex appeal.

13. Before YOLO, there was POLO. Ralph Lauren left Baruch College after two semesters to serve in the U.S. Army.

14. Lady Gaga dropped out of NYU after her freshman year, probably because she was busy plotting her world takeover.

15. John Lennon was expelled from Liverpool College, so he joined a band.

16. Jim Carrey dropped out of high school at just 16. Alllrighty then!

17. After failing every subject except English, Al Pacino dropped out of his New York high school to pursue acting.

18. Wolfgang Puck quit school at the ripe young age of 14 to become a cooking apprentice at a hotel.

19. Walt Disney dropped out of high school at 16, joined the Red Cross, and left for Europe.

20. Tom Hanks left Sacramento State to intern full time at the Great Lakes Theater Festival. You can’t make that stuff up.

21. Abraham Lincoln left school at 12 to help his family farm, and then he became THE PRESIDENT.

22. Tumblr kajillionaire David Karp dropped out of high school at 14 because his mom suggested he should focus on computers. Life lesson: LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER.

23. Coco Chanel left school at 18 to become one of the world’s most famous fashion designers. Ooh là là!

24. Princess Diana dropped out of school at 16.

25. Thomas Edison is probably the most famous and productive inventor of all time, with more than 1,000 patents in his name, including the electric light bulb, phonograph, and motion picture camera. He became a self-made multimillionaire and won a Congressional Gold Medal. Edison got a late start in his schooling following an illness, and, as a result, his mind often wandered, prompting one of his teachers to call him “addled.” He dropped out after only three months of formal education. Luckily, his mother had been a schoolteacher in Canada and home-schooled young Edison.

26. Benjamin Franklin wore many hats: politician, diplomat, author, printer, publisher, scientist, inventor, founding father, and coauthor and cosigner of the Declaration of Independence. One thing he was not was a high school graduate. Franklin was the fifteenth child and youngest son in a family of 20. He spent two years at the Boston Latin School before dropping out at age ten and going to work for his father, and then his brother, as a printer.

27. Although he was named Time magazine’s “Man of the Century,” Albert Einstein was not an “Einstein” in school. The Nobel Prize-winning physicist, famous for his theory of relativity and contributions to quantum theory and statistical mechanics, dropped out of high school at age 15. Deciding to continue his education a year later, Einstein took the entrance exam to the prestigious Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, but failed. He returned to high school, got his diploma, and then passed the university’s entrance exam on his second attempt.

28. Two months before his high school graduation, history’s first recorded billionaire, John D. Rockefeller, Sr., dropped out to take business courses at Folsom Mercantile College. He founded the Standard Oil Company in 1870, made his billions before the company was broken up by the government for being a monopoly, and spent his last 40 years giving away his riches, primarily to causes related to health and education. Ironically, this high school dropout helped millions get a good education.

29. Britain’s Sir Richard Branson is a self-made billionaire businessman. He founded Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile, and most recently, a space tourism company to provide suborbital trips into space for anyone who can afford them. Suffering from dyslexia, Branson was a poor student, so he quit school at age 16 and moved to London, where he began his first successful entrepreneurial activity, publishing Student magazine.

30. Colonel Harland Sanders overcame his lack of education to become the biggest drumstick in the fried chicken business. His father died when he was six years old, and since his mother worked, he was forced to cook for his family. After dropping out of elementary school, Sanders worked many jobs, including firefighter, steamboat driver, and insurance salesman. He later earned a law degree from a correspondence school. Sanders’ cooking and business experience helped him make millions as the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (now KFC).

31. Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Sir Elton John has sold more than 250 million records and has more than 50 Top 40 hits, making him one of the most successful musicians of all time. At age 11, Elton entered London’s Royal Academy of Music on a piano scholarship. Bored with classical compositions, Elton preferred rock ‘n’ roll and after five years he quit school to become a weekend pianist at a local pub. At 17, he formed a band called Bluesology, and, by the mid-1960s, they were touring with soul and R&B musicians such as the Isley Brothers and Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. The album Elton John was released in the spring of 1970 and, after the first single “Your Song” made the U.S. Top Ten, Elton was on his way to superstardom.

32. Ray Kroc didn’t found McDonald’s, but he turned it into the world’s largest fast-food chain after purchasing the original location from Dick and Mac McDonald. Kroc amassed a $500 million fortune during his lifetime, and in 2000 was included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential builders and titans of industry in the 20th century. During World War I, Kroc dropped out of high school at age 15 and lied about his age to become a Red Cross ambulance driver, but the war ended before he was sent overseas.

33. The name Houdini is synonymous with magic. Before becoming a world-renowned magician and escape artist named Harry Houdini, Ehrich Weiss dropped out of school at age 12, working several jobs, including locksmith’s apprentice. At 17, he teamed up with fellow magic enthusiast Jack Hayman to form the Houdini Brothers, named after Jean Eugène Robert Houdin, the most famous magician of the era. By age 24, Houdini had come up with the Challenge Act, offering to escape from any pair of handcuffs produced by the audience. The Challenge Act was the turning point for Houdini. With its success came the development of the spectacular escapes that would make him a legend.

34. Richard Starkey is better known as Ringo Starr, the drummer of the Beatles. Born in Liverpool in 1940, Ringo suffered two serious illnesses at age six. First, his appendix ruptured, leaving him in a coma for ten weeks. After six months in recovery, he fell out of the hospital bed, necessitating an additional six-month hospital stay. After spending a total of three years in a hospital, he was considerably behind in school. He dropped out after his last visit to the hospital at age 15, barely able to read or write. While working at an engineering firm, 17-year-old Starkey joined a band and taught himself to play the drums. His stepfather bought him his first real drum set, and Ringo sat in with a variety of bands, eventually joining Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He changed his name to Ringo Starr, joined the Beatles in 1962, and is now one of the best-known drummers in history.

There you have it folks. So follow what YOU want to do. Not what others demand of you. And I can honestly say that my former sister-in-law would have been 10 times happier, had she not become a nurse, as her sister — my ex-wife — had demanded. And followed her heartfelt desire to be an engineer.

So… For the 3rd time. I will say, “FOLLOW YOUR HEART.” And not the financially-driven motives of others. It’s your life. And your future.

Jacques Phillip

As an ExPat living in the Philippines. I have found it relatively fun and exciting to have been given the opportunity to live among such wonderful people.

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One thought on “34 Reasons Why A Degree May Not Be For You

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