Planning to drop out of college? Bill Gates suggests otherwise.

Socrates said ―“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” However, the rat race prevalent in modern education system ― especially in countries like ours ― has reduced the whole idea of education barely on a piece of paper. If you have a degree, you possess and own education and become eligible to carry out burdens of different kinds, depending upon what is typed on the degree certificate’s paper. It never matters that one is really worthy, even equivalent, to worth of the paper.
Because of such practices, education system has been suffused with various cheat, scams; which in turn has given rise to a separate class of thinkers who are education skeptics. Such thinkers question the utility of present education system and always cite people like Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and many more to corroborate their points. If they didn’t need a college degree, the skeptics suggest, maybe you don’t need one, either. They work as solace for millions who misses top ranks in any competitive examination.
However, twist in the tale is that Bill Gates— a model for education skeptics, recently in his blog post, opined that finishing a college degree is very much needed and must be taken seriously as it enhances the chance of employability. Gate writes― “Although I dropped out of college and got lucky pursuing a career in software, getting a degree is a much surer path to success.”
Such thoughts— contrary to some other dropout celebrities in recent years who have discouraged younger people from taking on unmanageable debt for a degree that may not prove worth its cost, from the Gates himself who is pretty popular in India, will surely push a step ahead in improving the dropouts’ statistics. Students will probably take their college education seriously and strictly not fantasize of becoming like him after performing badly in exams owing to their sheer ignorance. He further added that graduates are more likely to find a rewarding job, earn higher income, and even evidence shows, live healthier lives than if they didn’t have degrees. They also bring training and skills into the country’s workforce, helping the economy grow and stay competitive. That benefits everyone.
Bill Gates is not the first one from the breed who made big despite of being dropout who publicly expressed such opinion. Few years back even David Karp, founder of tumblr— a microblogging and social networking site, said in an interview that he doesn’t recommend kids today to drop out of high school. “There’s a lot that I feel like I missed out on.. just a whole lot of normal, social, childhood kind of stuff that I definitely missed out on.”
Definitely college is a way to go! Shed the mental crutches and stop idolizing few exceptions who did without a degree. More educated societies generally become richer, healthier and better functioning over time. Take the United States, which led the way in making High School universal in the early 20th century or South Korea, which has rapidly expanded its number of college graduates in recent decades.
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Siddharth Suman
Doctoral Candidate
Sustainable; and Renewable Energy
IIT Patna
He is a freelancer; writing especially on societal issues, science, and education in both Hindi & English for various online media houses. In addition, he loves to write poetry and short story for the expression of personal emotions and thoughts.
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