The Most Successful College Dropouts in the World!
1. Roman Abramovich, richest man in Russia, billionaire. Dropped out of college. He studied at the Moscow State Auto Transport Institute before taking a leave of absence from academics to go into business. He later earned a correspondence degree from the Moscow State Law Academy. He is a Russian business tycoon and the main owner of the private investment company Millhouse LLC. He is known outside Russia as the owner of Chelsea Football Club, an English Premier League football team, and for his wider involvement in European football. Abramovich is currently the 9th richest person in Russia and the 68th richest person in the world, according to the 2012 Forbes list, with an estimated fortune of US$12.1 billion.
2. Simon Cowell, is best known for his role as the acerbic judge on American Idol, for which his salary is estimated at over $30 million. He owns a record label, has successfully promoted various bands and artists. Cowell was such a poor student that the school held him back a year, which landed him in his younger brother’s grade. His family was well-connected -- his family’s neighbor was the head of MGM studios in London, and Stanley Kubrick, who would one day buy the Cowell family home, offered him some work on The Shining -- but when Cowell went down to the EMI studio in Hertfordshire and saw so many people standing in line for work on the film, he decided it wasn’t for him. He wanted to make his own money, so he applied for a job in the mail room at EMI and worked his way up to record producer.
3. William H. (Bill) Gates III, is the co-founder, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corporation, the worldwide leader in personal and business computer software. The company currently employs more than 64,000 people across 85 countries. He is the richest person in the world according to Forbes’ 2006 list and is widely considered to be the world's most giving humanitarian, as he has donated more than half his fortune to charities. Dropped out of: Harvard University in 1975 at age 20. He dropped out in large part due to the urging of his childhood friend Paul Allen. Gates and Allen convinced MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) the makers of the first microcomputer, Altair that they had written a version of the programming language BASIC that would work well on the Altair.
4. Steve Jobs, The Mac, the iPod, heck, even Buzz Lightyear probably wouldn't have existed had Steve Jobs stayed in school. The future wizard of One Infinite Loop dropped out of Reed College after just six months because of the undue financial strain it placed on his working-class parents' savings. He would go on to eventually found Apple, NeXT Computer and Pixar, becoming an instrumental force in shaping the landscape of modern culture. However, his brief tenure in academia was not for naught. In a 2005 commencement speech he gave at Stanford University, Jobs credited a calligraphy class he took at Reed College with forming the basis for the typography used in the first Macintosh computer.
5. James Cameron, The Academy Award-winning director followed a circuitous route to Hollywood. Born and raised in Canada, he and his family moved to Brea, California in 1971. It was there that the young Cameron enrolled in Fullerton College to study physics. His academic life did not last long. He would drop out, marry a waitress and eventually become a truck driver for the local school district. It was not until he saw Star Wars in 1977 that Cameron would trade his blue collar career for one creating some of the late 20th-century's most stunning (and expensive) science-fiction movies.
6. Mark Zuckerberg, Most college students use their dorm rooms to sleep, study, or do things their parents probably don't want to know about. Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in his. Originally meant only for Harvard students, the popular social networking site quickly spread to the rest of the Ivies and other colleges across the nation. As Facebook's popularity exploded, Zuckerberg packed up his bags and relocated the fledgling company to Palo Alto, California, forever leaving behind Harvard's hallowed halls. So far, the decision has worked out pretty well for the twenty-something. According to Forbes, Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in the world, with a 2010 net worth of $4 billion.
7. Tiger Woods, In a world where prodigious sports talents tend to forgo higher education altogether for the pros, Tiger Woods chose to continue playing amateur golf at Stanford University as an economics major. Perhaps it was in Econ 101 that he learned the term "opportunity cost," because his time at Stanford was not long. After two years there, Woods turned pro with his "Hello world" announcement, officially ending his collegiate career. He would go on to become one of the highest paid athletes in the world, earning more than $100 million annually at the height of his career. How's that for economics?