Countless people have overcome their own challenges and made it to where they are today, just like some of the wealthiest people in the world. In fact, there are hundreds of successful people out there who did not even attend college but instead improved their life through a combination of willpower, perseverance, and a little bit of luck.
Most of them are even regarded as among the world’s richest people. They have succeeded in amassing a tremendous amount of wealth over the course of their career and have donated to others. They also have humble beginnings that will surely inspire someone today. Here are 5 of the richest people who didn’t attend college.
1) Bill Gates
The first person on the list is Bill Gates, the creator of the largest software company in the world and a name that is well-known to all. Gates’ love for technology and programming began when he was an 8th-grade student.
Gates had access to computers in early childhood, unlike kids in other institutions, because his school had purchased a Teletype Model 33, which allowed him to develop his skills and learn more about the computer’s software and hardware.
He made the decision to forego finishing his law degree and quit Harvard in his second year in order to build software along with his friend, Paul Allen. In order to create programs for microcomputers, the two began adapting the programming language BASIC, and they later co-founded Microsoft in 1976.
Evidently, after licensing the MS-DOS operating system to be used with IBM’s personal computers, their startup company, Microsoft, gained success among programmers. Since the corporation has kept expanding, its value has increased to nearly $2 trillion, making it one of the most influential businesses in the world.
2) Steve Jobs
Apple products are, without a doubt, among the most sought-after technological gadgets in today’s generation, and they were founded by none other than Steve Jobs. He was also instrumental in the development of Pixar Animation Studios.
Jobs dropped out of college, but he didn’t start his empire right away. Instead, he worked with several industries before he and Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple in 1976. As a matter of fact, he left the company in 1976 to found Pixar Animation Studios.
He ultimately came back to finish what he had started after a decade, which gradually paved the way for the creation of the first Apple Machine named “Apple I,” or as they called it, a logic board. But their efforts weren’t fruitful until the founding of Apple Computer, which was created in 1977—the same year the “Apple II” was completed.
The technology that Apple is currently releasing much exceeds those of its competitors. Because of how elegantly designed it is, how it differs from android phones, and how much it costs, which undoubtedly helped to add to the company’s $2.45 trillion valuation, their products even became a status symbol for many.
3) Mark Zuckerberg
Knowing that practically everyone on the planet uses Facebook, it is rare to hear someone claim they don’t have an account for the application that Mark Zuckerberg developed solely in his Harvard University dorm room in 2004.
His companions at the time were Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin; thus, he wasn’t working on the social networking site alone. In fact, it was only designed for use by Harvard students to communicate with one another.
The website had one million members when he left the elite institution to concentrate on their idea. As of 2022, despite facing multiple legal charges from all over the world, Zuckerberg’s Facebook has 2.93 billion monthly active users from all across the globe and a net worth of $68.2 billion.
4) Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison is one of those guys who was knocked down by the world and rejected by many, yet nevertheless rose above it all and proved himself, becoming one of the richest persons in the world today.
After his aunt Lilian passed away during his second year at the University of Illinois, Ellison dropped out of school and eventually devoted his time to producing computer programming for companies.
After frequently changing jobs to make ends meets, Ellison invested his own money of $2,000 to start Software Development Laboratories in 1977 with his former Ampex coworkers Bob Miner and Ed Oates, which the company is now known as “Oracle.”
Oracle is the first commercially effective relational database software. The idea came to him while reading about relational databases in a research article by IBM that suggested a new method of classifying vast amounts of data to make it accessible.
The company’s revenue reached $55 million in 1986, and began providing databases to all businesses in the 1990s. And as of 2022, Oracle has a net worth of $177.99 billion.
5) Michael Dell
Michael Dell began making money at the age of 12 after making $2,000 from his first business selling stamps. At the age of 16, he made $18,000 selling The Houston Post newspaper subscriptions, and by the time he was 19, he was updating personal computers from his college dorm room and earning up to $80,000 per month.
His early business experiences helped him achieve his current success as the founder of Dell, which was started in 1984 with barely $1,000 and a ground-breaking concept. He was also praised for becoming the Fortune 500 company’s youngest CEO.
Dell dropped out of the University of Texas pre-med program after his computer company, which was named “PCs Limited” at that time, was able to make $180,000. Later, he became the youngest CEO at the age of 27 when Fortune Magazine decided to list his company as one of the top 500 companies in 1992, a clear indication that his business was continuing to succeed.
His company, Dell Inc., which as of 2022 had a net value of $26.96 billion, is currently one of the top computer goods and services providers to customers worldwide. But after over 20 years as CEO, Dell decided to retire in 2004 and handed over the reins to Kevin B. Rollins, a former consultant at Bain & Company.