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Steve Jobs In Praise of Dropping Out

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the also-please-start-cool-companies dept.

Education 1014

atlacatl writes "Wired reports on Steve Jobs giving a graduation speech: 'Jobs, 50, said he attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon but dropped out after only eight months because it was too expensive for his working-class family. He said his real education started when he "dropped in" on whatever classes interested him -- including calligraphy.' The irony: that most students were graduating. I wouldn't invite him for a high school graduation. Imagine all the 'hard' work teachers, parents and guidance counselors put into brainwashing every kid that he/she must go to University." (Jobs was speaking to the graduates at Stanford University.)

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Frist post! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809023)

Frist post! O_o

Avoid ask.slashdot for a few days... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809026)


Ug... Job's touting dropping out will undoubtedly start a flurry of "ask.slashdot" questions similar to:
Posted by Michael in an alternate universe
from the Still-in-the-parents-basement dept.

hey d00dz, i wanna drop out like Steve Jobs did! i also wanna leet sysadmin job. i aint got no skoolin' or relevant experience. the job has to let me wear my floorscent green hair down to my ass and let me show my 130 tattoos. and don't forget the piercings in my eyebrows, nose, lips, tongue, septum and 2" holes in the ears. and it has to pay $100K a year or i aint geting outta bed and i'm 2 leet to start at the bottom and work my way up because I AM UNIQE!
The world owes me a living! so what do u /.ers do?
Thanks, Steve.

Nail, meet hammer. (1)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809115)

Ah, thank you. I couldn't have expressed that half as elegantly. Bravo, sir.

--grendel drago

Re:Nail, meet hammer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809159)


You're welcome! ;) Don't know why I posted that AC...

Sure, a few people drop out because they are smart (5, Insightful)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809028)

...but a lot more drop out because they are stupid.

Re:Sure, a few people drop out because they are sm (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809057)

yo

Re:Sure, a few people drop out because they are sm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809086)

Take me for example. I dropped out because I am stupid.

Re:Sure, a few people drop out because they are sm (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809127)

Larry Ellison (Oracle CEO) gave at Yale University to the Graduating class of 2000. What follows is a transcript of the speech delivered by Ellison at Yale University last month:

"Graduates of Yale University, I apologize if you have endured this type of prologue before, but I want you to do something for me. Please, take a good look around you. Look at the classmate on your left. Look at the classmate on your right. Now, consider this: five years from now, 10 years from now, even 30 thirty years from now, odds are the person on your left is going to be a loser. The person on your right, meanwhile, will also be a loser. And you, in the middle? What can you expect? Loser. Loserhood. Loser Cum Laude.

In fact, as I look out before me today, I don't see a thousand hopes for a bright tomorrow. I don't see a thousand future leaders in a thousand industries. I see a thousand losers. You're upset. That's understandable.

After all, how can I, Lawrence "Larry" Ellison, college dropout, have the audacity to spout such heresy to the graduating class of one of the nation's most prestigious institutions? I'll tell you why. Because I, Lawrence "Larry" Ellison, second richest man on the planet, am a college dropout, and you are not. Because Bill Gates, richest man on the planet-for now anyway-is a college dropout, and you are not. Because Paul Allen, the third richest man on the planet, dropped out of college, and you did not. And for good measure, because Michael Dell, No. 9 on the list and moving up fast, is a college dropout, and you, yet again, are not.

Hmm ... you're very upset. That's understandable. So let me stroke your egos for a moment by pointing out, quite sincerely, that your diplomas were not attained in vain. Most of you, I imagine, have spent four to five years here, and in many ways what you've learned and endured will serve you well in the years ahead. You've established good work habits. You've established a network of people that will help you down the road. And you've established what will be lifelong relationships with the word "therapy." All that of is good. For in truth, you will need that network. You will need those strong work habits.

You will need that therapy. You will need them because you didn't drop out, and so you will never be among the richest people in the world. Oh sure, you may, perhaps, work your way up to #10 or #11, like Steve Ballmer. But then,I don't have to tell you who he really works for, do I?

And for the record, he dropped out of grad school. Bit of a late bloomer.

Finally, I realize that many of you, and hopefully by now most of you,are wondering, "Is there anything I can do? Is there any hope for me at all?" Actually, no. It's too late. You've absorbed too much, think you know too much. You're not 19 anymore. You have a built-in cap, and I'm not referring to the mortarboards on your heads.

Hmm ... you're really very upset. That's understandable.

So perhaps this would be a good time to bring up the silver lining. Not for you, Class of '00. You are a write-off, so I'll let you slink off to your pathetic $200,000-a-year jobs, where your checks will be signed by former classmates who dropped out two years ago.

Instead, I want to give hope to any underclassmen here today. I say to you, and I can't stress this enough:

LEAVE. Pack your things and your ideas and don't come back. Drop out. Start up. For I can tell you that a cap and gown will keep you down just as surely as these security guards dragging me off this stage are keeping me dow..."

(At this point The Oracle CEO was ushered off stage.)

Re:Sure, a few people drop out because they are sm (5, Informative)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809186)


Nice, but it's an urban legend [snopes.com] .

Re:Sure, a few people drop out because they are sm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809194)

Re:Sure, a few people drop out because they are sm (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809132)

Of course, your post completely ignores the real issue: That they shouldn't have gone to college in the first place.

The US has gotten so fixated on sending kids to college that we've lost sight of the reasons why we wanted them there in the first place. As a result, the quality of education has been declining, while the amount of debt our kids pile up before ever starting a job has been rising. And how many of those kids use their college degrees to do amazing things like sell real estate or become plumbers. i.e. What did that degree buy them other than a wad of debt?

That's not to say that education is a bad thing. But people always get the best bang out of an education when they know they want it. Sending them to school before they know what they want to know only devalues it for everyone. Teach your kids to wait until they're ready. Then they can be sure that they really want to take on a college education.

Re:Sure, a few people drop out because they are sm (1)

jbplou (732414) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809222)

What did that degree buy them other than a wad of debt?

For me it bought me a far greater salary then any of my friends who did not graduate college.

Re:Sure, a few people drop out because they are sm (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809236)

"...use their college degrees to do amazing things like sell real estate..."

Which really just goes to prove that having a college education is no match for the earning power of price fixing.

Re:Sure, a few people drop out because they are sm (0, Flamebait)

rzbx (236929) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809227)

Stupid is relative. When you consider all attributes of reality...

Anyway, school is a system of education, it is thought to be an effective one, at least in particular areas of what you call learning. There are many many many so called smart people that either never went to college, went late, or took a few decades. You are obviously stupid when it comes to reality about the role of the university institution. But that is ok, no one is perfect and neither are educational institutions.

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

espek (797676) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809029)

First Post Bitches!

FP 4 vanilla ice (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809030)

ice ice ice ice baby.

BTW the article summary is incomphrehensible.

in the heezy

Guess what (1)

camzmac (889291) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809038)

On the most part education does guarantee a well paying job and success in life. People like Jobs are freaks (haha)

Re:Guess what (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809091)

Education != College.

College can provide a wonderful education, if the student is ready for it. I started college when I was 16, but I was too immature even though the "test scores" said otherwise. I needed to grow up, get life experiences. I did these things (though I didn't realize it at the time), and graduated when I was 24.

Had I gotten through school by the time I was 19, which was the pace I was heading, I would have had a college degree and a job I would have hated. Probably would have been found hanging by a rope by now. Instead, I love what I do, and life only gets better by the day.

Summary: College is education for those ready to receive it. Same goes for life in general.

Re:Guess what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809248)

I'm not in college yet. I'm 22. If I were to have been given the financial opportunity to go to college when I was 19/20, I would have missed 4 years of stuff I've learned. Although it's not truly life experience, it has shaped my perception on the world.

Re:Guess what (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809244)

On the most part education does guarantee a well paying job and success in life.

Indeed, because for a buck fifty in library late charges "freaks" like Jobs get to hire people with degrees and student loans to make his living for him.

Enjoy the "success," now get me that TPS report and beg me for dental. Good boy. Have a biscuit.

KFG

Bah (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809041)

I think Jobs' success is in spite of the fact that he dropped out of college, not because of it.

He also dropped acid in his younger days. That a good thing too??

Re:Bah (4, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809061)

He also dropped acid in his younger days. That a good thing too??

Worked For Me. :)

Re:Bah (1)

griasr (822487) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809066)

bill gates is also said to have taken LSD all geniuses i know are on dope.

Not Feynman. (4, Interesting)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809099)

Richard Feynman is mildly famous for having said that "I love to think and I don't want to screw
up the machine," electing to go with sensory deprivation instead of drugs to get a hallucinogenic experience going.

--grendel drago

Re:Not Feynman. (2)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809137)

Yeah, thanks for the atomic bomb Feynman... I think the world would have benefited with you on dope.

Re:Not Feynman. (1)

espek (797676) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809157)

Yeah right! Feynman was notorious for taking drugs out on the desert while he was working on the Manhattan Project.

Re:Not Feynman. (2, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809196)

" Richard Feynman is mildly famous for having said that "I love to think and I don't want to screw up the machine," electing to go with sensory deprivation instead of drugs to get a hallucinogenic experience going."

Are you certain that sensory deprevation is safer than LSD? Furthermore, evidence that LSD is damaging to the mind is suspect (There is aboslutely no evidence that it damages the brain). Stories about people who've 'freaked out' on acid or other drugs were most likely already insane or mentally unstable. Remember, *a lot* of people did *a lot* of drugs in the sixties, and you don't see every middle-aged baby boomer in the asylum, do you?

Unfortunately, because of the war on drugs, it's difficult to get good data on what LSD does. We really don't understand currently how it works on the mind.

Re:Not Feynman. (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809206)

Richard Feynman is mildly famous for having said that "I love to think and I don't want to screw up the machine," electing to go with sensory deprivation instead of drugs to get a hallucinogenic experience going.

Of course, that presumes that sensory deprivation is less hazardous to the machine than psychedelics.

Re:Bah (3, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809076)

He also dropped acid in his younger days. That a good thing too?? - sure it is a good thing. He is different from you and I am different from him and you are different from me. Is that a bad thing? He needed to know what he needed to know. Maybe if he was a 'normal' person he would have never tried acid in the first place, but would he create Apple? I think not.

Re:Bah (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809126)

>Maybe if he was a 'normal' person he would have never tried acid in the first place, but would he create Apple?

Steve Wozniak created Apple too. Did he drop acid?

Re:Bah (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809166)

Steve Wozniak had a hobby and created a personal computer. He did not create Apple - the company, the image. He is again, a different person capable of something different.

Re:Bah (1)

xilmaril (573709) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809168)

not that I know of. But he definetly wasn't a normal person. A great person, and definetly not the slightest bit normal.

Re:Bah (1)

Vobbo (891923) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809093)

I agree - some people will be successful no matter what stupid things they do. Some people do need University to prepare for the 'real world' - others are so smart that they can do well without it.
It misses a more significant benefit of University, anyway - networking with peers. Sure, you can learn almost anything in a book, but can you meet a business student soon to command a VC funding agency? Sure can't.

Insightful? (1)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809103)

Us wipper-snappers would be *lucky* to be doing the quality acid that was available in his day.

Re:Bah (4, Funny)

eh2o (471262) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809128)

Actually LSD is a great stimulant(*). Good for unhindered creativity and cultivating an appreciation for the big picture. In other words, "Thinking different".

In fact, I'm suprised Mac OSX doesn't ship with a sheet of the stuff.

(* do not try this at home)

Re:Bah (3, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809131)

see, he stopped dropping acid and ported NeXTStep to beige box 486, and now the Mac's going to Intel. Someone get that man some Mickey Mouse Blotter!

Re:Bah (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809176)

I think Jobs' success is in spite of the fact that he dropped out of college, not because of it.

It may very well be that he would not have started a company had he finished college, especially through grad school. More likely, he would eventually have started thinking in terms of who he would work for and how he would fit into someone else's organization. College educates in many useful ways, but to a large extent it also socializes us to expect and accept hierarchy.

Re:Bah (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809204)

G.W. Bush did cocaine, barely got through school, was an alcoholic until the age of 40, ran multiple businesses into the ground, etc. etc.

Conclusion: If you want to be the President, start drinking, doing drugs, and getting really bad grades.

Re:Bah (1)

kubrick (27291) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809219)

You have to be born into the right family. Otherwise you'll never be King... er, President.

Re:Bah (4, Funny)

vwjeff (709903) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809209)

He also dropped acid in his younger days. That a good thing too??

Well, that explains the original iMac.

Looks like sound advice.... (4, Insightful)

zanderredux (564003) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809042)

...like "do not think that you, freshly-graduated students, are better than everyone else. It takes more than a degree to really stand out."

Sounds like good advice to me!

Bill Gates is also a dropout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809045)

Which leads me to believe I should've dropped out at age 7 for the most success.

No but seriously kids. (1)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809049)

No but seriously kids...

It was all about the acid trips. /steve tokes

Facts (1)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809053)

Jobs founded Apple when he was 21, not 30.

Re:Facts (1)

rekenner (849871) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809110)

Actually, it was a grammar issue, not a fact issue.

Re:Facts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809124)

Re-read TFA. It says Jobs was forced out at 30.

Re:Facts (1)

RasputinAXP (12807) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809154)

Reparse the sentence. He was forced out when he was thirty.

It's crappily edited though.

Reminds me of a satire article about Ellison (1, Funny)

z4ce (67861) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809055)

This really reminds me of this article [satirewire.com]

Re:Reminds me of a satire article about Ellison (2, Insightful)

nandu_prahlad (706343) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809200)

Sorry Dude,

That larry ellison speech has been proven to be a fake [snopes.com]

Just because Jobs dropped out... (4, Insightful)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809058)

...and it worked for him AND Gates dropped out of Harvard and it worked for him, doesn't mean that it OK for everyone to drop out.

In general University/College is a GOOD thing. However, some people's paths take them elsewhere.

--Mike

Re:Just because Jobs dropped out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809089)

And it worked for Michael Dell, and for Steve Wozniak, and ...

Hmm. I'm beginning to see a pattern here.

Re:Just because Jobs dropped out... (2, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809106)

It would be interesting to see the percentages-- though of course it would be difficult to come up with the numbers -- of succesful drop-outs vs. succesful graduates. Having a couple high profile drop-outs gives that option a lot of exposure but tends to ignore the huge number of drop-outs who are actually beginning/continuing a pattern of failure.

And of course, no one path is for everyone. Not everyone should spend the time getting a degree. But I would wager that many more would benefit from a degree than actually earn one.

Re:Just because Jobs dropped out... (2, Interesting)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809146)

How do you measure success? Take a look at the NBA...quite a few successful drop out there, wouldn't you say?

--Mike

Re:Just because Jobs dropped out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809179)

I would just look at the delta between earnings from college graduate and non-college graduates. Since the latter group makes far less over their lifetimes, its safe to say that despite a few sucesses a college degree is generally a good investment.

Re:Just because Jobs dropped out... (1)

ameoba (173803) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809130)

It's not such a bad thing if mommy & daddy are willing to throw enough money at your business ideas for you to figure out how to make money. For the rest of us, it doesn't work so well.

Re:Just because Jobs dropped out... (1)

Svet-Am (413146) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809144)

As a computer engineer, I am very glad that I chose to attend university. After all, in this discipline, it's rare to be able to advance very far in the modern day without a solid academic background.
Of course, Jobs, Woz, and Gates got away with it, but things weren't as robust then as they are now, but I digress...

My younger brother, however, really doesn't belong in college. He attended several semesters (as a EE) and decided he didn't like it.

He later decided that he'd rather go to a trade school for auto maintenance and custom fitting (much like the folks on American Chopper) and get into that field.

I say more power to him! University is not for everyone.

Hell, I see too many parents saying 'go to college and find yourself' and the sad thing is that many graduates have no more clear idea who they are post college than they did before college. If I were that parent, I would've rather they stay home on there ass, then waste my $30+K on college while sitting on their ass.

It's all about passion (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809178)

Micheal Dell and Rush Limbaugh are not college graduates either. Yet, both of them are very successful. This sort of trend among tells me a few things....

1. Education does not teach passion.
2. Those who have passion lead, not follow.

what's wrong with this? (2, Insightful)

aendeuryu (844048) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809062)

Universities are filled with people who are there just because someone felt they had to go to university. If a speech like this makes them question what it is that's really important about a university education, then that's probably more thought-provoking than half the shit they actually DID have to study at university.

Granted, it'd be better as an address to freshmen than the graduating class, but there's still nothing wrong with it.

To anybody who thinks it's stupid for Jobs to play down the importance of a university education, I ask this: what is being done to demonstrate the importance of a university education? Other than talking about the importance of a piece of paper, that is.

Not for everyone (2, Interesting)

chickanmonkey (642333) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809063)

I dropped out of college and life still sucks.

Students might want to consider there own abilities and motivation for success before eagerly taking such advice.

Life, don't talk to me about life.

Re:Not for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809198)

consider there own abilities

yup. looks like you needed to stay in and take some spelling classes.

uh huh (0, Troll)

hapoo (607664) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809068)

While I agree that people learn most of the important stuff by doing rather than reading from a book, I can't help but think that This is just Jobs' own inflated ego and insecurity popping out.

Smart Kids (2, Insightful)

teoryn (801633) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809072)

I don't think people at stanford need 'brainwashed' into thinking that they should get an education.

Good For Him (4, Insightful)

Mean_Nishka (543399) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809073)

You know what? Good for him.

I don't think the point of his speech was that dropping out is cool. It was that hard work and determination are what you need to be successful.

Say what you want about Jobs, he's a gifted businessman who knows how to sell. He had the right product in the 70's at the absolute best time.

Your mileage, of course, will vary :).

Re:Good For Him (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809258)

"He had the right product in the 70's at the absolute best time."

Which just goes to prove what I always believe - being in the right place at the right time will do more for your career than everything else combined.

If you can't be luckly, the next best thing is to get some wealthy and/or powerful parents. Sadly, neither of those are on college curricula these days.

school sucks (1, Insightful)

benca1 (731605) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809075)

School teaches to the lowest common denominator, and rewards conventional and predictable thinking. School is hell for brilliant people, that's why most they can't hack it. But man, if you want to work for others, there's no better place to go then school.

Re:school sucks (1)

Tanmi-Daiow (802793) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809123)

I don't like (high) school b/c of the above reason. But me being the geek i am, was able to get a period in the day to help the school IT guy work on computers. And i get credit for it. So in a way, i hacked my own fun out of all my other easy/boring classes.

Speak for yourself. (3, Insightful)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809175)

High school was like that for me. Going to college---even state school---was like night and day. Suddenly, the kids who sullenly made it a pain in the ass to be there vanished. I got to learn from people who were really and truly competent; I had the time to take courses that just seemed cool at the time, that probably wouldn't be useful in any future job, but I took them because I wanted to learn about something.

Yes, there were a few fools and charlatans teaching, but I dealt with it; I got to work with some of the cleverest, brightest folks I know.

For me---who'd never known there were other geeks out there---it was a transformative experience.

Clearly, your mileage may vary. But what you get out of school is, at the very least, proportional to what you put into it. Blaming The Man for not hacking it in school is pretty damn weak.

--grendel drago

Re:school sucks (4, Insightful)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809180)

Bullshit. Go to a research university, find a professor you like, and start doing interesting stuff. I'm just at a public university, but the classes are pretty good, and the work I do on the side helps me learn huge amounts of stuff about my field.

You'll get out as much as you put in. If all you ever do is take engineering classes and do the required minimum work, you'll have wasted a great opportunity.

iPod Costume (1)

pmc255 (828453) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809077)

The article forgot to mention that Jobs was dressed as an iPod.

P.S. Stanfurd sucks! :P

Brainwashing? (1)

igny (716218) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809082)

Imagine all the 'hard' work teachers, parents and guidance counselors put into brainwashing every kid that he/she must go to University.

Every kid must go to the University, period. Seriously.

Congratulations!!! (2, Interesting)

Schoony (675241) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809084)

The good news is that you got a world class education at one of the world's most prestigious universities! The bad news is that you have to average $170,000 of total home income over the next 30 years before you can afford a house in the Bay Area! Now, get to work...

Re:Congratulations!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809108)

"The bad news is that you have to average $170,000 of total home income over the next 30 years before you can afford a house in the Bay Area!"

After earthquake, everything cheap.

lmao (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809092)

rotflmao

Flamebait Submission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809098)

Seriously, this is too much. 'hard' work teachers? brainwashing? Do the editors see any responsibility to edit this crap out?

This place has fallen so low, submitters and editors are trolling their own readers. Really, really sad.

Mortality (1)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809100)

I don't think Jobs is speaking for or against getting a university degree, but that he's saying to live life how you want to, and not to live by others' values.

I went to a friend's funeral on the weekend. He was 26, and died of Leukaemia. Old saying - live like you'll die tomorrow, but plan as though you'll live forever.

Return on Investment (1)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809102)

Since jobs requring college degrees are going where college degrees are cheap, college really isn't a good return on investment for residents of countries where college degrees are expensive -- as they most certainly are here.

Basically, for the debt you incur you can buy a house in a red State [vdare.com] .

Oh I agree... (1)

N1ghtFalcon (884555) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809121)

Sweet... everyone should drop out NOW! That way, out of everyone who dropped out, there will be one Steve Jobs, one Bill Gates, and the rest are unemployed. Whereas for me, I'll be one of very few people to graduate, get a degree and actually not count on luck to go through life. Way to go Steve... Way to go!

I wouldn't follow Steve Jobs advice. (4, Informative)

figleaf (672550) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809122)

He cheated his friend and partner Steve Wozniak out of money before the early days of Apple.
And when Wozniak set up his own company in 1986, Jobs threatened Wozniak's suppliers against doing business with Wozniak.

Just because Jobs did something in his past doesn't mean that is a good path to follow.

Brainwashing (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809133)

put into brainwashing every kid that he/she must go to University

I'm not going to say that University is for everyone, but, at 18, you really do need some direction in your life. Most kids don't have this on their own. University is the right place for them. University helps you to find out who you want to be (a good one), and prepares you for the world.

Plenty of people do well without it, but it's hardly a bad message for kids to say "Go to School."

A much worse message for kids is "you should do this with your life." Why attack University? There are programs out there telling people "go into math and science," which are much more harmful. Think of how many artists have been killed off because they've had it pounded into their heads since their youth that art is am impractical career.

You can drop out if you start your own business (1)

Duck0987 (130663) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809134)

Both cases mentioned Jobs and Gates started their own businesses, if you are looking to be employed by someone, don't drop out.

he doesn't seem to advocate dropping out... (3, Interesting)

admactanium (670209) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809135)

in and of itself. but the point he makes is valid. in my field, a degree isn't really that useful and prospective employers rarely care if you've completed college at all. i know many successful people who have no college degree (myself included).

college degrees, especially these days, are a guarantee of nothing other than having a piece of paper. for many people and many fields the real learning is accomplished by doing rather than absorbing theory.

i dropped out, and luckily i have done very well for myself. but if asked by younger people who are still in the system, i certainly wouldn't RECOMMEND people leave school unless they already had a very clear plan of their future.

the educational system is geared towards very specific professions at the exclusion of many viable, valuable professions that don't require their teaching. i don't believe it's done out of any malice but rather just a lack of information.

Education can be an impedement (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809143)

I remember hearing this story on the radio many years ago and have forgotten who told it but he was very very successful in business.

The guy had lost a job plucking chickens because he did not have grade 10. He never did get an education but he did start a multi million dollar business. At a party someone said to him: "Look what you've done without an education. Imagine what you could have done with one." His reply was something like: "I'd still be back plucking chickens."

Education trains you to be a good employee. If you want to be the boss, work on starting a business. You may fail a few times but many of my friends have found one thing that really worked. We have a local self-made factory owner who regrets having sent his children to university. He strongly believes that they should have learned a trade like him (he started out as a machinist).

I'll agree with what Steve says (4, Insightful)

log0n (18224) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809148)

I never finished college and it has yet to hurt me professionally, financially or emotionally (partly I didn't have the money, mostly I didn't really find it useful for my goals to bother coming up w/ the money - and I went to a good 4 year east coast school with an extremely good comp sci program).

If you're talented, smart, and *most importantly* not lazy, not having a degree doesn't matter in the big scheme of things. With those assets you're more than capable of working around and moving beyond the confines of the traditional 'system' most people end up dealing in (IMO, because they aren't talented enough, smart enough or lack the work ethic to do anything to change things).

Degrees are nice and they do make joining the higher class system (white collar?) easier, but IMO, a lot of people also use degrees as a crutch for rationalizing avoiding the need to do anything meaningful.

If you're talented, smart and actually enjoy hardwork, the world is your oyster. Persuing a degree may even be a distraction from you obtaining your purpose and potential.

$.02

Re:I'll agree with what Steve says (4, Insightful)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809270)

If you're talented, smart and actually enjoy hardwork, the world is your oyster. Persuing a degree may even be a distraction from you obtaining your purpose and potential.

Try doing real, novel science without a Ph.D. Sure, you can go into IT or even software engineering without a degree, but there's tons of interesting stuff that you simply won't be able to comprehend without years of school.

I mean, have you seen the cool toys physicists get to play with these days?! ;-)

best summary of education (1)

courseB (837633) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809158)

as posted a while back here, 'underground history of american education' [slashdot.org] is a great read. it hits some points dealing with education and its role... on jobs...

Hypocrite (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809182)

Why do Apple's job listings require four year college degrees then?

Steve Jobs is full of hot air.

so what? It's graduation! (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809184)

Imagine all the 'hard' work teachers, parents and guidance counselors put into brainwashing every kid that he/she must go to University."

So what are they going to do? Refuse to accept their diplomas? It's graduation. Pretty much the only people there are graduates, parents, and teachers.

What a dick! (2, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809210)

Telling people to do that is like telling little kids to drop out of school to become NBA stars... for 99.99% of people, college is a good thing. He got lucky, and suggests more kids do it? Is he gonna bail all their asses out when 99% of them are working in a fucking fast food restaurant for the rest of their miserable lives? What a shortsighted, obnoxious, dick.

Ability (1)

dark grep (766587) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809211)

People with real ability seem to make it no matter what. But how common are they? How many Steve Jobs's are their? Bill Gates or John Chambers probably would have done just fine if they left school at any age.

As a parent, even though I think my kids are wonderful, I have to acknowledge they are not that far above average - and a University degree they will get, because a resume without it will be filtered out on the first round by any reasonable employer.

This is Hard Sell (1)

SluttyButt (264722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809217)

Considering the irony of Job's speech. Not everyone can drop out and hit it big. A few will hit it, while the rest of us straight-laced students will toil for the lucky few. Trade-offs? We have fixed income albeit not rich. They can't make it big without us toiling for them. Chances are you won't risked you fixed income - mostly.

Universities are in trouble (2, Insightful)

Inverted Pilot (879306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809218)

Bravo to Jobs for speaking the truth. Universities, American ones anyway, are largely a waste of time. They're commercial enterprises above all, and for that reason they inflate grades to keep students in place and corrupt research in order to attract grants.

I took a four-year degree from a reputable American school and thought it largely a waste of time. I had some worthwhile experiences, but the good parts could have fit into two or three semesters. It was basically a rip-off, and everything I do professionally today is the result of self-education and experience.

When my daughter grows up, I will propose to her that she read and travel (rigorously) instead of taking a formal degree.

Plan ahead (1)

Kaorimoch (858523) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809220)

It wasn't that they dropped out because they were stupid. It was because they had plans of other things to do when they did, such as start a business empire. If you drop out for silly reasons, thats bad.

I dropped out of further education because I had an opportunity to run a business and I found the experience much more rewarding. I'd say those two had similar ideas.... except their businesses are much much larger.

Stanford report and pics (1)

nigham (792777) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809228)

Here [stanford.edu] .

Satire. (1)

Xenex (97062) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809238)

Not nearly as good as Larry Ellison's Commencement Address at Yale University [everything2.com] :
"Graduates of Yale University, I apologize if you have endured this type of prologue before, but I want you to do something for me. Please, take a good look around you. Look at the classmate on your left. Look at the classmate on your right. Now, consider this: five years from now, 10 years from now, even 30 years from now, odds are the person on your left is going to be a loser. The person on your right, meanwhile, will also be a loser. And you, in the middle? What can you expect? Loser. Loserhood. Loser Cum Laude.

"In fact, as I look out before me today, I don't see a thousand hopes for a bright tomorrow. I don't see a thousand future leaders in a thousand industries. I see a thousand losers."
And it continues much the same way...

OP Misinterprets the Speech (4, Informative)

TPIRman (142895) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809240)

To recap, more accurately: Steve said that he dropped out of college because it was too expensive, and it was the best thing that happened to him. He said that his "real education" didn't start until he took up classes again with a greater appreciation for their value in his life. He took calligraphy classes when peers were telling him that calligraphy had no relevance to career, but he gained a greater appreciation for elegance in ordinary things (sound familiar?). Etc.

This is not an anti-education message. In fact, it is a message strongly in favor of a liberal-arts education. In Steve's original college career, he was going through the motions -- going to college because that was the thing to do. When he started learning again, he was doing it out of a personal desire to learn, and with more genuine motivations. And he was taking classes to improve himself and his outlook, not just to get nuts-and-bolts information that would advance his career. Steve's saying that you have to invest yourself in learning and appreciate its value where you might not expect it.

Those of you who are oversimplifying this into a "street smarts" vs. "book smarts" thing have watched too much of The Apprentice. This was a speech about the personal value of learning and the importance of an open mind and broad perspective.

Graduation is recommended for most (but not all) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809251)

I dropped out of College as well and I'm in my mid-thirties right now.

Without any degree, I managed to earn six figure base salaries (last one being around $160k/year not including bonuses, stock options, 4-week vacation).

Yes, it did close some doors for me. I assume that some recruiters never bothered contacting me or never saw my resume because of automatic filtering based on education requirements.

In my experience, it isn't graduation status but the actual college/university that seemed to matter most in terms of programmer/engineer productivity. I've worked with many dozens of coders in my career but for some reasons, graduates of MIT and Carnegie Mellon were the ones that were tolerable while all others should've stayed away from computers (I'm sure graduates of schools like Berkeley or Cal Tech would've done well too but I worked primarily around NYC/Philly/Boston).

The point is that graduation status shouldn't be the only criteria when hiring someone. There are always exceptions.

But as a dropout, I find it somewhat strange that I have my own biases. I favor graduates of MIT and CMU over non-graduates or graduates of other schools when all other things like professional experience are equal. And a dropout would generally have a tougher time convincing me they are worth the risk--but I never refuse to hire someone based solely on graduation status.

Don't let anyone tell you that dropouts can't bill at $400/hour or earn six figure salaries or manage several PHDs that have a decade more of work experience. You get paid what you truly believe you deserve and not a penny more (for long).

I work for myself now after leaving a horrendous company and will never ever work for any company which I don't own. I'm on track to make around $20 million this year and I plan on donating substantial sums (indirectly) to open source projects including FreeBSD, NetBSD, Ruby, Subversion, and Mozilla.

Don't let the bastards grind you down...

As Mark Twain once said... (2)

Timbotronic (717458) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809255)

"I never let schooling interfere with my education"

btw, anyone else here feel the urge to slap those students dressed as iPods?

I agree with Jobs, and I should know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809262)

I failed 9th grade, then dropped out and got my GED. It took 3 years but I taught myself enough to land my first job as a SysAdmin with a very decent salary for my experience and age.

I plan on going to some college classes eventually but I don't plan on going right away; my current interests are in IT, and since I know security, system administration, and programming I think I have a diverse enough background to keep myself afloat if my current career falls apart (there's really so many different careers to be had in IT you could never do it all).

Many people tell me college teaches you valuable social lessons. Like what, scrounging for change to buy another box of Ramen and cramming for 48 hours just to pass some stupid test you'll never need in real life?

High school is just a big waste though. Nobody should go through 4 years of that hell. All parents should let their kids get GEDs (and if your parents won't let you, DON'T FUCKING LET UP! KEEP AT IT UNTIL THEY'RE CONVINCED, OR FAIL A GRADE AND GIVE THEM ULTIMATUMS. PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A BEATING OR TWO THOUGH)

College more than classes (1)

MECC (8478) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809268)

I think its about the open learning atmosphere, as much as classes and tests. People who have at least gone to some college have more than a transcript.

Don't drop out. There's a line to get back in. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809272)

The hippies of the '60s assumed that if they "dropped out", they'd be able to get back in again some day. Most of them did get back in.

That's no longer true. Housing is far more expensive (San Francisco has 13,000 homeless people), well-paying jobs are no longer easy to get, welfare is almost nonexistent, and the organizations that supported hippiedom in the 1960s are long gone.

Drop out now, and your future is McDonalds.

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