Before They Were Famous – College Dropouts Who Made it BIG

Before-Famous          The lack of a college degree did not stop the following celebrities and popular personalities from making it big on their own.  Take a look at the most successful college dropouts of all time.  From Oscar winner George Clooney to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, these people defied all odds to turn their lives around, college degree not withstanding.

Larry Page

          With Google recently celebrating its 15th Birthday & the with release of The Internship a few weeks ago, it’s worth starting with one of its founders, Larry Page. Now a billionaire, Page dropped out of the Stanford Ph.D program in computer science to start Google in 1998. He & fellow founder Sergey Brin famously began work on the search engine in a friend’s garage. Now just a decade & a half later they’ve managed to take Google from a garage to the globe with the company receiving over $50million in revenue last year alone. Brin also dropped out, however, he returned to finish his Ph.D years later

George Clooney

          As one of Hollywood’s highest grossing A-List celebrities, Clooney has enough money to buy himself a college degree if he wants to.  The Oscar winning actor was enrolled in both the Northern Kentucky University and the University of Cincinnati, yet failed to earn a degree from both schools.  Apparently, he is in no rush to re-enroll and is presently still cashing in on his undeniable movie star charm.

Tom Hanks

          Trading in college textbooks for movie scripts is definitely one of the best decisions this two-time Oscar winning actor ever made. Hanks left Sacramento State to jumpstart his acting career as a theater intern in Cleveland, Ohio.  More than 3 decades later, this talented thespian now has 5 Oscar nominations and 2 Oscar trophies under his belt.  Not bad, not bad indeed.

Sandra Bullock

          Bullock should technically not be included in this list as she has successfully completed the credits she needed to graduate with a Degree in Drama.  It is worth noting though that the versatile actress dropped out of East Carolina University to pursue an acting career years back, this despite her being 3 credits shy of graduating.  As one of Hollywood’s top-earning actress, Bullock makes as much as $56 million acting, making her Hollywood’s Highest Paid Actress in 2011. 

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates

          Jobs and Gates may be two of this lifetime’s fiercest computing rivals but both share something in common, they’re both college dropouts.  Jobs dropped out of Reeds College while Gates was an unemployed Harvard dropout prior to starting Microsoft in the 70s. Now, Jobs has sadly passed away and Gates is having problems transitioning the Microsoft brand to today’s current mobile technology, but one thing is certain, they’ve done so much better than any average college dropout. 

Mark Zuckerberg

          We can’t have a college dropout list without Mark Zuckerberg in it.  After all, when the average person spends many hours per month logged into Facebook, we’d have to give credit where it’s due.  Zuckerberg, like Gates, is a Harvard dropout.  He double-majored in computer science and psychology before deciding to work full time on the single most popular social media site in the world.  Zuckerberg may not be able to update his profile with a college degree anytime soon but for the amount of money he’s making, we’re sure that something he does not mind not having at all.


Related Articles

How to Find the Happiness at Your Work

7 Truths About Living and Working at Abroad