10 College Dropouts Who Ruled The Tech World

10 College Dropouts Who Ruled The Tech World

What does it take to be successful in life? Strong financial background, high qualifications, numerous degrees, favourable conditions or luck? Absolutely not! These things may act as catalysts in boosting the speed of the progress, but nothing can ever be achieved without passion and belief in oneself. These 10 visionary leaders have proven by example that one doesn’t need favourable circumstances to make it big in life. The legacy of the following leaders of the tech world still remains strong to this day and will continue till the end of days.

Steve Jobs


Steve Jobs is and always will be one of the best examples of successful leaders. Not only did he establish one of the most successful companies of all times (Apple Inc.), he was a visionary who made an impact on the world and showed future generations that aiming for the stars wasn’t as difficult as it seemed. Jobs left Reed College to start Apple in his garage back in 1974. Steve Jobs passed away in 2011, but his legacy lives on forever.

Company: Apple

College: Reed College

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Net worth: $6.5 to 7 billion (as of 2011)

Bill Gates


Bill Gates is one of the most popular names in the tech world today and without his hard work and efforts, you would not be running the Windows operating system on your computer. Even if you think about other Microsoft products, the company has been instrumental in revolutionizing the world of computing. Bill Gates started college at Harvard in 1973, but dropped out two years later to found Microsoft with his friend Paul Allen.

Bill Gates was at the helms of the company as CEO till 2000, after which he stepped down from the post and assumed his role as the Chairman of the company. Bill spends his time in charity work nowadays in addition to serving as the technology advisor to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Harvard University awarded him an honorary degree in recognition of his contribution and work in the field of computer technology.

Company: Microsoft

College: Harvard

Net worth: $81 billion

Paul Allen


Paul Allen is the co-founder of Microsoft who worked along with Bill gates to establish the foundations of the tech giant. He went to college at Washington State University but dropped out after two years to become a programmer for Honeywell. As of now, he is involved in sports where he owns a few teams. Had he spent his youth worrying about college degrees and opportunities, Microsoft would not have seen the light of day.

Company: Microsoft

College: Washington State University

Net worth: $16.3 billion

Mark Zuckerberg


You all love Facebook, don’t you? I am sure that you can’t even bear the thought of living in a Facebook-free world. The entire credit for this amazing social networking site goes to Mark Zuckerberg who not only founded Facebook, but also (recently) started internet.org which is aimed at providing free internet to those who need it. He has called his second project the “911 of internet services” where one can access the internet even if no data packs are active. Zuckerberg dropped out from Harvard to focus himself on the running Facebook. His dreams of making it big earned him the recognition of being the youngest billionaire in the world.

Company: Facebook

College: Harvard

Net worth: $34 billion

Larry Ellison


Larry Ellison is the co-founder of Oracle, the multi-billion dollar enterprise software company. Oracle was initially called Software Development Labs and was renamed later. It is interesting to know that Ellison was the only person to serve as the CEO of Oracle. His college life wasn’t very fruitful. He left UIUC in his sophomore year, following the death of his adoptive mother. He tried his luck with education once again when he enrolled in the University of Chicago in the next semester. But he dropped out after completing just one semester there. Well, education was not an obstacle for him as we all know the role Oracle played in shaping the tech world as we know it today.

Company: Oracle

College: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Chicago

Net worth: $51.1 billion

Jan Koum


We all know Jan Koum as the creator of WhatsApp, the most popular instant messaging application today. The app was a revolutionary innovation which has almost ruled out the usage of traditional text messages and has even provided businesses with a viable marketing tool with which they can target a large number of users with no trouble at all. Koum was a math and computer science major at San Jose State University. He dropped out of college to work at Yahoo where he provided his services till 2007. Although Facebook acquired WhatsApp, Koum still managed to get a whopping $6.8 billion from the deal. Smart move!

Company: WhatsApp

College: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Chicago

Net worth: $7.6 billion

Azim Premji


Azim Premji is the current chairman of Wipro, an Indian multinational IT Consulting and System Integration Services Company headquartered in Bangalore, India. He had dropped out of college (Stanford University) at the age of 21 to run Wipro following the death of his father. However, he did return to the university at the age of 50 to complete his degree. The drive came from constantly being called a “college dropout”. This proves that there are no age limits for earning a college degree. It also reaffirms that one doesn’t need a world of opportunities to be successful in life.

Company: Wipro

College: Stanford University

Net worth: $16.7 billion

Dustin Moskovitz


Dustin Moskovitz is the co-founder of Facebook and was also the first employee of the company. His contribution to the development of the social networking site has been instrumental in establishing the foundations of the website. In 2008, he left Facebook to co-found Asana with Justin Rosenstein. He left Harvard in June 2004 to work at Facebook, even if it was in the very initial phases.

Company: Facebook, Asana

College: Harvard

Net worth: $8.1 billion

Jack Dorsey


Jack Dorsey is the co-founder of Twitter, and as the founder and CEO of Square, a mobile payments company. He is currently the Chairman of Twitter and owns 5% of the outstanding shares of the company. Jack dropped out of NYU to work on his dream start-up, Twitter.
Company: Twitter, Square

College: NYU

Net worth: $2.6 billion

Michael Dell


Michael Saul Dell is the founder and CEO of Dell Inc., one of the world’s leading sellers of personal computers (PCs). He is currently heading the company as the Chairman and CEO. Interestingly, he too dropped out of college (University of Texas at Austin) and decided to pursue his interest in computers.

Company: Dell Computer

College: University of Texas at Austin

Net worth: $18.8 billion

About Nishant

Nishant Raja is an expert author for the iNewTechnology. He writes about Smartphones, New tech Gadgets, Apps and how to use them.