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10 Highly Successful CEOs Without Degrees

The story of the self-made billionaire or the school dropout turned titan of industry is so often told in the world of business that it practically seems like a cliche. But the truth is, reaching a position of executive leadership in the world of business without a college degree is actually quite rare. 

Indeed, before we start down the path of telling these tales of rarified and unlikely success, we feel it’s important to acknowledge a few things first. For one thing, the college degree is still a valuable investment for most Americans. Those with college degrees continue to earn significantly more over both the course of a year and the course of a lifetime than those with a high school diploma or GED. A much wider variety of career paths will be open to those with an undergraduate degree, as will a much higher career trajectory and earning potential.

Moreover, since we are discussing the prospects of reaching a role of executive leadership, those who go on to earn a graduate degree in business administration may fare even better in the job market, and secure an even higher career trajectory still. The vast majority of those who hold leadership roles and management positions in the world of business have reached this status through the largely traditional pathways of earning undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The numbers suggest that no shortage of rising business stars first earned their bachelor’s degree in business administration before going on to earn an MBA, not to mention more than a few years of real-world experience, before ultimately becoming chief operating officers. 

Indeed, higher education is about more than just education and enrichment. Countless connections and opportunities are built within the walls of these institutions.

In this sense, CEOs without college degrees are truly an anomaly. So you shouldn’t consider the individuals profiled here as examples to follow but exceptions to the rule. Still, if you’re looking to avoid student loan debt, start your own company, and create your own high paying job within a given area of business, it may be helpful to know that there are more than a few noteworthy figures who reached this status with a fairly modest educational background. From those who never finished college to those who never bothered enrolling in the first place, we will profile 10 CEOs without college degrees.

But first…

The Economic Value of a Higher Education

Before we dive headlong into a look at those who have reached the greatest heights of executive leadership and financial success without a college degree, we should take some time to mind the actual numbers. The odds suggest that you’ll do better with a college degree, and even better still with a master’s degree in business administration. The stories that we will highlight below are noteworthy because they are extraordinary and unlikely.

The actual numbers suggest that earning a college degree will improve your odds of earning a living as a business professional; and that going on to earn a master’s degree will significantly improve your odds of reaching an executive leadership role.

Indeed, according to Poets & Quants, “which collects salary data from individuals through online pay comparison tools…the MBA–even from schools that lack global or national caché–delivers a hefty seven-figure income over a post-MBA lifetime. MBA graduates from the top 50 business schools in the U.S., in fact, will pull down median cash compensation of $5.7 million after graduating and working for 35 years. That is a premium of $2.3 million over those with just an undergraduate degree.”

In other words, while this article will focus on CEOs who do not hold a college degree, the reality is that the vast majority of CEOs not only have college degrees but also hold graduate degrees. Indeed, research findings show that “In terms of graduate degrees, 75% of the Fortune 500’s top 20 CEOs received an MBA or other graduate degree, however some returned to school later in life after already achieving some professional success.”

This is not to say that you must attend an Ivy League institution to become the CEO of a successful company. According to Fortune Magazine, only a select number of Fortune 500 CEOs attended from these prestigious institutions. And as many as 11.8% actually earned their graduate degree from a public institution.

And, says Fortune, “the CEOs of five top 20 companies, including Costco CEO W. Craig Jelinek and Chevron CEO Mike Wirth, hold no graduate degree, proving that it’s not a requirement to reach the highest level in business.”

Then again, these above noted CEOs all had at least a college degree. And they are in the minority, surrounded by contemporaries with advanced degrees. This is to suggest that, regardless of the stories you’ll read here below, your odds of reaching the executive suite are far greater when you have a few degrees to hang up on your office walls.

10 CEOS Without College Degrees

Still, the world is filled with movers and shakers who forged their own path, and did it without the help of a business degree, or an undergraduate degree of any kind. Below are just a few famous examples of big shot CEOs without college degrees.

1. Steve Jobs

Certainly this pioneer of personal computing is one the better known instances of self guided success. Future Apple CEO Steve Jobs was always ambitious, and his upbringing in the San Francisco Bay area steeped him equally in electronics and literature. Both would deeply inform his personality and path, especially when he befriended a fellow technophile in high school named Steve Wozniak.

Several years his senior, Wozniak would graduate first and attend college at UC Berkeley. Jobs would visit him frequently there, but when it came time to choose a college, he applied to one school and one school only.

He chose Reed College, a pricey private liberal arts school in Oregon. His parents, who were by no means wealthy, expressed concern over the cost of the school but Jobs was steadfast in his decision, and enrolled in 1972. He made it through just one semester before realizing that the experience of pursuing a college degree lacked enough meaning to justify the expense to his family. 

He decided to withdraw from college, but kept the decision from his parents, even remaining on campus for some time after that, crashing on couches and auditing courses. He even credits an audited calligraphy course with inspiring the font spacing and multitude of typefaces that came with early Macs.

But the rest of his education came far outside the walls of the traditional classroom. In 1974, Jobs returned to his parents’ home, now in Los Altos, and briefly worked for electronic gaming company, Atari.

That same year, he sojourned to India in search of personal enlightenment. Thus began his lifelong connection to the study of Zen Buddhism. It was also during this time that he explored the use of psychedelic drugs. He has frequently cited his experiences with LSD as critical to his development as a person and as an entrepreneur.

When he returned to the U.S., Jobs rejoined Atari and brought Wozniak on for help with a project. By 1976, Wozniak had built the prototype for the Apple I computer. Jobs compelled Wozniak to partner with him in selling this groundbreaking model. That year, Apple was incorporated in the driveway at Jobs’ parents house.

Fun fact: The name Apple was inspired by a period of time that Jobs spent working in the orchard of a hippie commune.

Crazy Fact: Within just one year, the Apple II was rolling off of shelves.

By spring of 1977, Jobs and Wozniak oversaw the company responsible for the first successful mass-produced “microcomputer” products. As the co-founder of Apple Computers, Steve Jobs helped create one of the most consequential brands of the 20th and 21st Century.

Wozniak was the technical wizard behind Apple. But jobs, as a business executive and college dropout, was as responsible as any human being on earth for helping to spark the personal computer revolution that would do nothing less than change our way of life.

Not bad for a single semester of tuition.

It’s not clear that Steve Jobs would have been able to achieve the same level of earth-shattering impact by simply pursuing an undergraduate degree at Reed College.

2. Bill Gates

On one level, Bill Gates has a lot in common with Steve Jobs. They both dropped out of college with the explicit intent of starting their own company. They both took their own bold leaps of faith into the untested sphere of micro-computing during the mid-70s, and they both were instrumental in helping to spark the personal computing revolution.

But there are a few big differences when it comes to the college dropout phase. Gates came from a fairly affluent Seattle family. His father was an attorney and his mother sat on the board of the First Interstate BancSystem.

Gates attended prep school from the age of 12, where he showed a keen aptitude for computer programming. Coming from a background of some financial means and scoring near perfect on his SAT, Gates enrolled at Harvard University in 1973 in pursuit of a legal degree. But while there, he did take graduate level courses in subjects like mathematics and computer science.

Clearly, these latter courses would have a more formative impact on Gates. In 1975, with just two years under his belt in Cambridge, Gates decided to leave school and partner with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Recognizing the opportunity in the budding software space, Gates and Allen decided to form their own company.

As Gates remembers, his parents were quite supportive of the decision, recognizing both his passion and the value in the opportunity that he hoped to seize. Gates would also note that the risk of departing from Harvard was really quite minimal. 

Gates has said that he really considered himself on leave from school, as opposed to having dropped out of the vaunted and costly Ivy League institution. He would recall that he actually had the option of returning to Harvard at any time he desired should his software venture fail to materialize.

Clearly, this was never a necessity. As you may have heard, Gates and Allen achieved some modicum of success in their small home venture.

In 1975, Gates joined Allen at his office in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was there that they incorporated as Microsoft the following year. Of course, Gates would never return to Harvard for his college degree.

He spent his first several years with Microsoft closely managing coding and product development before moving into more of a managerial role. By the end of the decade, Gates had assumed primary executive duties, overseeing the initiation of a partnership with IBM. In 1980, this partnership yielded the joining of Microsoft’s MS-Dos system with the IBM personal computer. While the deal only netted the company a small one-time payment, the prestige of providing the operating system for the top tech company in the world placed Microsoft at the forefront of a rapidly evolving software sector.

Gates essentially restructured Microsoft, making himself chief executive and ultimately overseeing the company’s development of the Microsoft Windows operating system. As the system gradually replaced MS-DOS, Microsoft became the most profitable software company in the world. Accordingly, its CEO was, by the end of the decade, the wealthiest man in the world.

Gates stepped away from his position as Microsoft chair in 2014 and focuses primarily on philanthropic pursuits today.

3. Mark Zuckerberg

Everybody knows that Mark Zuckerberg became one of the richest and most powerful business leaders on the planet by founding and becoming the CEO of Facebook. And most people know that he did it without completing his undergraduate degree.

However, according to most accounts, many of the connections he made during his brief time as an undergraduate would play directly into his success. As the story goes, he was already well known to his classmates as a computer programming prodigy. But his visibility soared when, in 2002, he created a program that allowed students on campus to rate the attractiveness of their classmates based on the university’s printed rosters–known as “Face Books.”

The program–which Zuckerberg called Face Mash–was so popular that it overburdened the school’s network. Zuckerberg was forced to shut the program down, was the subject of a lengthy and less-than complimentary investigation by the Harvard Crimson, and was accused by some fellow students of invading their privacy by using images without permission. (Those allegations should also sound familiar given that the same claims continue to hound Zuckerberg’s world conquering social network today).

While much of the attention that Zuckerberg received for his actions was negative, the Face Mash stunt did bring his programming skills to yet greater visibility. Though already working with roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes on a more fully developed version of the Face Mash concept, Zuckerberg also agreed to help a separate group of students–Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra–as they worked on a similar idea called

Long story short–Zuckerberg used his work with the latter group to further his own endeavor, an action which ultimately led to a high priced out of court settlement. But it would place him at the helm of The Facebook, which was officially launched in 2004.

According to an article from Startup Mindset, “While Mark was in his sophomore year at Harvard, he saw the success that Facebook could ultimately become. Hence, he decided to drop out and move to Palo Alto to dedicate his time to Facebook.”

It was there that tech billionaire Peter Thiel decided to invest in Zuckerberg’s fledgling company. By 2007, at the age of 23, Zuckerberg had become the world’s youngest billionaire. Today, he has a net worth of over $100 billion. But it’s pretty important to acknowledge that, much like Bill Gates before him, Mark Zuckerbrg was already a student at the vaunted Harvard University when he realized that he’d struck gold.

Simply stated, as a student in the world’s most highly regarded university, Zuckerberg was already in a fairly advantageous position. And it was from that position that he engaged with others who had the means, pedigree and ability to advance the idea that would ultimately become Facebook. Zuckerberg clearly seized that position for all it was worth–and some would say with a pretty flexible attitude toward business ethics.

But there is an important lesson here. Many CEOs without college degrees who found tremendous success did so while already armed with a few critical advantages. Some even capitalized on these advantages while attending college. While Zuckerberg, for instance, did not obtain a college degree, he obtained more than enough opportunity during his truncated time at Harvard.

4. Richard Branson

Richard Branson’s story is one of pure entrepreneurial spirit. Determined from a young age to build a fortune by scrappy ingenuity, he is known today as the eccentric billionaire atop the Virgin Group. Born in London to a father who was a barrister and a mother who both danced ballet and shared her son’s entrepreneurial spirit, Branson came from a supportive upbringing.

Nonetheless, while attending prep school, he struggled academically due to both dyslexia and ADHD. Fortunately, he was more than naturally inclined toward business entrepreneurship. Following various false starts, including one failed attempt at growing and selling Christmas trees, Branson launched his first successful business venture in 1966.

Just 16 years of age at the time, Branson created and sold subscriptions to a magazine called Student. During those first few years of business, Branson reportedly squatted in various locations around London while expanding the circulation of his print publication. The story of Branson’s first office space is a remarkable one.

According to Branson’s own autobiography, the search for a low rent space out of which to distribute the publication led to an unlikely landing spot. He writes that “We scoured the neighborhood looking for somewhere to rent. The best deal, no rent at all, was offered by the Reverend Cuthbert Scott. He offered us the use of the crypt at St. John’s Church, just off Bayswater Road, for no rent. I put an old slab of marble across two tombs to make my desk, and everyone found somewhere to sit. We even charmed the local post office engineer to connect our phone without having to wait the normal three months. After a while none of us noticed that we were working in the dim light of the crypt surrounded by marble effigies and tombs.”

Remarkably, this is the precise space from which Branson would also launch the Virgin empire. The Student magazine was a modest success. But it was the circulation of the publication that inspired Branson’s big idea. Seeing the opportunity to leverage mail order circulation to serve the burgeoning record business, he began undercutting retail store prices with mail order record sales.

The late 60s saw Branson establishing considerable street cred by publishing interviews with rock and roll personalities while offering some of the best prices in the market. By 1971, he began the process of establishing himself within the traditional music retail market by opening his first physical record store. The following year, using the money earned from his store, Branson launched Virgin Records. The label’s first release was called Tubular Bells. It was a fully instrumental record by a progressive rock artist named Mike Oldfield. With Halloween fast approaching, it is a composition you will likely here a lot in the coming weeks.

This is because the title track was featured heavily in 1973’s The Exorcist. The movie’s massive success led to enormous sales for Virgin’s very first record. In many ways, this first record helped pave the way for what the Virgin Group was to become.

Over the course of the 70s, Branson’s retail operation expanded widely even as his record company signed artists like the Sex Pistols, Culture Club, and even the Rolling Stones. By the end of the decade, Branson was worth millions.

His empire came to include the Virgin Megastore chain, the Virgin Atlantic airline, Virgin Mobile and more. Today, worth an estimated $5 billion U.S. dollars, Branson has been knighted by the British crown, has used his wealth to take part in a commercial space flight, and has undertaken countless attempts at breaking world records for adventure missions by boat, balloon, and other assorted amphibious vehicles.

And while the business magnate now holds several honorary degrees from various institutions of higher education, one thing Richard Branson never did was go to college.

5. Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey may not have earned his college degree, but it’s fair to say he got a mostly complete higher education experience. The founder and first CEO of the company formerly known as Twitter was actually just one semester away from graduating when he decided to put his business ambitions ahead of his final few undergraduate credits

According to an article from Stacker, “In 1999, Jack Dorsey left New York University one semester shy of graduating because he had an idea.  Dorsey moved to the Bay Area and began developing a few different business ideas when his concept for a web-based taxi-dispatch service morphed into an open messaging platform—what we know as Twitter. Dorsey didn’t stop there. Ten years later he co-founded Square, a mobile payment platform.”

Over the course of Dorsey’s tenure as both the CEO and the Chairman of the Board for Twitter, he encountered massive success–with more than 300 million active Twitter users at its peak–and widespread criticism–as Dorsey’s involvement with the U.S. State Department and his various testimonies before Congress raised questions about potential conflicts of interest.

Dorsey departed from Twitter entirely in 2022, though still owns a slightly greater than 2% stake in the company currently under Elon Musk’s authority. Still, like many of the other former and current Tech CEOs on our list, Dorsey would achieve tremendous wealth and success without a college degree.

6. Larry Ellison

At the time of writing, Larry Ellison ranks as the fourth wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth of over $135 billion. Ellison’s fortune was built on his involvement in the software revolution of the 1970s. However, he came from a decidedly humble birth. The child of a single mother living in New York City, Ellison fell ill with pneumonia at nine months of age. Unable to handle his medical needs, his mother sent the young child to live with his aunt and uncle in Chicago.

He came to know them as his parents, and developed a close and loving relationship with his adoptive mother. While his uncle had at one time achieved some measure of wealth in the real estate business, his fortune was largely lost during the Great Depression. By the time of Larry’s arrival in the mid-1940s, his adoptive father had become a government employee.

Such is to say that Larry did not come from a particularly lavish upbringing. He did begin his college studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. And in spite of the fact that he would ultimately build his fortune in the technology sector, he actually enrolled in the public research university as a premed student. And he was quite successful in his early academic pursuits, even receiving “science student of the year” honors as a first year student.

Sadly, just before he completed the final exams for his sophomore year, Ellison’s adoptive mother passed away. He left college in the wake of her death. He would return to his studies for one semester of credits at the University of Chicago. There, he studied math, physics, and just a bit of computer design. Still, he would once again depart without earning a college degree.

This time, it would be a permanent departure from higher education. As the late 60s turned into the early ’70s, Ellison found himself in Berkeley, California, at the heart of the emergent software business. During a stint with Ampex in the early 70s, Ellison oversaw a project developing a database for the CIA. He called the database system Oracle, and in 1977, struck out on his own with two partners and an initial seed investment of just $2000.

Ellison and partners founded Software Development Laboratories (SDL), which they eventually rebranded as the Oracle Systems Corporation in 1983. Ellison oversaw his company as it grew into a top competitor in the Silicon Valley software wars, squaring off against companies like Sybase and Microsoft for technological supremacy. While Sybase enjoyed an edge over Oracle through much of the decade, the mid-’90s saw many of its competitors fall on hard times. Oracle capitalized and achieved relatively uncontested dominance in the database sector through the end of the decade.

Though the early millennium would see Oracle’s singular position atop the database industry eclipsed by both Microsoft and IBM, its success would be more than enough to make its CEO one of the richest men in the world, even without a college degree.

7. John P. Mackey

John P. Mackey may not have graduated from college, but he certainly spent plenty of time there. Though recently retired from his longtime role as CEO of the Whole Foods Market grocery chain, Mackey would build an enormous fortune on the very simple idea of selling organic and unprocessed foods. So how did a self-declared democratic socialist without an undergraduate degree come to be named Ernst & Young’s 2003 entrepreneur of the year?

Mackey’s story begins in Houston, Texas. His father was both a professor of accounting and the CEO of a health-care company. Mackey credits his father as having a strong and positive influence on him.

Still, his studies didn’t necessarily reveal an obvious proclivity toward entrepreneurship. In fact, his disciplines of choice in college were religion and philosophy. Mackey spent periods of nearly six years during the 1970s earning credits at the University of Texas at Austin and, subsequently, Trinity University.

Mackey has often said that his “generalist” approach to learning would play a major role in his later approach to business. It was also that approach that likely prevented him from ever actually earning his college degree.

While studying in college, Mackey also worked and lived at a vegetarian housing co-op. There, he met Renee Lawson. The two entered into a relationship and, in 1978, a business partnership. Togethery, they borrowed and raised the funds to open a health food store called SaferWay. Opening their first location in Austin and living on the third floor of the same building, Mackey and Lawson would merge with Clarksville Natural Grocery in 1980 to become Whole Foods.

According to Stacker, the organic food store “grew to become the largest organic supermarket chain in the United States today.”

But Stacker also points out that its CEO is something of a paradox, or at least he defies easy classification. Mackey is famously libertarian, leaning to the far right on issues relating to business. This includes an outspoken stance against unions, public healthcare and even climate change regulation. Some have noted the irony of this disposition given both the largely left-leaning consumer base of Whole Foods Market and Mackey’s own identification with some traditionally liberal issues such as veganism and the humane treatment of animals.

As an article in the New Yorker describes it, Mackey “may be understood as a forerunner to the archetypal tech founder, combining a countercultural style with a hostility to regulation. As the face of Whole Foods, Mackey is particularly known for his early promotion of humane animal treatment, his opposition to government-funded health care, and his skepticism of the science behind global warming. Nick Paumgarten, who profiled Mackey for The New Yorker in 2010, referred to him as a ‘rare bird,’ specifically a ‘right-wing hippie.'”

Mackey would ultimately serve as CEO from the time of the company’s founding in 1980 until 2022.

8. John Paul Dejoria

Of all the stories that make our list, John Paul Dejoria’s may be the most unlikely. His enormous success across a wide range of enterprises belies his extremely humble background. According to Stacker, “A gang member as a youth and homeless as a young adult, John Paul DeJoria finally found success when he cofounded hair care company John Paul Mitchell Systems in 1980. DeJoria is also the founder of tequila maker Patrón Spirits Co, and has hands in other businesses and properties. His net worth is now 3.4 billion.”

Born 1944, in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles to immigrant parents of Italian and Greek heritage, DeJoria’s mother and father divorced when he was just two. Unable to raise him and his brother alone, his single mother sent the two to live in a foster home until John reached the age of nine.

In those early years, he and his brother helped the family scrape by with newspaper routes and Christmas card sales. By his late teens, DeJoria opted for military service rather than college. He served two years in the U.S. Navy before returning home to an array of less than glamorous gigs. Highlights among these gigs include short stretches as a door to door encyclopedia salesman and a janitor. On the surface, this would not appear to be a trajectory toward a hair care empire.

And in fact, his very first job in the hair care business was not a particularly auspicious start either. He was fired from his entry-level role at Redken Laboratories. Fortunately, he didn’t allow this to divert him from the hair care business at large.

In 1980, using a $700 loan to launch a partnership with a renowned Scottish hairdresser named Paul Mitchell, he co-founded John Paul Mitchell Systems. Selling their hair care products directly out of beauty salons, and marketing them as professional level products made available for in-home use, DeJoria and Mitchell rose to rapid success, eventually opening a chain of beauty schools as well.

At the start of the 1980s, DeJoria was living out of a 20 year old car (it was a Rolls Royce, but still…). By 1989, the success of John Paul Mitchell Systems allowed DeJoria to purchase the company that would become Patron Tequila. DeJoria would also go on to co-found the House of Blues concert venue chain, and holds interests in Pyrat Rum, Touchstone Natural Gas, Ultimat Vodka and much more. Today, DeJoria remains without a college degree, but sits atop a colorful and diversified empire of investments.

9. Megen Clarken

CEO of digital media marketing company Criteo, Megen Clarken may not have a college degree. But she has something that we’re pretty sure no other CEO can claim–four New Zealand track and field records.

That’s because while her contemporaries were pursuing their degrees in business administration and media communications, the Auckland born Clarken was laser focused on her dream of becoming an Olympic athlete. Born in 1966, she represented her country on the world stage from an extremely young age, competing in high jump, long jump, and the 100 meter and 200 meter dash events.

In 1984, Clarken competed in the World Cup with hopes of Olympic selection. Unfortunately, at the age of 19, she sustained a serious knee injury, one that would derail her athletic career entirely. A number of her national records remain intact to date.

However, Clarken found herself at a crossroads. While many of her contemporaries were well into their pursuit of college degrees, she’d spent those same years pursuing a goal that was now no longer attainable.

But it turns out, Clarken’s true calling was in the field of media. According to an article in Business Insider, “Clarken decided to pursue a career in business, and worked her way up from a computer operator to become chief commercial officer at Nielsen Global Media before joining Criteo. Clarken credits her accomplishments to setting her sights high despite not having a four year degree, and says it’s important to be confident that you can learn and overcome any challenges thrown your way.”

Today, she leads Criteo, a company focused on digital marketing and media with an emphasis on inclusion and diversity.

10. Evan Williams

The final entry on our list, Evan Williams actually intersects directly with another entrant on our list–Jack Dorsey. The two would collaborate on the founding of Twitter. However, both would come to this partnership from very different backgrounds. While Dorsey worked a side hustle as a fashion model in his teens, Williams worked summers on his family’s farm in Clarks, Nebraska, usually assisting in crop irrigation.

It is from this background that Williams would become a formative figure in the world of digital media with little more than a few semesters of college education under his belt. The article from Stacker reports that “quitting his studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln after a year and a half didn’t stop Evan Williams from founding Twitter and then becoming its chairman and CEO. He stepped down from that role in 2010, but then founded Medium in 2012—where he currently serves as the publishing platform’s CEO.”

On his way to his stint as Twitter CEO, Williams would do nothing less than help shape web publishing as we know it today. Working for a few notable Silicon Valley firms as a computer programmer in the mid-1990s, Williams built his own website called There, he shared his personal thoughts. This little side project might well be the conceptual basis behind “blogging.”

Indeed, it was soon thereafter that Williams and partner Meg Hourihan formed a project management software company called Pyra Labs. Pyra launched a spinoff feature for note-taking that ultimately evolved into Blogger. Williams is, in fact, widely credited with coining and popularizing the term “blogger.”

In 2003, Pyra was acquired by Google, leading Williams to depart and form a company called Obvious Corporation. Among its projects would be a 2007 spinoff called Twitter.

Evans ended his affiliation with Twitter in 2019 and has even expressed some ambivalence about the impact of Social Media on public discourse. Today, this non-college graduate lives in the San Francisco Bay area and has a reported net worth of just under $2 billion.


Again, we have to stress that these business luminaries are absolutely the exception to the rule. it would be unwise to assume that, simply because these successful CEOs achieved their status without degrees that this is the likeliest path to success for you. 

The odds suggest otherwise. In fact, many of those who succeed in business will not only carry an undergraduate degree into their career paths but will be further advanced along these paths by earning master’s degrees in business administration.

If you’re considering a career in business leadership, we would advise you to check out our article on the connections between getting a graduate degree and enhancing your earning potential.