PayPal founder pays entrepreneurs to skip college

Comments (10)
moebadderman wrote:

It’s not about “conformity” and it’s not about money, or “rules”, or anything but whether or not you want to be an educated person. If you want to be a money-making moron, then fine, go ahead — but don’t pretend that you somehow occupy higher social ground than someone else who obtained their degree, because you don’t.

Aug 25, 2011 6:27am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Alfred.Brock wrote:

College has become a waste of time and money for most Americans. Many of the larger colleges rely on sports or government grants to stay in business – education is secondary at these locations. There are some good schools but the field is filled with ne’er’ do wells and professors (like Obama was and is) more interested in tenure than in teaching. Our elementary school system is broken and so is the system of ‘higher education’. Poorly educated and unprepared workers flood our markets and take white collar jobs they should not have with the results that you see around you in the American economy today. College has become something to be avoided rather than cherished as a family goal. No person in their right mind would put themselves in 20 years of debt (or their parents) to banks like Chase in order to get a diploma that proves to be worthless if the companies you apply for hire H1-B Visa workers whose education was provided by a foreign government for free or who received aid and grants from our own government in order to steal our jobs.

Aug 25, 2011 6:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

40 years ago the Vietnam War Draft flooded colleges and universities with millions of “scholars”. And during the 60′s and early 70′s a lot of them didn’t belong there. The economy was terrible most of those years – the era of stagflation, wage and price controls and recession so college was also a way to absorb youth. Only accredited colleges or universities were considered acceptable for deferment status. I think “deferment” really meant “indefinitely or until the big one”.

But if it hadn’t been for the war and the draft – conveniently absent today or the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would have been stopped cold, – I could have attended a night school in the profession I wanted to pursue since I “had to think about what to do with my life” and I would have tried to find part time or even full time employment in that profession during the day. I tested very highly in the professional aptitude test than on the SAT’s actually. But there was no room in the economy for a flood of boomers.

I am convinced that modern industrialized societies need and try to flush young men down the drain if they can. There are always too many of us and we are inconvenient newcomers in every labor maker. There is no draft today because it raises the uncomfortable prospect of flushing young women down the drain too.

The present depression is serving to make certain that the military career is an attractive option. The scramble to get into school is no longer cost effective. Not even online courses with unknown colleges and fly by night universities are effective when they are quoting one-year degree programs costing $26,000 to over $40,000 for tuition alone.

The most important thing about education is the ability to read and to know where to find information. The second most important is to net work but the 60′s weren’t much of a time for meaningful networking as far as I could tell. So many people wanted to forget their ‘hippie period’. There is more information online than I even saw in school – either in high school or college – and you don’t have to spend fortunes on dubious textbooks. But everybody can do it so it has no social cache. The reason to go to college today is to prove that your family either has money or you were so good at academics the school wants to pay for your education. The wealthier tend to be eliminated for scholarships by means testing and more academically and financially disadvantaged students get elevated. So what does the higher education prove?

But it is a catch-22. Employers want experience but experience is always difficult to acquire and the degree is required. But if you come from affluence and have good academic skills the bar is raised on you. so what does the present system prove.

The article doesn’t say anything about whether there are any requirements to create a ‘successful’ business. What if that money buys a lot of bankruptcies?

Aug 25, 2011 9:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Trystian wrote:

Seeing as how young minds aren’t fully developed till about 25 years old, I think it is a huge gamble to give $100,000 to some teenager who may or may not have a useful, feasible idea. I would like the program more if it made sure that these above-average entrepreneurs were properly educated.

Aug 25, 2011 9:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
CA_Joe wrote:

Higher education nowadays is a certification process to show that you can “follow directions and be trainable” when you enter the job market. Much of the work skill-sets are learned on the job, even in technical engineering industries.
From my experiences, both as a job interviewer and job interviewee at engineering companies, successful candidates are ones who possess extraordinary extracurricular activities and experiences, not from academia.
This situation may be attributed to:
1) academia do not prepare graduates adequately for the workforce.
2) industries don’t invest in extensive internal training and rather employ people that can hit the ground running.

If the US university system is so broken, why are students from around the world trying to get into these universities (and paying exorbitantly higher “foreign student” rates)?

Aug 25, 2011 1:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
thenitpicker wrote:

Many professions do not need or benefit from 4+ years of college. And yet, many do need and benefit from intense academic study. Neither is a hands-down winner when it comes to making money. They both have unlimited potential. People do best what they love. I’m glad to see the idea that degree=success is waning.

Aug 25, 2011 3:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Penor_Water wrote:

Yes, but the alternative of getting tortured day in and day out is kind of a good deal too.

Aug 25, 2011 6:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
tomsawyer wrote:

The only way this works is to get the people in human resource and the CEO’s to agree to hire the person and not the paper. So many business’s simply will not speak to someone because the don’t have a degree and not only that they will not be promoted without attending a formal school.

Aug 25, 2011 8:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
kolea wrote:

Is Thiel doing this to get profitable ideas on the cheap? Although it’s true that people like Gates, Dell, Jobs and others dropped out and made it big, is making a fortune and building a business empire the end game of education? I’m glad my doctors didn’t see it that way.

Aug 26, 2011 2:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
djlowballer wrote:

A smart dedicated person will succeed whether or not they go to college.

Aug 26, 2011 3:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.