No, You Don't Need A College Degree To Work At A Big Tech Company, Says Musk

So, you think that getting a four-year degree with the additional burden of thousands of dollars student loan is the only way to land a job in the technology giant companies like Tesla, Apple, or Netflix? If your answer is a yes, then it’s time to think again because the CEO of Tesla -Elon Musk wants you to!

During the recent Satellite 2020 conference, Elon Musk has stated that colleges aren’t the best place for learning but instead, students should have more fun there. According to him, fortunately, we now live in a world where one can learn any kind of skill for free online, and given that people like Bill Gates or Larry Ellison also dropped out of school to do something big in life, you too should adopt the similar strategy and take the risk.

Musk is not the only one to have expressed the similar opinion, as Tim Cook back in 2019 while sharing his company’s employment data, also told that almost half of Apple employees last year didn’t have a four-year college degree. Cook also said that colleges don’t really teach the skills that business leaders of today expect from their employees and a good common example of that is coding as per the rapid changes in technology.

Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton is also on the list of people who share the similar opinion and has a tip for the upcoming generation which goes by the fact that if you look at the job requisitions that might ask for a four-year college degree, chances are that you would find majority of the jobs aren’t even designed in a way which would require a college degree to fulfill the role. Degrees only help the managers to sort out a smaller qualified group of candidates from the crowd.

However, if you have an IVY degree there is only one benefit which you can enjoy and that is of getting paid better on average.

Apple and Google, in particular, now look for employees who have the skills to get their jobs done in time, irrespective of whether they have a college degree or not. And for more proof on this claim, we have also seen Google recently launching a new selection of courses for the Google Career Certificate - a six-month program which prepares participants for in-demand jobs.

But with all being said, there are some more surprising stats to go by the rule provided in a report released in May 2020 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. As per it, workers who have at least a bachelor's degree earn $502 more in median weekly earnings than the ones who are working in the similar companies with just a high school education. Besides that, the unemployment rate among people with less than a high school degree is double as compared to the ones who have a bachelor's degree.

Apart from that, many Americans are also unable to afford college degrees. In fact, there are only 42% of high-school sophomores who are lucky enough to get a two-year or four-year degree, according to the US Department of Education. The ones who graduate from college, there is a significant number of them being underemployed as well because they have the kind of degrees that are of no use.

There are experts and researchers who have already proposed the idea of alternative ways to train young employees for the work of the future. One of their tricks includes apprenticeship programs that would be based on school and on-job training.

Musk concluded his argument while asking "Did Shakespeare even go to college? Probably not."

Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

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