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Don’t be like me, says college dropout Gates

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Bill Gates is something of a model for education skeptics. Gates like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah Winfrey dropped out of college. If they didn’t need a college degree, the skeptics suggest, maybe you don’t need one, either.

Gates has just published a blog post with something of a reply: Yes, you do need one.

“Although I dropped out of college and got lucky pursuing a career in software, getting a degree is a much surer path to success,” he writes.

Earn more, live happier

College graduates are more likely to find a rewarding job, earn higher income and even, evidence shows, and live healthier lives than if they didn’t have degrees. They also bring training and skills into country’s workforce, helping economy grow and stay competitive.

The post is tied to an interview Gates has done with Cheryl Hyman, the chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago, the city’s network of community colleges. The attention that Gates and his foundation are putting on college completion is part of a broader push on the subject.

Learn skills

Not only do students learn from the courses they take, but they also learn the valuable skill of seeing something through to the end of figuring out how to finish what they started and of gaining the confidence that comes with that success.

Education, as David Autor, the MIT economist, notes, is not a game of musical chairs. More educated societies generally become richer, healthier and better functioning over time.— New York Times News Service.


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