Bill Gates Congratulates Students on Not Following in His Footsteps

Higher Education

Bill Gates Congratulates Students on Not Following in His Footsteps

Jun 8, 2015

11 MILLION MORE DIPLOMAS: 21- and 22-year-olds may be eligible for the Thiel Fellowship now, but college dropout Bill Gates offers them a different message: Stay in school.

In a post on Gates Notes, the co-founder of Microsoft sees his own success story as an anomaly, arguing that “getting a degree is a much surer path to success.” In the next ten years, the US will face a shortage of 11 million skilled workers, estimates a study from Georgetown University, and Gates sees the low nationwide graduation rate as the source of the skills gap.

So, how can we increase the graduation rate? In a video interview with Gates, Cheryl Hyman, who has doubled the graduation rate at the City Colleges of Chicago since becoming Chancellor in 2010, suggests teaching workforce skills in college instead of liberal arts, and pushes back on the “excuse” of poverty, explaining “poverty makes you hungry, it doesn’t make you not have the ability to learn.” More from Gates and Hyman on helping more young people graduate from college, including the promising potential of MOOCs.

Learn more about EdSurge operations, ethics and policies here. Learn more about EdSurge supporters here.

More from EdSurge

Get our email newsletterSign me up
Keep up to date with our email newsletterSign me up