Achieving high grades in high school and before means you start searching for the right degree from the right university. You direct all your efforts towards that. Everything we do from a very young age is directed towards getting into the right university.
Elon Musk does not believe in that. He is not against education. Education is important. However, when asked what university degrees he looks for on a resume, he said that they are not a prerequisite for achieving great things or to be hired by Musk.
Elon Musk pointed out that some of the biggest names like Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and Steve Jobs never really graduated. He uses this to emphasize that your degree does not take you to greatness and rather it is you and your passion.
Elon Musk’s dismissive attitude towards academic accolades does not mean in any way that education is not required. He only wants to get across the point to the young people that if you put all your energy into grades and diplomas, you miss out on all the things that matter. This includes skills, and the ability to continue improving and updating them throughout your career.
Naval Ravikant, co-founder of AngelList, offered three pieces of advice to those starting out in the newsletter:
What to study and how to study it are more important than where to study it and for how long.
The best teachers are on the internet. The best books are on the internet. The best peers are on the internet.
The tools for learning are abundant. It’s the desire to learn that’s scarce.
The bottomline is that a degree will not harm you but it is not the only thing that is required and it is not the end of the world if you don’t get into the school of your dreams. What is important is the ability to accomplish what you set your mind to. For that, passion is required more than school.
You can listen to what Elon Musk had to say in the video below: