But at the same time, college has become more expensive than it’s ever been. Student loan debt reached a record high of almost $1.5 trillion at the end of 2018, according to data from New York’s federal reserve bank.
The degree-less tale of tech superstars like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates is folklore by this point, but the Facebook and Microsoft founders aren’t the only two influential executives who have risen to the top without finishing college. According to the 2017 Forbes ranking of the 400 wealthiest people in America, 17.5% of those on the list— 70 people — never graduated from college.
The founders and CEOs of other prestigious tech companies — including Twitter, Fitbit, WhatsApp, Tumblr, and Square— also forewent higher education to take on the tech world, and their high-stakes bets paid off.
Here are 23 successful executives in tech who never got their college degrees: