Economic Success

Thesis Statement

Most people believe that economic success comes with good education from the best institutions of higher learning in the world, the truth is; most successful people in the world do not have university education 

Economic success is measured by an individual's net worth and in today's world; the Green Buck is the standard currency upon which value is measured. The most economically successful people in the world are billionaires and usually, they are believed to be very intelligent academic achievers with unmatched IQs and since there are not many billionaires in the world, it is appropriate to believe that this group of people is a very special human species. It is therefore shocking to some people when they find out that a substantial number of these successful lot have what can be best described as average education.

Accompanying anecdotes

To obtain large remuneration in salary, someone must hold a number of university degrees coupled with the relevant professional qualifications, this has traditionally been the road to economic success, it therefore came as a surprise to many when the Business Insider listed several billionaires among them Mr. Bill Gates of Microsoft as some of the successful people without university degrees. Bill Gates dropped out from Harvard, yes, he did, so get used to it and stop wearing such a face. I can only imagine what his parents told him when he broke the news of his dropping out to them. I'm sure they must have kicked him out of their house and asked him never to show his face again. He ended up founding Microsoft and holding the title of the world's richest man for a record 13 years from 1995 to 2009 with the exclusion of 2008. His parents must have told him how proud they were of him after reading Forbes Magazine in 1995 when he topped (Sherman 2000)

Sir Richard Branson, a renowned British businessman and founder of Virgin Group is one billionaire who got to economic success without a lot of education. Having started his business ventures at the age of 16, Richard is a clear manifestation that business acumen is not harnessed solely by education and that education is a necessary but not compulsory part of economic success. This is because he has dyslexia, a learning disability that leads to the impairment of spelling and reading ability and so, in classical terms, Branson is "dumb" because he cannot accurately read or write, even though with all the billions he has made over the years, I'm pretty sure he can today buy his way out of a reading situation. If someone as "dumb" as Branson can be a billionaire, then who can't? (Brown 2010)

Lula da Silva, the 35th president of Brazil did not only achieve economic success but also rose from a shoe shiner to be the president of South America's biggest economy, yes, you read this right, from shoe shiner to president. Lula did not know how to read or write up to the age of 10 and when he did, he had no business going to school and so, he quit after fourth grade to work. This fellow had learnt so much between first and fourth grade that he did not make any sense in going to the fifth grade. He had been a shoe shiner at the age of 12 and even at the time of dropping out, he considered himself well equipped with fourth grade education and a huge experience in shoe shinning. The long and short of it is that he rose through the ranks as a trade unionist, a businessman and finally became president. He was not just a president, but the most popular president in the history of Brazil and possibly the world, with a fourth grade certificate, if they ever issue any. Isn't that interesting? (Musacchio 2007)

Contradiction to Thesis statement

It is only a small percentage of the total successful people that do not hold a university degree, the majorities do, and people should therefore not get it wrong that they can just walk out of a village into economic success without being able spell their names. Bill Gates for example dropped out of Harvard but was already very qualified to the point of setting up such a technical company as Microsoft. Getting to Harvard alone is a clear show of how smart he was because not every average person gets a chance to join this prestigious institution.

The Gates case is very close to Branson's even though not similar. At 16 Richard had known the art of taking calculated risks and started a business. This is the age when the average teenage is busy chasing after girls. We must also take into account that he had dyslexia and may be if he didn't suffer from this condition, he would have been at the top of his class. The bottom-line is that his academic success could not be quantified as a result of this condition. Managing any commercial enterprise requires literacy and knowledge, success therefore needs education.


Education is very necessary to a society because success, be it economic, political, athletic or otherwise are based on education. Managing any resource, human or otherwise requires knowledge and that is what education provides. That having been said, ones deficiency of formal education should never be a hindrance to progress in whatever field.  Richard, Gates and Lula are all examples of going against the grain to succeed and are therefore an encouragement as well as a challenge to people who see themselves as incapable because of their level of education as well as those who have good education but have not seen any economic success. They answer the questions of; if Richard and Lula could do it without good education, then why can't you with one? Or, if Lula did it with fourth grade education, so can you, to the educated and non-educated lots respectively.