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America's most famous college dropout thinks you should go to college
Bill Gates, who is the richest man in the world, is a big fan of college. - photo by JJ Feinauer
Bill Gates, who is still the richest man in the world according to Forbes, is a big fan of college.

"College graduates are more likely to find a rewarding job, earn higher income, and even, evidence shows, live healthier lives than if they didnt have degrees," Gates wrote on his blog on June 3. "They also bring training and skills into Americas workforce, helping our economy grow and stay competitive. That benefits everyone."

There's nothing terribly newsworthy about a successful computer programmer espousing a positive view of higher education. You'd be hard pressed to find an influential American businessman that thinks college is overrated (though they are out there).

But Bill Gates is a little different. He is, in fact, the most financially successful college dropout in the world.

Gates' success despite of his lack of a degree doesn't keep him from thinking college is more often than not the best path for building a successful future.

"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 wrote in the same blog post.

In fact, Gates is worried by what he calls "a shortage of college graduates." The future economy will require more skilled workers with degrees, not less, he argues, and the current graduation rate isn't where it needs to be to meet those demands.

As I reported in April, The Hamilton Project recently released a study that reinforces Gates' concerns about the changing nature of the American workforce.

"Non-college educated workers are substantially more likely to work in lower-paying service occupations than in the recent past," the study concluded.

To shine a brighter light on the issue, Gates sat down with Cheryl Hyman, the chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago, to talk about helping young Americans gain the skills neecssary for the emerging economy. You can watch the full video here.
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