Elon Musk views on college degrees and skills should matter

The path to a successful career for many includes going to college and getting a degree. However, In 2014, Elon Musk stated that a degree did not necessarily mean qualifications. He went on to explain that they were not prerequisites for achieving incredible things in the future.

Elon Musk, during this interview, was not trying to discourage people from going through college, and in fact, acknowledged that they may serve as a testament for someone’s skills. Job board postings mostly include a degree requirement for job applicants as a way of narrowing down the skills that they require.

Elon Musk’s logic also had supporting evidence that a college degree is not always necessary for a person’s carrier. He noted that prominent people such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, and Steve Jobs, achieved greatness without ever finishing their college degrees.

Elon Musks views on college degrees

Elon Musk’s views expressed in the 2014 interviews have persisted through the years, insisting earlier this year that college education was for having fun and not for learning. At the Satellite 2020 conference in Washington DC, he told people that they did not need to go to college to learn skills, indicating that job offers from his company do not necessarily require a college degree.

An analysis of job postings shows that a lot of entries contained a requirement of a college degree for one to secure a job. This may be in part due to companies decision to save time that could have been used sifting through multiple resumes trying to find the right skills for the job advertised. The impact of this means that these companies end up paying more than 30 percent more than they need for skills, in what is called degree inflation.

This does not have to be the case, as Elon Musk puts it, learning new skills is free. This means people can gain skills and be able to compete with college-educated degree holders for the position advertised. Companies looking to hire for technical skills, therefore, can avoid degree inflation by considering skills rather than the time spent in colleges.

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