Back in 2011, the co-founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, started paying college students to drop out of school and develop their startups.
Elon Musk, who led the company with Thiel before he became the CEO of Tesla and before he created SpaceX, also shares the same views about higher education.
At the Satellite 2020 conference in Washington D.C., a member of the audience asked Musk about his thoughts on college education.
Musk responded that ‘you don’t need college to learn stuff’ and he also added that ‘the value is seeing whether somebody can work hard at something’.
Colleges Are for Fun & to Prove You Can Do Chores
The CEO of Tesla also added that colleges are only for fun and to prove to people that they can do chores; however, they’re not for learning.
This sounds very similar to the front page of the website for the Thiel Fellowship program that gives people who’re 22 or younger the chance to apply and get a 2-year, $100,000 grant and ‘build new things rather than sit in a classroom’.
The requirements are that the college students drop out in order to become part of the program.
Thiel who’s a supporter of Donald Trump blamed Silicon Valley’s liberalism on higher education and said in a podcast with Dave Rubin in 2018 that one of the downfalls of getting too much education is that you also get brainwashed.
Both Musk & Thiel Have Higher Education
But, Musk and Thiel both have higher education diplomas- Musk graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Thiel got his undergraduate and law degrees at Stanford.
However, at the conference, Musk asked a rhetorical question- ‘did Shakespeare even go to college?-Probably not.’
Despite his skepticism concerning higher education, a lot of the open jobs at the SpaceX have BA or a higher education as basic requirements.