5 Successful Entrepreneurs Without a College Degree

For most workers, a college degree -- and the knowledge, skills and connections that come with it -- is a ticket to higher lifetime earnings.

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For most workers, a college degree -- and the knowledge, skills and connections that come with it -- is a ticket to higher lifetime earnings. In fact, the median income for workers 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree is 63% higher than for those with just a high-school diploma, according to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

But for those who dream even bigger -- of proving unique skills and building new businesses -- a college degree is hardly a prerequisite. Would-be entrepreneurs can find inspiration in the successes of Microsoft’s Bill Gates, the Virgin Group’s Richard Branson, TV personality and chef Rachael Ray and many others who have made millions, even billions, without completing college (or even high school, in some cases).

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance asked several famous entrepreneurs without degrees about their unusual paths to riches and their advice to others who aspire to great things. See if they might inspire you.

Andrea Browne Taylor
Online Editor, Kiplinger.com
Browne Taylor joined Kiplinger in 2011 and is a channel editor for Kiplinger.com covering living and family finance topics. She previously worked at the Washington Post as a Web producer in the Style section and prior to that covered the Jobs, Cars and Real Estate sections. She earned a BA in journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C.