Dropout seems to be the emerging thing in the field of education; no longer introducing you as a professional from IIT, IIM or for that matter a Harvard may matter. Dropout seems to be the most popular word after ‘Selfie’. Is dropout a newfound status, but the rich & famous still manage to get a degree in Management from a university of repute. Is the startup world crowded with heroes who happen to be the most successful entrepreneurs but are dropouts? Is today’s business recognizing a person better who claims to be brilliant dropout than the highly educated? Being a dropout is it a cult or a myth?
Maverick vs Maniac
I was addressing a group of young lawyers in a large university and I could not refrain myself from using this word dropout.While the younger generation was quick to respond with applause, suddenly it flashed on me that I was messing with this word in an educational forum and upsetting the learned community. I quickly changed the course and said “in the world of dropout you need to be different”. The difference you can make is to ensure the following:
1. If you a dropout it has to be from world-class Institutions - the IIT or IIM or the Harvards of the world
2. You need to decide which year you chose to dropout – it should be closer to completion and not the first year
3. You should have been a rockstar in the educational institution where you studied – the Rahul’s of the world are better remembered as a maverick
Dropout may be a style statement but it equally matters from which institution you drop out and the timing of exit from the course. In the education institution you need to make a mark in the first years of study and then decide to leave where people remember you as a maverick. If you leave the education system without making a mark you may be referred as a maniac instead of maverick.
Dropout vs Professional
The scope of being and doing business seems to be wider for a dropout. The general understanding is a dropout can afford to fail in any business, as there was no formal training in any particular field of business. Whereas a professional is not expected to fail as there is a formal education and the society expects the best from them. Does this mean dropouts are failures; I do not think so, they may have been successful persons in academics but decided to move on, for reasons better known to them. It can be:
1. The levels of knowledge dissemination that the professors / teachers imparted may not have been upto their expectation
2. During the course of the curriculum the dropout could have stumbled upon some idea and wanted to pursue the same
3. The course was never of their taste but were forced to do something in life on account of societal pressure
All persons in business need not be dropouts whereas all dropouts can be in business. Gates was successful in opening up windows; Jobs reinvented the exciting apple story and Mark helped us hang the book and see our face. All these successful people ensured that we quit not only books but also our family to be with products that they created. It may be nice to hear stories about a few dropouts who were successful in creating wealth for themselves and others, but in the long run it does matter not to be a dropout. The learned community now seemed happy and I ensured that I was called again to address student community.
Sundharesan Jayamoorthi addresses entrepreneurs, directors, startup community and students on corporate governance, CSR, Compliance Governance.