Did Bill Gates go to college?
This is a common question that people have been asking for years.
In this article we will take a closer look at the educational background of the billionaire and provide an answer once and for all.
If you’ve been wondering about this topic keep reading to find out the truth.
Bill Gates’ Education Background
Bill Gates co-founder of Microsoft attended the Lakeside School in Seattle where he developed a passion for computers and met Paul Allen. He was an academically gifted student and a National Merit Scholar.
Gates enrolled at Harvard University in 1973 to study law but dropped out in 1975 to establish Microsoft with Paul Allen. Despite not completing his bachelor’s degree Gates went on to become one of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people.
Gates’ Influence on Harvard University
While at Harvard College Gates developed the first official product for Microsoft the Altair BASIC. He decided to take a leave of absence from Harvard to devote himself entirely to Microsoft ultimately leading to his dropout.
In 2007 Gates was awarded an honorary doctorate by Harvard University recognizing his immense impact on the field of technology and his philanthropic work through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Gates’ Philanthropic Impact
Bill Gates is well-known for his philanthropic work especially through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation focuses on global health education and poverty alleviation.
Some of Gates’ most significant contributions include polio vaccination campaigns the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator for SARS-CoV-2 treatments and the support of organizations like the United Way of America and the American Library Association.
Bill Gates is also involved in numerous initiatives like The Giving Pledge where billionaires commit to donating a majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes and investments in various companies and ventures such as TerraPower Breakthrough Energy and Cascade Investment.
Gates’ Early Years at Lakeside School
Bill Gates’ early education took place at the elite private Lakeside School in Seattle where he graduated in 1973. He was a National Merit Scholar and academically excelled during his time in high school.
During his time at Lakeside Gates developed a lifelong passion for computers and wrote his first software program. It is also where he met Paul Allen who would later become his co-founder at Microsoft.
It was through their mutual interest in computers and technology that Gates and Allen explored the possibilities of personal computing and began laying the groundwork for their future company.
- Altair 8800: Gates and Allen’s fascination began when they came across the Altair 8800 an early microcomputer.
- Computer time: They spent long hours at Lakeside exploring computer time and learning to write software programs.
- Traf-O-Data: Before Microsoft Gates and Allen started Traf-O-Data a company that created devices to analyze traffic patterns.
- Preparation for Microsoft: Their experiences and skills gained during their time at Lakeside and through Traf-O-Data would later help them establish Microsoft.
Gates’ Leave of Absence and Microsoft Development
Bill Gates initially attended Harvard University in 1973 where he pursued a pre-law student course. However he developed a software called the Altair BASIC during his time there which later became the first official product of Microsoft.
Seeing the potential in developing Microsoft Gates took a leave of absence from Harvard in 1975 to work with his high school friend Paul Allen and dedicate his time to the company. He essentially dropped out as he never returned to complete his degree at Harvard University.
Gates has never returned to college to finish his education and thus never received a traditional college degree. However he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Harvard University in 2007 in recognition of his contributions to the world of technology and philanthropy.
Gates’ Views on Higher Education
Despite not completing college Bill Gates is known for advocating higher education and its importance. He has spoken about the statistical benefits of a college degree such as higher lifetime earnings better health outcomes and greater job stability.
In addition to these benefits Gates also focuses on the need for networking skills that are often developed during college years. As technology and job markets advance he believes that the demand for skilled workers with higher education will only continue to increase.
Through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Gates has dedicated substantial resources to improve access to higher education and provide financial support to needy students. This illustrates his belief in the importance of education even though he didn’t complete a college degree himself.