Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and the world’s richest man, never got a college degree. Not that he cares, but getting a degree wasn’t his priority when most students would be fighting tooth and nail to get into Harvard. He met fellow student Steve Ballmer at Harvard. Unlike Ballmer who stayed and graduated, Gates left the prestigious Harvard after 2 years.
Of course, not many know Steve Ballmer, let alone Paul Allen, but everyone knows Bill Gates. A billionaire, Ballmer was actually Microsoft’s 30th employee and owned 8% of the company. In fact, it was Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft alongside Bill Gates, who convinced Gates to drop out of Harvard University in 1975 in order to create Microsoft.
Today, Gates is the richest man – the fourth year in a row, and the richest person in the world for 18 out of the past 23 years. He has US$86 billion in his pocket as compared to Balmer’s US$30 billion (Forbes’ #21) and Allen’s US$20 billion (Forbes’ #42). Although Gates and his wife Melinda have pledged to give away 95% of their fortune, it would be through their charitable foundation.
The Gates aren’t giving away their money freely but through so-called health projects approved by them. Besides money, the next best thing that Bill Gates could give away is advice. So, for those who are in their 20s – students or graduates – Gates have offered some career and life advice after he tweeted a series of 14 posts on Twitter.
He did not mention “money” in his latest tweets for the consumption of thousands of graduates but words such as “impact”, “happiness” and “progress”. He told the graduates what jobs he would be looking for if he started out today. Gates thinks the top three promising fields are the following – Artificial Intelligence (AI), Energy and Biosciences.
Hence, forget your dream of becoming Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg wannabes by venturing into hardcore computer science or developing social media. Gates tweeted – “AI, energy, and biosciences are promising fields where you can make a huge impact.” The message between the lines is to make impact, not money, because with huge impact, money would follow eventually.
If you hadn’t realized, technology and science are expected to continue their dominance in the job industry. However, not all technology and science fields would add more jobs to the economy over the next several years. But if your background screams “AI, Energy or Bioscience”, you will have the added advantage of being in the “most in-demand employees” category.
Ironically, it was the same Bill Gates who has been warning about the dangers of AI. Together with “Ironman” Elon Musk and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, Gates had even proposed that governments start taxing robot workers the same way human workers are being taxed. Gates was concerned super intelligence robots will doom mankind, thanks to AI.
In his speech at Columbia University, Gates said there is a huge growing demand in the energy sector to develop “reliable, cheap, and clean” energy. In December 2016, the billionaire launched a US$1-billion fund – “Breakthrough Energy Ventures” – an initiative he partnered with a group of about 20 like-minded investors to invest in green energy.
Among his partners are Virgin Group’s Richard Branson, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Bloomberg LP founder and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg and Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma. Gates said – “Our goal is to build companies that will help deliver the next generation of reliable, affordable, and emissions-free energy to the world.”
And it’s not hard to understand why Bill Gates mentioned biosciences as one of three most promising fields which students and graduates should take note. Developments in biotech were moving “faster than ever,” so much so that Gates believes there’s a need for innovation to combat diseases such as cancer and obesity, and developing vaccines.
Are there any other advice besides jumping into the career of artificial intelligence, energy and biosciences? Of course, and here’re some of Gates’ best advices. He urges people to choose their friends, including romantic relationships, wisely – surround yourself with people who challenge you, teach you, and push you to be your best self.
Gates tweeted about Melinda Gates and world’s second richest man Warren Buffett as example of making the right choice when comes to choosing wife and friends. He also claimed he measures his happiness by whether people close to him were happy and loved him. But considering billionaires don’t have to worry about putting food on the table, aren’t all of them are supposedly happy (*grin*)?
Still, Bill Gates had his biggest personal regret, although it sounds rather lame. He wrote that it had taken him decades to learn about the world’s worst inequities and described this lack of early understanding as his one big regret. Therefore, he asked people to start fighting inequity, whether down the street or around the world, sooner. Sure, will do that once I become a billionaire.