First came the internet bubble. Then the housing bubble. What’s next, the higher-education bubble? That’s what the co-founder of PayPal thinks. Peter Thiel has had an impressive run at life. By anyone’s standards, he has been pretty successful. After attending Standford University and Standford Law school, Thiel hit it big by selling PayPal to eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion dollars. He was also one of the first outside investors in Facebook. Now he is the President of Founder’s Fund and Clarium Capital, two investment firms he founded. So why does this highly decorated businessman think that there is now a higher-education bubble?
Thiel has criticized higher education for many issues including the lack of entrepreneurship being taught. He thinks that society now thinks of a college education as an insurance policy – the false belief that graduating from college automatically means getting a job. He has also stated that the price of a college education can strip away creativity from its students, which he calls “the last indentured worker of the developed world,” by forcing them into debt. Because of this debt, students choose majors and degrees based on salaries, not passion. This is why he started a 20 Under 20, a program that gave 20 college students under the age of 20 a fellowship of $100,000 for two years to drop out of college and start their own company. I believe that Thiel is revolutionary thinker that really challenges the norms of society. At a school like Bucknell, Thiel’s views would certainly stir up much controversy which could help us think outside the box.