You don’t need a diploma: how to get an interview with Ilon Musk

A university or college degree is not necessary for employment at Tesla, believes the head of the company, Elon Musk. His position remains unchanged for several years: the billionaire is looking for other qualities in applicants

The head of Tesla, Ilon Musk, is sure that you don’t need a diploma to work at Tesla. When asked on Twitter whether he was sure that higher education was not a requirement for applicants, the Tesla founder answered in the affirmative.

Musk’s position has not changed in the five years since his interview with German publication Auto Bild. “It’s not necessary at all to have a college degree or even graduate from high school,” Musk said at the time. – If someone graduated from a great university, that might indicate that they’re capable of great things, but that’s not necessarily the case. Look at [Microsoft cofounder] Bill Gates, for example, or [Oracle head] Larry Ellison, [Apple cofounder] Steve Jobs: those guys didn’t graduate, but hiring them would be a good idea if you had the chance.

Signs of “exceptional ability” mean much more than a degree, Musk noted. According to the billionaire, in interviews with job applicants, he would ask them to give a brief description of their career and explain how they solved the difficult problems they faced. At the same time, Musk at the interview would like to make sure that the tasks the applicant talks about really were solved by him and that he doesn’t take credit for someone else’s work.

Musk himself has two college degrees: he earned bachelor’s degrees with honors in economics and physics from the University of Pennsylvania. Shortly after graduation in 1998, he co-founded the PayPal payment service, in 2002 he created SpaceX, and a year later Tesla Motors. Musk is now the 40th richest businessman in the world according to Forbes, his fortune was estimated at $22.3 billion when the list was compiled. The magazine called him the most innovative leader in business in 2019 along with Amazon head Jeff Bezos.

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