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Why Did Elon Musk Quit School


Elon Musk is one of the most influential people in the world and credited with the success of numerous companies such as Tesla, SpaceX and PayPal. As a child, Elon was a bright student but he decided to quit school and promote a new lifestyle which he called “the Unschooling System”. This article looks at the reasons why Musk quit school and how his actions have shaped his success today.

The Education System

Elons upbringing as well as the current education system were two major influences on his decision to quit school. Musk was born in South Africa and later moved to Canada where he could not afford to attend college due to his parents’ lack of financial resources.

With no other options, he followed his brother Kimbal to the University of Pennsylvania and subsequently, managed to get a scholarship at Stanford University to pursue his PhD. At Stanford, Musk found himself uninterested in the topics he was studying and quickly grew tired of the university environment which he considered to be uninspiring. He realized that traditional education did not align with his goals and looked for alternative approaches to learning.

The Unschooling System

To satisfy his need for knowledge, Elon Musk developed what he called the “Unschooling System”. This system is based on the idea that people should be free to pursue any topics of interest and to further their knowledge on these topics independently. He incentivized students to take on challenges by offering scholarships and concluded that it was in an individual’s best interest to take control of their own learning process.

Musk believed that a traditional education system was limited and out-dated, and that if people are exposed to relevant topics, they will excel in the right environment.

Modern Education System

Musk’s decision to go against the traditional education system has served as an example to many people. It is not uncommon nowadays to find people who are passionate about learning and are willing to take the opportunity to gain knowledge in their own customized way. With the help of technology, access to knowledge has opened up to everyone and this, as a result, has promoted a modern education system which does not rely on standardized tests alone.

These days, many people are taking initiative for their own education. People are turning towards websites such as Coursera and edX which are online platforms where one can access courses from some of the top universities in the world.

Furthermore, there are many services and products available online which are meant to promote self-directed learning. These products range from podcasts to online publications which provide a host of information from experts in the field.

Role of Technology

Technology has created a new way for people to pursue knowledge and understanding. In this day and age, the internet has made it possible to access information on almost any topic in the world.

There is so much information available to learn that it has become increasingly difficult to stay on top of it all. This is why Musk has been encouraging the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to help individuals stay up to date. Companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple are now working towards developing AI systems that can help people stay focused by only allowing them access to information relevant to their interests and goals.

Ease of Access

There are numerous sources of free information available online. With access to these materials, self-taught individuals can start building an education of their own.

This helps to reduce the costs and time involved in getting a formal education as it offers an alternative path to gaining knowledge. People now have access to lectures and courses taught by leading experts in their respective fields without having to leave their homes, which is something that would not have been possible at all even a few decades ago.

Obligations of a Student

When people have access to information, the only thing left is to translate this information into action. A self-taught student must be disciplined and organized in order to make the most of their efforts, and there is no better way to achieve this than by setting objectives and following through with them. Elon Musk encourages students to take control of their learning, set weekly tasks to be completed, and make sure that these targets are met.

This is something that would be difficult to do in a traditional classroom setting, since everyone there would be trying to accomplish the same goal.


While it is important to gain knowledge from experts, it is also important to challenge oneself and push their limits. Self-learning involves not only gaining knowledge, but also actively working on improving oneself. Elon Musk strongly encourages people to take risks and follow their interests as this is a key to success.

He believes that it is important to stay focused on personal development, both in terms of personal relationships and career growth, and that a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience is essential to succeed in today’s world.


By going against the grain and promoting the Unschooling System, Musk has given people the opportunity to think outside the box and take full advantage of the resources available to them. Self-learning allows people to choose the pace of their learning and adjust their schedule as needed. This means that people do not have to be tied to any specific institution or course of study and can instead focus on topics that interest them the most.


It is clear that Elon Musk’s decision to quit school was a revolutionary move and it has paved the way for modern education systems. His actions have encouraged many to pursue knowledge independently and to take control of their own learning process. Musk believes that people will excel if they are exposed to relevant topics and actively apply the knowledge they gain.

As a result of Musk’s efforts, people worldwide have access to numerous sources of information, as well as an alternative path to gaining knowledge.

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