Learn about the educational journey of one of the world’s most successful businessmen.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Bill Gates attended Harvard University.

In this article, we’ll explore Gates’ educational background, his time at Harvard, and how his education has influenced his career as the co-founder of Microsoft.

Early Education

Gates’ early interest in computers

Bill Gates’ interest in computers started at a young age. In 1968, when he was just 13 years old, he discovered his passion for computer programming. He attended a private school where he was introduced to the world of computing and began exploring the possibilities of programming. Gates was fascinated with the way computers worked and spent hours on end trying to understand their mechanics.

As his interest in the field grew, Gates started reading books on computer science and programming, and by the age of 15, he had written his first computer program. The program was a simple game called “tic-tac-toe” that allowed users to play against the computer. This marked the beginning of Gates’ journey in technology and programming.

His education at Lakeside School

Bill Gates attended Lakeside School, a private preparatory school in Seattle, Washington. It was here that he met Paul Allen, his future business partner and co-founder of Microsoft. The two bonded over their shared interest in computers and programming.

At Lakeside, Gates was able to take advantage of the school’s computer facilities, which were some of the most advanced in the country at the time. He spent countless hours programming, learning about hardware, and exploring the limits of computing.

Despite his passion for computers, Gates did not neglect his other studies. He was an excellent student and excelled in math and science. His academic achievements earned him a place at Harvard University, where he would go on to study computer science and eventually drop out to pursue his dreams of starting his own company – Microsoft.

The Road to Harvard

Bill Gates, one of the richest and most successful people in the world, started his educational journey like any other student. He attended Lakeside School, a private preparatory school in Seattle, where he discovered his passion for computers. At the age of 13, he wrote his first computer program and eventually started his own computer company with his friend, Paul Allen.

His decision to attend college

Despite his success in the computer industry, Gates decided to attend college. He enrolled at Harvard University in 1973, where he planned to study law. However, he quickly became fascinated with computers once again and spent most of his time working on his programming skills instead of attending classes.

During his time at Harvard, Gates met Steve Ballmer, who would later become the CEO of Microsoft. The two became close friends and business partners, and together they started their own software company, which they called Microsoft.

His time at Harvard

Gates only spent two years at Harvard before dropping out to focus on his new company. However, he did take some valuable courses while he was there, including economics and computer science. He also had access to Harvard’s computer lab, which was one of the most advanced in the world at the time.

Despite dropping out, Gates has always spoken highly of his time at Harvard and has credited the university with teaching him valuable skills and providing him with important connections.

The birth of Microsoft

Microsoft was founded in 1975, just two years after Gates left Harvard. The company’s first product was a version of the programming language BASIC for the Altair 8800 microcomputer. Microsoft went on to develop numerous other software products, including the popular operating system MS-DOS and the Microsoft Office suite.

Today, Microsoft is one of the largest and most successful technology companies in the world, with a market capitalization of over $1 trillion. Gates’ decision to attend Harvard and his passion for computers ultimately led to the creation of a company that has had a profound impact on the way we live and work.


Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, famously dropped out of Harvard in 1975 to pursue his dreams of starting his own company. But what did he do after leaving one of the top universities in the world?

Gates’ decision to drop out of Harvard

Gates’ decision to drop out of Harvard was not an easy one. In fact, he took a leave of absence from the university in 1974 to work as a programmer at Honeywell. It was during this time that he developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the Altair 8800 microcomputer. This was a turning point in his life, as it led him to start Microsoft with his childhood friend, Paul Allen.

Despite the success of Microsoft, Gates has spoken publicly about regretting his decision to drop out of Harvard. In a 2005 speech at the university, he said, “I’m a bad example because I dropped out…I’m not sure I’m recommending that to anyone.”

His continued education through self-study

Despite not completing his degree, Gates continued his education through self-study. He has said that he spends a lot of his time reading and learning about new topics. In fact, he has been known to read up to 50 books a year. He has also taken online courses in topics such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Gates has also been a strong advocate for education. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which he founded with his wife, has invested billions of dollars in education initiatives around the world. Through the foundation, Gates has supported efforts to improve teacher quality, increase access to technology in schools, and promote college readiness.

The success of Microsoft

Despite dropping out of Harvard, Gates went on to achieve incredible success with Microsoft. The company revolutionized the computer industry with the development of the Windows operating system and the introduction of the personal computer. Today, Microsoft is one of the largest and most successful technology companies in the world, with a market capitalization of over $2 trillion.

In addition to his work with Microsoft, Gates has also been a philanthropist and a vocal advocate for global health initiatives. He has donated billions of dollars to efforts to eradicate diseases such as polio and malaria. In 2020, he stepped down from the board of Microsoft to focus on his philanthropic work full-time.

The Importance of Education

Education is fundamental for personal and professional growth. It provides us with knowledge, skills, and values that help us navigate the world and make a positive impact on society. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is a prime example of how education can shape one’s career and life.

How Gates’ education has influenced his career

Gates attended Harvard University but dropped out after two years to start Microsoft. However, his education has played a crucial role in his success. In an interview with CNN, Gates said that his college years gave him time to explore various areas of computer science and develop his passion for technology. His education also taught him how to think critically, solve problems, and work collaboratively – skills that are essential for entrepreneurship and leadership.

The role of education in the tech industry

The tech industry is constantly evolving, and education is essential for keeping up with the latest trends and developments. A degree in computer science or a related field can provide a strong foundation for a career in tech. However, formal education is not the only way to learn about technology. Online courses, coding bootcamps, and self-directed learning can also be effective ways to gain skills and knowledge. As technology continues to transform the world, lifelong learning is crucial for staying relevant and competitive.

Gates’ philanthropic efforts in education

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations, which has donated billions of dollars to various causes, including education. The foundation aims to improve access to high-quality education for all students, regardless of their background. One of its initiatives, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, provides scholarships and support services to low-income and minority students. The foundation also invests in research and development of new educational technologies that can improve learning outcomes.


Bill Gates’ educational journey is a testament to the importance of education, both traditional and self-directed.

His time at Harvard and subsequent success with Microsoft have inspired a generation of tech entrepreneurs.

As Gates continues to give back through his philanthropic efforts, his legacy in education will continue to grow.

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