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If Peter Thiel Thinks Students Should Drop Out of School, Why Is He Teaching at Stanford?

Thiel has been a harsh critic of higher education, but he'll be teaching a startup-centered computer science class.


Peter Thiel, one of the co-founders of PayPal and the first major investor in Facebook, believes so strongly that college is unnecessary that last April he launched "20 Under 20," an experimental fellowship that pays students from some of nation’s most elite universities $100,000 each to drop out and start their own business. But despite his well-documented disdain for higher education, Thiel's headed back to Stanford, his alma mater, to teach a class this spring.

According to the university's course catalog, Thiel's class, "Computer Science 183: Startup", will teach the "conception, launch, scaling, and growing of a successful tech company." One major selling point is the promise that Thiel and his friends will share insider accounts of the early days of Silicon Valley's most successful startups, including PayPal, Google, and Facebook.

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Technology Pirates to Set Sail Off the Golden Coast

Will the next Google or Amazon be founded at sea?

Will the next Google or Amazon be founded at sea? That's the dream of Blueseed, a technology incubator that will be housed on a 1,000-room ship floating in international waters 12 miles off the coast of California. What sounds like the world's nerdiest cruise ship is actually a clever way to work around the U.S. government's tough regulations on visas for immigrant labor, which make it expensive and complicated for foreign web developers to get permission to work stateside.

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Is College Worth the Money? Reflections from Six Graduates of the Class of 2011

Their answers about whether their degrees are worth it might just surprise you.

Students are racking up astronomical amounts of debt and moving home with mom and dad after graduation because there are no jobs to be found. PayPal founder Peter Thiel is even encouraging students to drop out and try entrepreneurship instead because, he says, college isn't worth it. So we decided to ask some graduates from the class of 2011 what they think. Almost all of them are worried about paying back their student loan debt, and of those not going on to grad school, none will have traditional full-time jobs. But their answers about the value of college might surprise you.

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