Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in an interview with artificial intelligence researcher Lex Fridman shared advice for students, such as reading books, avoiding becoming a leader, and helping. When asked what advice he would give to young people who want to do something big, Musk simply responded by saying “try to be useful”. Musk mentioned that the young generation should do things that are useful to fellow human beings and to the world. “It’s very hard to be useful,” Musk stated, urging young people to “contribute more than you consume”.
He also advised students to read and develop their general knowledge so they know what’s going on around the world. Musk also noted that the more you talk to different kinds of people from all over the world, the more your mind will open. “Talk to people from different walks of life and different industries and professions and skills,” Elon Musk told Fridman. In a 2014 interview, Musk said he looked for “evidence of exceptional ability” in a potential employee, rather than a degree from a prestigious university.
“There is no need even to have a college degree at all, or even high school,” Musk said during an interview with the German automotive publication Auto Bild about his hiring preferences more broadly. “If somebody graduated from a great university, that may be an indication that they will be capable of great things, but it’s not necessarily the case. If you look at, say, people like Bill Gates or Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, these guys did not graduate from college, but if you had a chance to hire them, of course that would be a good idea.”