Elon Musk doesn't care if his employees finished university or even high school for that matter

Tesla's AI team is recruiting and Elon Musk is not particularly interested in qualifications.

Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk has been a long time advocate of hiring based on ability and skills rather than the degrees and qualifications that candidates have amassed. Last weekend he tweeted an announcement that Tesla’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) department, which is working on Tesla’s self-driving-car technology, was hiring and that applicants need not have a degree. Instead, he said successful candidates are those that exhibit a thorough and ‘deep understanding of AI’ regardless of how much formal education they have had. 

“A PhD is definitely not required… don’t care if you even graduated high school,” he tweeted, adding that “Tesla will soon have over a million connected vehicles worldwide with sensors & compute needed for full self-driving, which is orders of magnitude more than everyone else combined, giving you the best possible dataset to work with.”

Musk has always been very open about the fact that impressive degrees do not guarantee candidates’ capabilities. In a 2014 interview with German automotive publication Auto Bild, he was asked what he looked for in potential hires for his team and explicitly said there was no need for a candidate to have a college degree at all, or to have even completed high school for that matter. Instead, he has always believed that the best brains and the most successful people are not the ones who went to college.

“If somebody graduated from a great university, that may be an indication that they will be capable of great things but that’s not necessarily the case. If you look at people like (Microsoft co-founder) Bill Gates, (Oracle co-founder) Larry Ellison, (Apple co-founder) Steve Jobs…these guys did not graduate from college,” he said in the interview.