Elon Musk says you still don't need a college degree to work at Tesla. Here's what he looks for in job applicants instead.

elon musk

You still don't need a college degree to work for Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO tweeted on Sunday.

"Yes," Musk said when asked if he didn't require potential employees to have a college degree.Advertisement

Musk's answer echoed one he gave during a 2014 interview with the German automotive publication Auto Bild.

"There's no need even to have a college degree at all, or even high school," Musk said after being asked whether he considered which college a job applicant attended when evaluating a potential Tesla employee. "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 didn't graduate from college, but if you had a chance to hire them, of course that would be a good idea."

Rather than a degree from a prestigious university, Musk said he looks for "evidence of exceptional ability" in a potential employee.
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"If there's a track record of exceptional achievement, then it's likely that that will continue into the future," Musk said.

Musk said that when he interviews a potential employee, he asks them to give a summary of their career and describe how they solved some of the most difficult problems they've faced. To make sure the interviewee is not taking credit for someone else's work, Musk will ask detailed questions about the problem they describe. If the interviewee wasn't responsible for solving the problem, they won't know the answers.Musk himself received undergraduate degrees in physics and economics from the University of Pennsylvania.Advertisement

Are you a current or former Tesla employee? Do you have an opinion about what it's like to work there? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com. You can also reach out on Signal at 646-768-4712 or email this reporter's encrypted address at mmatousek@protonmail.com.

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