America's Child Hacker Nightmare

With college increasingly derided as a pricey con, it's no wonder America's parents worry their kids will skip higher education entirely and try to get rich programming social networks or iPhone apps or whatever. Scary!

"These are Silicon Valley's child soldiers," UC Berkeley visiting scholar Vivek Wadhwa tells Bloomberg Businessweek of the supposed trend toward college-skipping Mark Zuckerberg wannabes. "The vast majority of them will fail miserably. Then they've screwed up their careers."

Bloomberg focuses on two successful kids: 13-year-old Facebook app developer Cyrus Pishevar and 18-year-old startup founder Daniel Brusilovsky, who is just one of six child media prodigies we wrote about this past fall.

Between them and Facebook founder Zuckerberg, it's easy to see how young teens, especially the nerdy sort, might decide to start their own tech venture in grade school and then skip college—in all its glorious liberal arts breadth—all together. But it's hard to get too worked up about people finding themselves a little less educated, and a lot less indebted, in their early 20s. College will still be there if and when the Baby Zuckerbergs fail.

[Photo of Brusilovsky via loiclemeur/Flickr]