Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone's path to success was straight out of a business school textbook. He studied economics at Bucknell University, earned his M.B.A. at the New York University Stern School of Business and went to work on Wall Street. In 1974 he launched his own investment firm, Invemed Associates, where he helped secure financing for what would become Home Depot. Today, he is worth $3.3 billion.
Even though this traditional path made Langone a billionaire, he says it's no longer the best way for young people to get ahead.
He argues that because of the increased automation of the financial sector, workers don't gain the exposure necessary to learn about business. "The Wall Street game is over for all intents and purposes," he tells CNBC. "More electronic, less hands."
Instead of working on Wall Street, Langone says that business hopefuls should get their hands dirty.
"Go out and go to work for a company and learn the business," he says. "Learn what drives a customer, learn about cost, learn about margins, learn about inventory, learn the basics of the business."