Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Exposing fake and real degrees

Three years ago the US Secret Service in concert with Homeland Security busted a forgery ring. DVDs, Rolexes, designer handbags? No. University Degrees. It was called a diploma mill.

A fake university based out of Liberia (yes it's a real country) that provided you with a degree in a subject of your choosing for a small fee. Many people feel rightly outraged at how people have cheated the system. One law school student has had her education and job offer disappear when her fake undergrad degree was exposed. Another consultant's (with a fake PhD) website listed the RCMP and many major police forces as repeat clients.

Yes, what these people have done is dishonest. It is unfair to those who put in all the time to earn those credentials.

Let's talk about those people that took their fake degrees and got jobs. They were hired for their qualifications. People are hired for their skills, experience and knowledge. A degree represents skills & knowledge. If people were hired and successful at their jobs, what does this say about the degree itself? If one scams to get in the door, but doesn't get exposed by their lack of knowledge, is the degree meaningless?

The degree can be used to filter applicants. But does the degree give graduates a performance advantage? If a degree doesn't translate to noticeable real-world performance then employers should evaluate it's weighting in hiring decisions. Perhaps a degree is less about the material but an extended test of intelligence and perseverance. Is a degree just creating an aristocracy into the working world, where as our capitalist market should work on a meritocracy.


Related Links:
Phony Diploma Investigation (The Star)
College vs University

1 comment:

clive.boulton said...

certainly paradoxes

20 yrs after graduation, working in business, prolly merit and experince make more difference than a degree.

but for engineering. life sciences, medicine. degree skill still count.

would you want a non - degreed MFD removing your gall bladder. or designing the 787 fuel tank?

on the other hand, the sales person ,or CEO or general manager. makes no difference?