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Boola, Boola Nowhere U!

2008-07-30 18:46:20.331915+00 by petronius 8 comments

The Spokane Spokesman-Review (great name) has obtained a list of people who purchased bogus college degrees from a local diploma mill. They discovered people in the military and government on the list, which they have published. Anybody you know on the list?

Taking off from that, I've always wondered if employers notice that the supposedly baccalaureate new hire doesn't seem, well, smart enough to graduate from Pismo Beach Polytech? Or are they shocked to find out that the well-read, cultured person is actually using a naugahide instead of a sheepskin? I've known a few dunderheads who graduated legitimately, so what is the use of that paper?

[ related topics: moron Work, productivity and environment Heinlein Education ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-30 20:45:23.917808+00 by: Dan Lyke

My impression is that the only people who get such things are working for employers who simply check off boxes based on what education people claim, and these days the only employers who stupidly base their pay scale or hiring practices on education are the military and government.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-31 01:21:43.82365+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Circa 198x-something. I paid $50 or $100 for a B.S. from Edison State University, Menlo Park NJ. A "non-accredited" college. Never used/claimed it, even in jest, but the Diploma was pretty. No clue where it is now. I'm now able to create (falsify) CEU Credits for some stuff ranging from "fire safety" to "human resources". Don't see any benefit there either.

But them, I'm also ordained. I actually see a little value there.

I'm 46-ish. I get hired 'cause I'm an asshole that gets stuff done. I'm trying to hire some people based on skills/chops/attitude/personality/aptitude/experience. It's hard to evaluate those skills from a resume and an interview. Education helps, and hurts as well.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-31 09:23:45.217396+00 by: meuon

I feel compelled to add, after reading the list and thinking a little:

How many of those people using a faked degree did an average or better than average job at whatever they were supposedly educated in?

#Comment Re: ASs made: 2008-07-31 12:40:22.021984+00 by: ghasty

I've been tempted in the past just to buy a degree. Got my AS degree going concurrent with high school and working full time as a developer in the late 80's. Have worked around the issue for years but think I'm at the point now where dammit, gotta do something. I was accepted into Kennesaw State MBA program with only an AS and my work experience...but then again, these days I believe all MBA programs are "diploma mills".

And yes, I've been ordained in a "real" church since the late 80's as well as my "fake" church (praise "Bob") and do find them useful.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-08-02 12:23:13.316472+00 by: andylyke [edit history]

In a period of unemployment, I found myself teaching (for 15 weeks) in a heavily advertised "university" that I soon realized offered no real educational value to its "students". There were two classes of pupils: The first were of "normal" college age, and were selected, I believe, from the bottom decile of their high school classes on the basis of naivete (10% college loans, the belief that "college grads make $1million more than non grads" implied a causal relationship). The second were mid career government employees who needed a "college degree" to get that GS13.

Apropos accreditation - While I was there, the school's business program got SACS accreditation despite the fact that thee was exactly ONE full time faculty member (who falsely claimed a PhD) in the business dep't, and that the library would have fit in my bedroom, and that most of the titles included the words "for dummies" or "for the complete idiot".

#Comment Re: made: 2008-08-02 13:26:21.319077+00 by: meuon [edit history]

[humor][sarcasm] Perhaps experienced self taught uber geeks should create and maintain a title like lawyers do with "Esquire" (an artificial vestige of nobility?). Perhaps:

Herr (too German?)
Uber (again, german? Hmm..)
Master (too BDSM or Jedi?)
Augustus (Roman)
As many good programmers/technical people claim to be egalitarian (even when they are quite the hierarchal anarchist) perhaps a little artificial humility would be useful:
Or you could go the other way, tick off the religious and pick one of the many variations of $Diety, or just use $Diety itself.

Personally, I'm liking the Frankenstein word, it could even be abbreviated.

And of course, mix a few together just for fun, I could be:

The Reverend Mike Harrison, Frankenstein, CBET, CCE #2750,

Now all we need is a Board of Directors, an online certification exam, and of course, a fee. Annual, payable in small monthly amounts.


#Comment Re: made: 2008-08-02 15:26:08.704256+00 by: Dan Lyke

An honorific for software developers hasn't yet emerged, but for ops people, even though they're largely self-appointed labels, "BOFH" and "PFY" following a name give me a lot more respect than things like "PhD" or "MS"...

"BPFH", though, is kind of like "MA"...

#Comment Re: made: 2008-08-02 18:30:48.688977+00 by: meuon

BOFH will always mean a very special person to me, besides the Famous Role Model: BOFH.