Why I Love Degree Mills

Today My TEFL course said this:

The qualifications required for working in the private sector are lower than in the public sector.

It means that public schools require more qualifications than private schools.

Do they now?

The same course told me few sentences later that private English schools make more money, pay more money, teach better and generally have better results. Which is kind of obvious considering the fact that people are willing to pay extra instead of relying on free public education.

So my question is: how is it possible that public schools require more qualifications?

Are you telling me that more qualified teachers produce a worse outcome? What makes them more qualified then?

I’ll tell you what: titles. University degrees. PhD-s.

Ok, but why in the name of all that is honest, do you call those titles “qualifications”?

If holding a title makes you truly qualified, then public schools, which require more fancy titles than private schools, should be the most efficient. Are they?

I don’t know, I haven’t been everywhere in the world. But as far as I’ve seen, I’m willing to take a chance stating that only an utter moron could say that you’ll learn English in public schools quicker than in private ones.

The same applies to all government-run institutions. As a rule, the public sector requires more “qualifications” from employees than the private sector. And yet the results suggest something opposite. The cost of famously dysfunctional Obamacare website was more than $2000000000 ($2000 mln) and it didn’t even work at first. Even today it still doesn’t work 100% as it should. To compare, the Twitter website worked fine for 6 years with the budget of $360 mln.

Guess which of those two had more qualified employees?

Well, the government, of course! I doubt they hired anyone below Ph.D.

My life experience tells me that those who rely on their titles are likely to be hugely incompetent. That makes sense: if you’re really good at something, you’ve got results to show, don’t you? So why would you need to rely on your academic titles? Your knowledge, skills, and experience are the best and only real proof of your value.

Which reminds me of an article I’ve read recently on CNN. It was about the danger of rising popularity of degree mills.

What are degree mills?

They are private institutions that sell you totally legal but utterly worthless degrees. To get your “qualification” you need to say out loud: “I’m really, really good at computer programming” and pay $200. After you’ve done that the university sends you a legal title of bachelor in computer programming issued but a legal private institution.

The CNN guy points out to the danger of such degrees: how can an employer discern between a guy who honestly worked for 5 years at the campus and a joker like me who just paid $200 dollars?

Are you being serious, Mr. CNN guy?

If you can’t really tell the difference between those two that means they are both incompetent! Or even worse: you are if you can’t tell the difference!

Well, there is also a possibility (it would be in my case) that both candidates are equally competent. But if so, what does it matter what university they’ve finished?

I love degree mills!

Their existence exposes the worldwide scam that is called “academic degree”, which is beautiful!

Here’s how the scam goes: you make people spend 5 years of reading, writing, discussing and memorizing lots and lots of completely useless highly theoretical stuff. And when they have proved that they paid attention, you give them an impressive-looking title.

Oh yes, and you make them pay $50000 for this paper. Or $100000, why not. The more you make them pay, they more impressive you are.

And the best part is, nobody will ever complain!

Because when a poor sucker with a diploma and newly acquired arrogance tries to get a job in the real world he soon starts to realize he can’t. Due to the fact that he’s learned less than Mr. Smith next door, who, instead of working hard for a title for 5 years, worked hard for 5 months in a real-life company.

So he can’t get a job. What to do now?

In all probability, he’ll find a job in a public school and teach English. Why there? Because in a public school “qualification” means “degree”.

Also, our guy can get a position design Obamacare websites. Because U.S. government hires only highly qualified programmers.

Or he’ll get a low-skill job in a restaurant. Or (also a popular choice) no job at all.

But the best part is that all that time he is bound to preach the gospel of academia. Because the more people believe in his religion of degrees the more the value his own degree gets. So he preaches it with a passion, no matter if his education proved to be useful or useless, no matter if he could get the same amount of qualification elsewhere or not.

He’s the part of the scam now.

That’s why I love degree mills! Thanks to a mill I can also become a sucker! But I will pay $200 instead of $50000 and waste 1 hour of my life instead of 4000. Which I intend to do, as soon as I find a reliable seller with a recommendation (anyone?).

I’ll go for Ph.D. I think. I deserve it.

And I intend to proudly show my new degree to everyone around, saying: “look at my completely worthless Ph.D. degree”.

I would say exactly the same about a “real” Ph.D. Which I don’t have. But I have an Associate’s degree. It is absolutely legal and completely worthless.

However, I will not use my Ph.D. to get a job. Never!

Because if somebody believes that a degree means qualification, that shows he’s an idiot.

And working for an idiot is something everyone should avoid.


Why I Love Degree Mills was originally published in Completely Unprofessional on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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