Diploma Mills Hurting Online Degrees

Jason Morris

The explosion of diploma mills is beginning to have an adverse effect on legitimate online degrees.  Many online degrees do lack the standards of a traditional degree however some are still considered very good.  Due to the many unregulated online courses many employers are not allowing those with ‘online’ degrees to apply. It is important when conducting a background check to verify the type of degree obtained by your applicants!

US: No job if you only have an online degree

American universities are rejecting job applications from academics with online degrees – even if the institutions offer those degrees themselves. Good enough for luring in student tuition, it seems, but not good enough for hiring as faculty.

For several years, the number of vacancy descriptions that state “no online degrees” has been increasing. The first “no online degree” declarations were posted for international academic positions and this was to be expected because many other countries had serious problems with diploma mills – those fake institutions that offer degrees for money.

It was possible to identify the diploma mills because, in spite of brochures with campus scenes, they operated out of a storefronts or mailboxes. You filled out a few forms and paid your money for a bachelor’s degree; pay more money and you got a masters or a PhD.

Today, with previously legitimate universities offering online courses and degrees, it is becoming difficult to separate the diploma mills from the bona fide programmes. That is why the value of the online degree is being questioned by more and more employers.

Some online degree courses consist of little more than asking the student to read a book and take a test. But we need architects who can build solid buildings and surgical nurses who can do nursing, which is why some employers are placing restrictions on the amount of online work that can be applied toward nursing degrees.

The inability of some online graduates to perform has led to the “no online degrees” job advertisements. The watering down of the value of American degrees has become obvious in recent approvals of online masters degrees for what had previously been undergraduate teaching coursework in Kansas.


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Jason Morris

President & Chief Operating Officer at EmployeeScreenIQ
A veteran screening and risk management professional, Jason Morris founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and acts as the company’s chief operating officer and president. Morris is a frequent speaker delivering captivating, interactive discussions on background checks, global screening, recruitment and staffing. He educates audiences in best practice initiatives as they relate to organizational employment screening programs. Morris has been quoted in numerous business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, USA Today, New York Times, among others. He is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
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