Are academic verifications really necessary? If an applicant can show a physical copy of their diploma doesn’t that mean they graduated? Well, it could, but that shouldn’t count for anything. With the rise of diploma mills, institutions which can simulate a variety of different, unique and most importantly fraudulent degrees from institutions across the country, nothing should be taken at face value. The only real way to ascertain an accurate confirmation on the validity of a degree is to perform an academic verification.
Before we jump into what an academic verification entails let’s first take a look at one of the most infamous examples of degree fraud. Yahoo’s former CEO Scott Thompson was chosen to head the company back in 2012. On his application he listed degrees for both accounting and computer science, which it turns out he only held a degree in accounting. After this information was exposed to the board of directors he was promptly let go and served a meager five month reign as Yahoo’s CEO.
The whole embarrassing scandal could have been completely avoided if only Yahoo had decided to verify the information the prospective CEO provided in the hiring process. Most academic verifications are almost instantaneous and cost anywhere from $9.95 to $24.95 in accessing fees, the effort it would have taken to ensure an applicant’s credibility is infinitesimal compared to what is required in removing the individual from the payroll, especially a CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Beyond an individual claiming they have a degree they do not, many individuals are now turning to Diploma Mills, institutions whose sole purpose are to fabricate fraudulent degrees. These institutions go as far as being able to fabricated specific degrees from any specific accredited college or university in the nation. Meaning if a client of theirs requests a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from UC Berkeley then it could fabricated and more troubingly, look authentic.
More and more individuals are turning to these institutions to skip the long, expensive route of earning a degree themselves. Instead of accruing thousands of dollars in loan debt, all a Diploma Mill requires is a simple monetary transaction for sometimes as little as several hundred dollars and the client has their new fake degree.
Despite the simplicity of buying a degree from a Diploma Mill it has several very critical weaknesses. Firstly let’s begin with the obvious, if the degree is highly specialized the applicant will lack the highly specific knowledge that would have been gathered while going to the university. This proves problematic because there is no real way to figure out what an applicant truly understands during the interview process, barring an exam. Secondly, buying a fake physical degree from a Diploma Mill banks on the fact that organizations are going to accept that physical degree, which most do not. Thirdly, the ultimate and final blow to anything a Diploma Mill could hope to do is the actual record held by the school itself.
When an academic verification is processed the school records are directly accessed or the school itself is contacted. If there is no record there was never a degree, it’s that simple. This is where Diploma Mills fall flat on their face; beyond their absolute unethical business practices they offer a product with very little practical substance.
So to answer the question postulated in this article’s title. Are academic verifications necessary? Yes. Academic verifications are the only surefire way to ensure an applicant is telling the truth about their degree and that it isn’t some fabricated piece of paper they bought for several hundred dollars.