July 2004


A leading credentials-verification company reports that the number of job applicants with fake MBA degrees issued for “life experience” has been on the increase. The degrees are increasingly being issued by diploma mills with sophisticated websites that represent them to be real schools and the diplomas do not mention the school is purely virtual. Moreover some of these so-called schools have degree verification offices that are deliberately set up to deceive employers.


This writer finds it hard to believe that the ‘students’ are not fully aware of the true nature of these degrees and feels they should have no recourse against their “schools” should they flunk a background test or lose a job due to this deception.

While it is not illegal to sell pieces of paper, these diploma mills could be quickly shut down if the background check companies asked the follow up question of what type of work the job seeker did to earn the degree.

Finally, while many individuals do not care for the new for-profit, online universities (Phoenix, Kennedy Western, etc.), those schools do require their students to attend classes, complete case studies, and pass exams to earn their degrees. Accordingly, it is unfair to lump these legitimate schools into the same grouping as the diploma mills, which also offer fake medical degrees in addition to MBAs, cited in this article.