Employment with an unaccredited degree

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by TeacherBelgium, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    I conducted a mini survey from 100 employers here in Belgium to assess whether they would give a potential candidate with an unaccredited degree a chance.

    65% responded that yes, they would give that person a chance if competences were there.
    20% replied that no, they wouldn't.
    15% didn't reply at all.

    I'm really happy with these pseudo-approach findings.

    Accreditation matters so much less in the real world than boards like this one sometimes make me think.

    If the programme is qualitative and the degree you get prepares you for positions, my understanding is that most won't care here in Belgium.

    I talked to so many employers over the last few days and almost all said the same.
  2. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member


    Interesting findings. - I would like to add the following:
    • Might not work if you get involved in the politics business
    • It could make you blackmailable even outside politics.

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
  3. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    Wouldn't make you blackmailable if you are upfront about it.
    Most employers didn't really care.
    They said that if the degree teaches you the necessary skills, it's enough for them.
    They recognised that not every unaccredited institute is a scam.

    Again, it might depend on where in the world you live.
    Here in Belgium, employers didn't really seem to care.

    Accreditation hysteria seems to be mostly an American thing.
    Here in Europe you can explain to employers that the institute offers high quality programmes and if you can prove that they will acknowledge it as a real degree, at least in Belgium.

    The blackmailing stuff would be true if you show for example a degree from Concordia college and university, which is a mill.
    Not from a decent, unaccredited Institute.
    Some institutes remain unaccredited to keep fees for students low.
    Not everyone has 20 or 30k$ for a programme.
    If you are ''poor'', like myself, those 1k$ institutes are a blessing. Even if unaccredited. As long as they are genuine and deliver a useful degree, I don't care if they are not Equis or AMBA accredited.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
  4. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    I also think that you need to keep in mind, Mac, that the accreditation hysteria mostly comes from those who have 100k$ in student loans or paid that amount off.
    Wouldn't you be bitter if someone got hired for the same position as yourself if you paid 100k$ for your degree and a potential candidate had his degree for 2 or 3k$ with no meaningful difference being made by the employer?
    I know I would be livid.
    So you have to keep in mind that there is a certain incentive behind the whole accreditation hysteria.
    An incentive that is slowly starting to become outdated.
  5. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    One of the issues in this topic is that employees seldom approach an employer and say "MY DEGREE CAME FROM AN UNACCREDITED SCHOOL." And most employers don't dig deeply enough for it to be noticed. But, more importantly, unless you're hiring entry level positions, there is just much more that goes into the decision making process beyond the degree source.

    I recently interviewed an engineer. We needed a specialized electrical engineer who had extensive experience in fuel cell technology. Do you think anyone cares where they went to school? Absolutely not. We are only interviewing people who are currently working in that specialized field at large and well respected companies. If Boeing hired some dude with a degree from Almeda then, well, so be it. As long as he knows what we need then he's going to at least be considered. I wouldn't even exercise my "nuclear option" (where HR can halt a hiring against the hiring manager's objection). If the applicant has the skills necessary the degree, frankly, doesn't matter.

    To be blunt, there is no "accreditation hysteria" outside of these boards. Employers are focused on hiring qualified applicants and if your degree is one of the primary things that makes you qualified for a job then it is a job that must not require very much. The vast majority of people just don't care. That's why we can always find examples of people with nationally accredited degrees teaching, being employed by reputable employers and sometimes holding masters from regionally accredited schools. Only a very small, but vocal segment, cares about accreditation.

    That being said, having an unaccredited doctorate, for better or worse, is almost always seen as "this person has a fake doctorate" which often creates issues for people in certain fields such as government service including, especially it seems, secondary school administrators.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'm looking forward to the publication of your findings. Until then, statistics from anonymous, unpublished sources who have no standing anywhere really aren't useful.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The concept of accreditation is quite different in the US than it is in the rest of the world. In most countries, the central government determines what is and is not a "recognized" or "legitimate" degree-granting institution. In the US, that is the function of recognized accreditation. Simply put, your "survey" outcomes are meaningless here. I suspect the same can be said of Belgium.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    You simply do not have the basis for making this statement.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    As a hiring manager, I look for three things. Can the candidate do the job? Will the candidate do the job? Will the candidate fit the culture?

    Lying about one's qualifications--and yes, sporting an "Alameda" degree is lying about one's qualifications--is immediately disqualifying. In my realm, where background checks are mandatory for all employees, this would cause a rejection. (A degree from any unaccredited school would trigger a denial.)

    Tougher would be "legitimate but unaccredited." Still, we watched a highly placed DHS official's career implode because she claimed degrees from an unaccredited (but legal) school.

    My experiment with HR officials confirms that they, largely, don't know and don't care. But we all know from the many examples we've seen over the years, when it does become an issue, it can get ugly for the applicant/employee.

    Millions of people sport degrees they didn't earn, either from legitimate sources where the degree was never really awarded, or from illegitimate sources altogether. If it didn't work, people wouldn't do these things.

    There's plenty of grey areas, too. I know of one author--whose work I really admire--who has a doctorate from a (now defunct) unaccredited school. He is the founder of a methodology that is widely used--and recognized for it. But his work doesn't rely on an employer's approval or blessing. If yours does, it might be a good idea to have degrees from non-problematic sources.
  10. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    In America I believe your mentality is representative.
    Here in Belgium fortunately people are more open minded. Yes, I have the basis for making that statement. The employers directly told me that they look much further than degrees.
  11. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    If you read my post doctor Douglas,
    You would have noticed that I was talking about Belgium and not about your beloved America.
    Have a wonderful evening.
  12. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    I'm not talking about America, doctor D.
    I'm talking about a small country in Europe (that's on the other side of the ocean where people eat more than McDonald's) where people are open minded.
    In education, in accepting other people's identities etc.
    Not trying to compare with '' Murica'', rest assured.
  13. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    So every hiring manager is supposed to think and react like you, doctor Douglas ?
    Are hiring managers with a different approach fake hiring managers?
    Is your approach the law, the be all and end all of things? Could it be that maybe, just maybe, I don't know, different people think differently?
    That different hiring managers think differently?
    Do you deem that possible, doctor Douglas ?
  14. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    I'm aware that your system is entirely different over there. I'm aware.
    Have no intentions to ever take a US degree course.
    Am happy to test how European employers think about it.
    That small sample survey was favorable, at least.
    Couldn't care less how it's over there. I do believe you that it's entirely different on the job market there in your big Apple.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    As I said, I'll look forward to the publication of your findings.
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    But you're posting it in a forum centered primarily on US education. If you're stipulating that what you posted applies to....almost zero people here, I'd go along with that.
  17. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    Especially for you one day I will post those findings in a journal.

    Bye for now, doctor Douglas :)
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Your statement itself is close-minded.

    I've been to Belgium. I loved the Netherlands.
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I didn't say any of that. I posted my opinion. I assume I'm still free to have one.
  20. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    Belgium is not the same as the Netherlands.
    We are two separate countries. We speak the same language but are not the same country.

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