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Key EDS Witness Bought Internet Degree

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the maybe-the-dog-just-did-better dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 258

An anonymous reader writes "EDS's key witness during the firm's court case against BSkyB was shown to have bought his degree online – but still managed to get a worse mark than a dog. Joe Galloway said he had a degree from Concordia College in the US Virgin Islands and gave detailed evidence on how he took plane journeys between the islands and attended a college there. But while questioning Galloway in court, Mark Howard QC managed to obtain exactly the same degree as Galloway from Concordia College for his dog 'Lulu' with one key difference – the dog got a higher mark."

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My dog is smarter than your dog. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978250)

My dog is smarter than your dog.

Re:My dog is smarter than your dog. (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978372)

That doesn't impress the cat [icanhascheezburger.com] .

Bad for Internet PR (4, Funny)

Asadullah Ahmad (1608869) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978266)

Its stuff like this that makes people question even reliable and accurate information on Internet.

Re:Bad for Internet PR (5, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978444)

"reliable and accurate information on Internet"
Best. Oxymoron. Ever.

Re:Bad for Internet PR (2, Insightful)

Enleth (947766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978630)

Don't be so harsh, there surely is some reliable information out there. Of course, there still remains the problem of finding it, a process which, even with aid of a search engine, most closely resembles searching for diamonds in a septic tank with a single pair of rubber gloves and a ladle...

Re:Bad for Internet PR (2, Informative)

Another, completely (812244) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978774)

If you're looking for the definition of an eigenvector, you can probably trust what you find. Otherwise, it's like fixing a slow watch by never winding it: instead of being always wrong, it's now exactly correct twice every day.

Re:Bad for Internet PR (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978788)

Not really. Even in that scenario, as soon as you have found the diamond, you know it is one.
A better analogy would be searching for a few real bank notes in a heap of counterfeit notes.

i mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978268)

wtf man

Re: Article (1)

Bahamut_Omega (811064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978276)

Hmm; a joker that got a joke degree with real money. I'm just wondering if they've been smoking their cash & weed at the same time.

Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degrees (1, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978286)

College degrees are way overrated. This is coming from someone with multiple degrees from MIT, Harvard, and Oxford.

College degrees have always been worthless the moment you joined the workforce and got your first day of actual working experience. It's always been worthless because the assclown with family connections will get the job over any random summa cum laude. The worthlessness is even worse since anything worth knowing is learned on the job and not in the classroom.

Consider this. Right now we are in a terrible recession. Many people are going back to school because they can't find a paying job. That means that in 3 year's time we will have a huge glut of people with advanced degrees fighting over the same pool of jobs. It's the same as always, only the requirements to play require a higher standard of education.

Or does it? Since experience and personal contacts mean much more than degrees, the earlier you can get a job, the better. Wasting your time in actual school taking actual classes is a net loser compared to getting a cheap diploma from a diploma mill and getting a paying job today.

I spent a lot of time to get my advanced degrees, but I have no illusions about their actual value. My real value comes from my work experience and successes in my field. Degrees aren't worth the paper they are printed on. If you want one, you should do it for yourself, not for a job.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978312)

Who are you and what have you done to the real BadAnalogyGuy?!

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978330)

Well, a degree is ultimately a bit of paper.

As far as "useless" goes, okay, I probably use at most about 5% of what I learned at university. So it has actually been useful - just not as useful as one might expect. Of course, even most of that 5% I could have learned from textbooks, but the course structure gave me a little context. It told me what there was to know. I have no idea whether I'd have learned about functional programming languages or Hough transforms without university guidance. I wouldn't have known they exist even to look for them. Granted, neither of those two examples have actually come up in the working environment, but I imagine there are some that have

If you want one, you should do it for yourself, not for a job.

Having said what I said, I still 100% agree with this statement.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (2, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978826)

Even if you never had to program in a functional language later, the very fact that you have learned one has affected your thinking (in ways not necessarily obvious), and very likely has made you a better programmer even in traditional imperative and object oriented languages.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (3, Interesting)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979208)

Agreed. Most of my degree was _directly_ not a lot of use - I've moved into systems admin type stuff, and Computer Systems Engineering only had a few modules over the 3 years that were directly applicable. (E.g. perl programming I use daily, formal methods, database design, not so much).
But there's a lot of stuff that's been indirectly relevant - communication theory kicks in when you start talking about protocols. Database design lets you slap people upside the head for using a spreadsheet for server configurations. Assembly and embedded processor programming gives you a handle on performance analysis for 'black box' devices.
I daily see the difference in perspective my degree has given me - I'm thinking a different way to most of my colleagues who just 'sort of ended up' in IT.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978336)

College degrees are way overrated.

Not really. It's Human Resource people who make the hiring decisions who are over-rated. They look for degrees, good references and personality to make their decisions, instead of looking at a person's ability. Like the article said;

He gave his evidence [on going to the college] in the same confident, secure manner as he gave his evidence about the EDS representations.

Smart people usually aren't confident because they know how ignorant they are. HR people look for confidence in a person when hiring. Confident people also get promoted. It's all about sales, not ability. I'd rather hire an insecure person who wasn't confident in his abilities to do differential equations than hire somebody who confidently lies about his ability because he thinks (and knows) people are stupid enough to judge him based on how he presents himself.

Presentation is everything, that's why PowerPoint is so popular with business and sales people. It's quite useless, but it's pretty and it looks smart.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978610)

I'm not sure why the parent was marked "insightful".

The crux of the parent post is: "smart" people lack confidence, therefore confident people are not smart.

It's hardly stupid that HR people look for degrees (an indication that the applicant has completed a course of study), good references (an indication that the applicant has performed favourably at their previous job) and personality (because, believe it or not, personality counts and in itself is not a negative trait).

Here's the news: Most jobs require a combination of different abilities, especially interpersonal skills. In many cases it doesn't matter if you are a genius if you are unable to communicate with your colleagues and work well in a team.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978786)

It's hardly stupid that HR people look for degrees (an indication that the applicant has completed a course of study)

Which is quite meaningless. In this case it's not even true. I remember hearing about a study that found half of the civil service managers hired in the US lied about having a degree... OK it's been a few years and I can't remember the details, but I thought it was worth mentioning 'cuz it's something that I'd never forget). And, just because you go to driving school don't necessarily mean you should be driving. Personally, most people that I've met who have gotten middle-class or managerial jobs have admitted to me that they lied. And guess what, most people who go to school cheat on tests and homework etc (to at least some degree). So nope, going through the motions of making yourself look good on paper doesn't count towards competence.

, good references (an indication that the applicant has performed favorably at their previous job)

Not at all. Most people will lie about references, and the smart people will get their friends to vouche for them. Most employers will either be vindictive (like they were with Richard Barlow [wikipedia.org] ) or just give the standard BS to avoid possible libel.

and personality (because, believe it or not, personality counts and in itself is not a negative trait).

Unfortunately you can't judge a person's personality in an interview, even if it lasts a full half hour, that's why even trying to attempt such a feat is bogus. And as I've stated, references are just as bogus.

Most jobs require a combination of different abilities, especially interpersonal skills. In many cases it doesn't matter if you are a genius if you are unable to communicate with your colleagues and work well in a team.

I agree with you here. That's why I'd be more likely to hire insecure people (there is a LOT of research that shows that people who lack confidence are much, much more competent at there jobs than confident people, and yet they don't tend to get hired or promoted. You shouldn't even need to Google information on this; it should be common sense).

I'll give a quick (and far from complete) reference:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overconfidence_effect [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depressive_realism [wikipedia.org]

You can't cheat on homework (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30979026)

And guess what, most people who go to school cheat on tests and homework etc (to at least some degree).

It is not possible to cheat on homework. You can find the solutions from the internet? That is problem solving and ability to find information: it will probably benefit you at work too. If it is too easy that way, the homework was designed poorly. You copy those from a friend? I doubt your friends will be friends for a long time if they have to provide you with all the answers so most likely you are taking some turns. IE: Teamwork in order to help your whole group have nice grades while still having free time. I think that this kind of activity is not cheating: It is essential part of being a student.

Now, if you do those things in order to avoid learning anything, that should be reflected on exams. If you can cheat on them, the teacher is just being very lazy and/or the test has been designed poorly. (Or you truly have superior social and/or problem solving skills.)

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978352)

I spent a lot of time to get my advanced degrees, but I have no illusions about their actual value. My real value comes from my work experience and successes in my field.

      Just to take the devil's advocate position here: you essentially are implying that you learned nothing in school and could have had the same successes without taking the courses you took?

      I (owner of a piece of paper that says I am a medical doctor) agree that at the end of the day a degree is just a piece of paper. The real value is what you yourself put into the course, it's not "granted" to you by some outside force. I know people with exactly the same degree I have who, frankly, I would never let near my children. I myself used my training as an excuse to spend as much time as possible with patients, including weekends and holidays when I really didn't have to be there. So in essence I agree with you, it's not "the degree" that has given me a far more profound understanding of medicine than most of my classmates (who did the bare minimum). Rather it's my attitude towards learning, problem solving, and work that let me get ahead in my field.

      However there has to be some objective method of classifying a potential employee, and the degree (and where it came from) is a very simple test. Yes there are bound to be highly efficient individuals who lack university degrees (my grandfather made millions - far more than I could ever hope to earn - and never had more than 3rd grade). And there are bound to be slackers who despite having prestigious degrees are absolutely useless. That's why hiring isn't (or shouldn't be) done on solely a candidate's degree. It's just another tool when sifting through the work-force to help identify the individual you think will be of greatest use to you.

      However, all else being equal, I would be more inclined to trust someone with a Harvard degree than a degree from "Concordia Online College"...

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978702)

Make sure to check your references [dilbert.com] .

Two things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978784)

One, the people going back to college, would probably have their time best spent at vocational and technical colleges, where they can learn skills.

Two, about those slackers, I don't know what to say. Did they cheat to get their degrees? Or did they forget a lot of what they learned due to not applying it?

The key to learning something isn't just learning it. It's also about applying it, and making sure you don't forget it.

Re:Two things... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978866)

Two, about those slackers, I don't know what to say. Did they cheat to get their degrees?

      Even a mediocre person can get an advanced degree if they are good at taking tests. Testing is by no means an accurate method of gauging a person's understanding of material, only their knowledge of it at that moment in time. Most testing is based on evaluating the knowledge of facts. Testing is easy for institutions to implement and it's supposed to provide a sort of objective insight into the student's depth of study. However only by spending a lot of time with a student can you really evaluate their depth of understanding and whether or not they can associate the stuff they saw in class X in year 1 with some of the stuff they are seeing today, to be able to reach the correct conclusions and take the appropriate actions.

      After all, a professional isn't just someone who has memorized a lot of books. It doesn't matter how many times you can parrot both volumes of "Harrison's Internal Medicine" - you still won't be allowed to write a prescription or claim to be a doctor unless you've graduated from medical school and passed board exams. But even then you can still harm people by inaction or inappropriate actions. You need to be able to become more than the sum of the "parts" you have learned throughout your educational career. And there's no way a few hundred hours of tests can evaluate THAT.

      Surgeons have a saying: "I spent 10 years learning when to operate a patient, and it took me another 20 years to learn when NOT to operate a patient."

Re:Two things... (1)

SakuraDreams (1427009) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979090)

But even then you can still harm people by inaction or inappropriate actions.

As a doctor, I find that knowing more facts can lead to fewer mistakes. I agree that being an encyclopedia is not enough, but it helps.

Re:Two things... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979160)

As a doctor, I find that knowing more facts can lead to fewer mistakes.

      I agree. But if you have a sound understanding of the underlying processes, the basic medical sciences: the facts are not hard to remember at all. They are perfectly natural, logical conclusions if you understand the physio/patho/pharmacology. I'm sure it's the same in any other professional field.

Re:Two things... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979012)

Two, about those slackers, I don't know what to say. Did they cheat to get their degrees? Or did they forget a lot of what they learned due to not applying it?
Some people probablly do outright cheat but I suspect a lot more are merely taking advantage of the testing system while staying within the rules.

It is often possible to get through a course with a good mark without really understanding what you are doing as long as you have a reasonable skill in applying mathematical methods and can cram a series of steps, mechanically apply them in the exam and then forget them soon after as you learn the next set.

I've done this for one or two modules but some people seem to do it for every module and are a lot better at doing it than me.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (4, Insightful)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978922)

At the end of the day, the value of having a degree depends very much on which area of employment you are in.

I have a degree in Electronics Engineering and yet I work as a Software Engineer. In practical terms my degree only really helps me in two ways:
- The one major thing I learned from University was how to learn things fast. This can be used with anything - just recently I managed to learn ski from total newbie to intermediate/advanced level in 1 week - since the observational and analytical skills to do this are generic.
- It gives me a large pool of background knowledge which can help me deduce things faster in other areas: many patterns of "the way people make things" are applicable to all areas of human engineering.

However, 95% of the information I learned for my degree is worthless for what I do now (with the notable exception of CPU design, things like Queue theory and some areas of Mathematics like statistics and numerical analysis).

The diploma itself was only usefull in getting me my first job: from then onwards my CV and the knowledge I display in interviews have been the things that matter.

The reason for this is that I work in IT. This area is still very much an Artisanship - it's practice is missing the predictability and repeatability which are the essential fundations for robust Engineering practices - and as such (outside Academia) proven hands-on experience is vastly more important than scholastic knowledge.

That said for many areas a degree is very important: how many of us would knowingly put the health of their children or the safety of their bridges to people that do not have a degree in the appropriate area?

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30979106)

For doctors, plummers, lawyers etc, yes, for IT&C no.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (0)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979264)

Just to take the devil's advocate position here: you essentially are implying that you learned nothing in school and could have had the same successes without taking the courses you took?

I picked up an MBA in my spare time so I'd have it for people that want to see it. I learned more in my first 6 months in the workforce than I did in the classroom getting undergrad and master's degrees. It's not that you learn nothing, but that if you keep your eyes open you can get paid to learn more in 6 months than paying for years of college.

However, all else being equal, I would be more inclined to trust someone with a Harvard degree than a degree from "Concordia Online College"...

But the real question is, would you trust the Harvard Man, or your grandfather?

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (5, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978412)

Somehow I really, really doubt you went to MIT, Harvard and Oxford. If you went to any of those institutions, you'd know the connections you make during school at those types of institutes are invaluable for networking later in life.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978530)

Somehow I really, really doubt you went to MIT, Harvard and Oxford. If you went to any of those institutions, you'd know the connections you make during school at those types of institutes are invaluable for networking later in life.

Maybe he didn't go to school to socialize. Though we all know how much more important socializing and networking is than actual ability.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978848)

MIT was instrumental for me leaving the BuyMore and becoming a part of Roark Instruments.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978924)

Pfft. I have a degree from Oxford (albeit only one). Still in touch with friends from that time, but in the 20 years since I've never used any "connections" for any "networking".

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1)

Geminii (954348) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979126)

Not everyone networks.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (2, Interesting)

siloko (1133863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978416)

You're making the standard mistake when assessing the value of education. Your criticisms would be valid if all education was supposed to do was provide utility to companies. However education can not only improves your quality of life it may also shows an 'ability' to learn and provide a practical gauge of general intelligence - both of which are useful things for future employers to know. I did Philosophy/Politics at university and have since graduation worked as a software engineer - and for the first seven years of my working life worked with another Philosophy graduate, an History of Science graduate and a high school drop out - all excellent programmers! One of the things my employers mentioned about my education on offering the job was that my education at the very least proved that I could 'think', which they believed a valuable attribute. Blanket statements about the utility of further education fail.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (2, Insightful)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978918)

You're making the standard mistake when assessing the value of education. Your criticisms would be valid if all education was supposed to do was provide utility to companies.

Regardless of what education is "supposed to do", the fact is that the incentive for most people to pursue one is very much to demonstrate their utility to employers. Again, as you point out yourself, your employer didn't hire you for what you learned in school, he hired you because it "proved you could think".

The point here is that your employer used your education as a proxy for an aptitude test, he didn't hire you because you actually knew anything useful to him. The employer could just as easily have given aptitude or IQ tests himself, but unfortunately those leave them open to charges of "discrimination" if the subject matter isn't directly related to the job qualifications. Bryan Caplan [cato-unbound.org] and Charles Murray [worldmag.com] have both written some very good articles on the relationship between education and job qualification.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (2, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978450)

College degrees are way overrated. This is coming from someone with multiple degrees from MIT, Harvard, and Oxford.

Maybe you did something wrong. Personally, I learned a lot in school, and when studying. Including a ton of stuff I would not have learned if I had spent the same amount of time working, but which turned out to be a tremendous help when doing actual work (stuff that immediately comes to mind would be how to write an application in assembly and C, and how to write an operating system, which makes it easier to figure out what's going on when you're programming in a higher-level language; also, how to write a compiler, which includes useful things like writing parsers and state machines, which helps me write proper solutions to problems that I would otherwise have tried to implement using a bunch of regexes).

There's also the point that nothing stops you from working while you're studying, especially if you're studying something like comp sci. Lots of great companies came out of a student's side project.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (5, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978504)

He didn't say college was overrated; he said college degrees were overrated. Although you learned and studied a lot, there were probably others who graduated with the exact same degree from the same institution as you, who bludged their way through the course, and are useless at actually doing the thing their degree describes. That's why he was saying a degree is useless. It doesn't actually provide what it says it does - that is, a certification that the person who has it knows their stuff.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1)

arethuza (737069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978700)

I did a Computer Science degree in the '80s and there was very little attempt to be vocational - quite rightly so in my opinion. Of course, we did a lot of programming, but that was rather incidental to the fact that we were being educated about a subject, not trained as programmers. There is actually very little correlation in my experience between "knowing your stuff" in an academic sense and being an effective developer in most organisations.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978462)

Heh, I don't got much fancy book learnin, but I done started going to work early in life. I would agree that personal contacts are key, being good at your job counts for nothing, IMHExperience. If you are really good at your job you get to train some graduate to be your boss. Even while you are showing him how everything works, he will be getting more pay than you.

So.
1 Get a degree by any means.
2 Lie, lie and lie again to get a job
3 Lie and bluff through the job whilst shmoozing your way to the next job
4 Profit

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978632)

You know, this could just work.

Nobody ever wanted to see my degree. They asked whether I have one and I told them, and that's it. I always wondered what if I didn't actually have one? And why the heck did I choose my university instead of claiming I have one from MIT instead?

Not that my university is any less reputable (actually one of the leading places to study CS in Europe), but MIT has such a nice ring to it. Maybe I should beef my resume up a bit...

Unfortunately, incorrect (4, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978488)

I'm going to venture to doubt that you really have "multiple degrees from MIT, Harvard and Oxford." I find it hard to believe that you attended those institutions without getting some idea of why you were there.

I've only been to one university - though I have plenty of vocational qualifications. Although what I learned at Cambridge was rapidly obsoleted as knowledge - and I work in a field which did not even really exist when I was there - what I did there benefits me almost every single day of my life. I learned the things you mostly do not learn at work.

Specifically I learnt the critical attitude - to take nothing at face value. At a University famous for its experimentalism, I learnt how to design experiments and test the results. I learnt how to use statistical and probabilitistic analysis to eliminate false results. I learnt to distrust the wisdom of crowds. And I learnt how to learn.

Ever since then I have discovered that many people simply do not think but accept what is perceived as the norm in their industry or group. That is why you get everything from religious cults to stock market bubbles. Anyone who learnt experimental technique as I did could never be fooled by the early-80s boom. Anyone who learnt those techniques (as I did) would be able to go away, analyse the quality records of their company and suddenly realise that what "everybody believed" about a major industrial process of the company was quite wrong - and, after nearly getting fired for whistleblowing, convince the CEO (a Cambridge PhD) and end up as CTO.

When I had to learn some metallurgy and electrochemistry in a hurry - I knew where to go and how to do it. When I suddenly needed a working knowledge of technical German and French - I knew how to do it.

Vocational courses are great when you have a vocation. But a good University is not a vocational school. It expands your mental horizons and it shows you how to both access knowledge and bend it to your purpose.

It has been estimated roughly that an engineering, science or maths degree from Oxford or Cambridge has a net worth of over $300000 - that is the increase in annual income over life, minus the three years out of the workforce and the costs of doing the degree. This benefit is leveraged by vocational courses - I have obtained distinctions on every one of mine by applying proper habits of study.

Unless you sleepwalked through those universities and did not take full advantage of what they offered, I suspect that you've never really been there.

Re:Unfortunately, incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30979100)

You leave L Ron alone!

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (5, Insightful)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978506)

ROFL multiple degrees from MIT Harvard and Oxford, really. Not one from each place but multiple.

I think you should reconsider the value of a good education. For example, if you had a good education, even at a half decent state school, you would know how to lie more convincingly.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978910)

ROFL multiple degrees from MIT Harvard and Oxford, really. Not one from each place but multiple.

I think you should reconsider the value of a good education. For example, if you had a good education, even at a half decent state school, you would know how to lie more convincingly.

Everyone knows the only Bachelor of Bullshit worth it's salt comes from Cal Tech. He picked the wrong Uni.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1)

pagaboy (1029878) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978912)

Did you consider that maybe his dog did one or two of them?

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978976)

This is coming from someone with multiple degrees from MIT, Harvard, and Oxford.

ROFL multiple degrees from MIT Harvard and Oxford, really. Not one from each place but multiple.

ROFL? I think you could use multiple degrees in remedial reading comprehension. He didn't say multiple from each place; he said that he had multiple degrees and that they came from those three schools. Most likely one from each.

And if you find it implausible that one person could go to three different colleges, please consider: undergraduate (bachelor's), graduate (master's), postgraduate (doctorate). And it's typical for one person to do that at two or three different schools; it's enriching.

Idiot.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978510)

The worthlessness is even worse since anything worth knowing is learned on the job and not in the classroom.

While I agree that work experience is very valuable, I find that particular line very hard to believe. In fact, it makes me wonder if the three colleges you mentioned are, in fact, grossly overrated.

You learn a lot of the important stuff at work (though at least here in Finland, 6 months of internship is requirement for getting a college degree of any kind anyways) but you also spend years in classroom in order to not waste your employer's time in having to learn that stuff at work too, in addition to the things you learn there after college. And you need to know a lot of stuff before you can begin working. At that point it is simply a matter of "Do I learn these things faster myself at home or by attending college.". If the answer is not the latter, your college sucks (as many do, I admit).

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (0, Offtopic)

jaffbrown (1734640) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978538)

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Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (5, Funny)

anti-NAT (709310) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978540)

College degrees are way overrated. This is coming from someone with multiple degrees from MIT, Harvard, and Oxford.

Are those colleges doing a bulk deal if you buy all of them at once?

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978602)

So you are saying you went through roughly 10 years getting degrees from MIT, Harvard and Oxford and didn't learn a thing "worth learning"?
Either your story is fake or their admission-departments are absolutely terrible....
Come on now, you can make a point without coming up with fake credentials.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978634)

College degrees are way overrated.

You're talking about arts degrees right?

the moment you joined the workforce

wait... maybe not :)

Seriously though, if you learned nothing of value from your university degrees then you did it wrong and you did indeed waste your time. The fact that those universities gave you those degrees without having learning anything of value makes me think a lot less of them too.

It's not black and while of course, and each field is different, but would you rather have your appendix removed by a doctor who has completed (or maybe is completing) university based education, or one who's just learning it on the job?

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30979176)

You're talking about arts degrees right?

I had a pretty decent career in IT. My degree was in Latin.

When my son wanted to drop out in his senior year in college, my wife told him he was going to finish his degree. She said it wasn't the subject that counted so much as that the degree showed you had enough discipline to complete the work required to get it.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (5, Insightful)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978640)

College degrees are way overrated. This is coming from someone with multiple degrees from MIT, Harvard, and Oxford.

College mostly is what you make it. Yes, you can go through MIT, Harvard, and Oxford, learn little, and still get a degree. But if you do that, that's your own fault. Many people do get useful skills out of those institutions.

Or does it? Since experience and personal contacts mean much more than degrees, the earlier you can get a job, the better.

Except, of course, that college is an excellent place for getting to know people that you can later network with. You may have missed this opportunity when you were in college and grad school, but other people take advantage of it and it helps them a lot.

I spent a lot of time to get my advanced degrees, but I have no illusions about their actual value.

Value in what sense? If your goal is to maximize your wealth, then it's no secret that you shouldn't get advanced degrees; it's something many graduate schools tell you explicitly (college, however, does pay off).

But not everybody lives in this world to maximize their wealth anyway. People who get advanced degrees don't do it to do well in the workforce, they do it because they are interested in the subject.

Always do it for yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978712)

"If you want one, you should do it for yourself, not for a job."

Same goes for the job, really. How you spend your time is your decision, and it's best that you make sure you enjoy it as much as possible. If you're going to college to get a diploma that will allow you to get a boring job that you'd spend a lifetime doing, then you're pretty screwed even if that job does pay well. If, on the other hand, you're going to study something that interests you and plan to work in that, then you can end up a better rounded worker for your preferred job. You may have lost some money going to college, but you had some interesting experiences and gained some different perspectives. If you hate institutional studying and have a job you like and you've taught yourself, well done and that's a good way to go, too.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978720)

College degrees are way overrated.

That's what you think. In the meantime I've got dibs on hiring that dog !

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978730)

I'm confused... Where's the analogy?

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (5, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978768)

Or does it? Since experience and personal contacts mean much more than degrees, the earlier you can get a job, the better. Wasting your time in actual school taking actual classes is a net loser compared to getting a cheap diploma from a diploma mill and getting a paying job today.

Yeah, except for all those fields where you actually require certification that you have the knowledge you're supposed to have such as medicine, law, education, engineering, etc.

What, do you think that if you had connections they would let you be the lead architect on a building project? Do you think they'd just let you have a go at brain surgery or teaching a group of third graders for a week? "Hell, this guy knows the mayor, let's let him be a cop for a day!" A degree is more than a "piece of paper" that is superseded by connections. Connections aren't going to magically give you the knowledge it takes to do certain jobs you daft waste of oxygen.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (5, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978770)

College degrees are way overrated. This is coming from someone with multiple degrees from MIT, Harvard, and Oxford.

Let's suppose you're not full of shit. Still, the very fact that you believe mentioning your degrees increases the credibility of your post points towards degrees in general having value, and refutes the rest of your post.

Posts here regularly run counter to ivory-tower elite liberal lies like history, thermodynamics, and economics. But it's still relatively rare to find a single post that disagrees with itself.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978806)

So it seems that I should withdraw my application from MIT. I've worked every two bit job in most towns in America, and had planned on using my stories for some sort of entrance exam to MIT. Now I'm rethinking that entirely... Perhaps I can just make more contacts and be more social. That always worked for me before. At 25, I was already thinking college had passed me by any way. Besides, who needs college when you have libraries, the internet, and a keen desire to learn more than anyone else. I should probably pay my overdue book fees.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978830)

I don't know what country you come from, but in the US it's been illegal for companies to give IQ tests since the 1970's. So employers are forced to find another proxy to measure aptitude. Of course, IQ tests were deemed "discriminatory" because the subject matter was not deemed directly related to job qualifications. Of course, frequently enough, neither are college degrees. The value of the college degree isn't so much the subject matter mastered, but as a signal [jstor.org] that the holder has the aptitude and perseverance necessary to succeed in the job.

Nonsense (1)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978854)

Your problem is that you're an eternal student. A stack of advanced degrees philosophising about the sex life of the inside of a ping-pong ball are indeed worthless. But what makes you unemployable is your lack of experience and that you have never learned to work. It's that lack rather than the fact you have those degrees that's the problem. Employers are going to suspect that all you'll be an architecture astronaut and never actually deliver. On time. and to budget. Because that's not what students do and that's all the experience you have. Perhaps your expectations have been too high? Did you expect to walk in to a senior position just because you'd been a student for most of your life? That's as ludicrous as if I expected to walk into a Professorship at Oxford without a stack of academic qualifications. Does that mean my industry experience is worthless? Of course not. What makes me valuable is that I have both academic and industry experience. Just because you chose to follow and unbalanced career as a permanent student doesn't mean all academic qualifications are worthless. You were just unwise. So either stick with academia where your experience has some value or suck it up and start from the bottom.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978860)

College degrees have always been worthless the moment you joined the workforce

Says someone who has obviously never tried to get a work visa overseas.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1)

golden age villain (1607173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978892)

College degrees are way overrated. This is coming from someone with multiple degrees from MIT, Harvard, and Oxford.

In the world where I live, one usually gets a bachelor degree, then a master degree, then - maybe - an advanced degree like a PhD. So I cannot help to wonder how you managed to get multiple degrees from three universities.

And yes you do not use all of the things you learned at the university but I like to think that you develop some special analytical, learning and problem solving skills that you do not develop while being on the job. And I'd like you to tell me in which working environment I could have learned at the same time programming, calculus, statistics and surgery which I still use everyday.

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979008)

I would argue it depends on what degree you get, and from where. This coming from someone who's about to get his first degree. ^_^

You say connections trump little sheets of paper - surely MIT, Harvard, and Oxford were good places for networking at least?

My compsci classes also taught me some very handy stuff - Big-O notation, database normalization, data structures, Berkeley sockets, threads, and other OS concepts. Granted, some of it I might have learned on the job, but having those extra tools completely changed the way I approach problems.

It's like saying you don't care what box a pizza is delivered in, but pizzas graduating from Domino's have extra cheese, better crust, and a completely new sauce. Knowing that, maybe you'd hire something in a Domino's box first.

Only two of those are great Universities (2, Funny)

rishistar (662278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979102)

This is coming from someone with multiple degrees from MIT, Harvard, and Oxford.

Oxfords a complete dump! [youtube.com]

Re:Diploma mills prove the worthlessness of degree (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979188)

I'm not convinced. I think there is value in a degree. I would tend to agree that their value isn't as much as they're bigged up to be though - there's a lot of careers that 3 years on the job holds more value than 3 years of formal education, but ... at the same time, I think I've come out ahead with mine, working in IT. But I know a lot of my contemporaries at Uni who _didn't_ end up working in their chosen field, and for them, the degree has had less value than 3 years more work experience would have.

Does it matter? (5, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978290)

The fake-degree guy got fired from his job not for performing badly but for having a fake degree. What does this say about people who have a real degree that they didn't notice a difference in performance or at the very least that it took so long to find out?

Re:Does it matter? (4, Insightful)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978320)

On the other hand, if the guy wasn't honest about his degree, how did they have any guarantee his work was honest?

He could have manipulated someone else into doing the work for him or cut corners to obtain the result that was sought in perhaps undesirable or illegal ways.

Re:Does it matter? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978360)

It's easier to do the work at that point. Not to mention that most jobs are unrelated to the required degrees...

Re:Does it matter? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978430)

The fake-degree guy got fired from his job not for performing badly but for having a fake degree. What does this say about people who have a real degree that they didn't notice a difference in performance or at the very least that it took so long to find out?

Maybe they got their degree from an equally respectable institution?

Re:Does it matter? (2, Informative)

LKM (227954) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978458)

Presumably, part of the idea is to discourage others from doing the same thing. If you have a fake diploma, chances are you know less about the topic than you say you do, so it's something that should be discouraged.

How do you know? (5, Insightful)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978542)

He single handedly lost the case according to the article. He knowingly gave false estimates to BSkyB the only point on which the court upheld BSB's complaints and as a result EDS lost the case. It appears the court decided this largely on the basis of his dishonest account of obtaining a degree (given in court under oath). So to say he lost his job just because he had a fake degree is misleading. He lied to his employer in order to obtain his post. He was sacked, I have no doubt, for dishonesty.

Translation (0, Flamebait)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978644)

"I blew a shitload of money, went into debt that I won't see a positive bank account 'til I'm around 50, to hell with what he can do or what he cannot, he does not deserve having it easier than me just 'cause he's good!"

(Not saying he is or he ain't good, just that this is the general sentiment I tend to feel when people wave their degrees around)

Re:Does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978966)

It matters in the sense that the US Virgin Islands fall under federal jurisdiction, so the FBI should get their lazy asses out of their comfy chairs and shut Concordia College down.

Re:Does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30979262)

Well, one of the Homeland security bigwigs had a fake degree - err irregularity, but got to the top.
The advice is simple: For jobs , lie like hell - afterall they are only scoring on buzzwords, and take bought or compromised referee reports. Made a decision - on available evidence .. yeah yeah

This guys credibility is shot. But so should all the guys and personnel down the line.

Concordia College(s) (2, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978294)

Someone should warn the copious number [google.com] of other colleges with the same name to expect massive calls from nominally informed reporters and/or bloggers. I imagine there will be some college administrators getting some odd phone calls.

its true (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979194)

there's no concordance in this college name

I guess it really is true (3, Funny)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978308)

On the internet, no one knows you're a dog.

http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/gerv/archives/2007/images/internet_dog.jpg [mozillazine.org]

Re:I guess it really is true (3, Funny)

Teun (17872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978348)

Quote from TFA:

Both Galloway and Lulu were unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

Re:I guess it really is true (2, Informative)

Adelbert (873575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979242)

This isn't the first time a dog has managed to wangle its way to a degree.

Go to this [wikipedia.org] page for one of the funniest articles on Wikipedia. Basically, there are a lot of disreputable correspondence courses out there.

Why is this tagged "Australia"? (2, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978316)

The court case is appearing before the British high court.

BSkyB and EDS are British firms, the collage in question is in the US Virgin Islands. This was reported by itweek.co.uk, itnews.com.au just copied the article so that doesn't qualify as an excuse.

Wrong, wrong and wrong (5, Informative)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978512)

There is no British High Court: Scotland has a separate system of justice and it is the High Court of England and Wales. BSkyB is ultimately owned by News International, the multinational creation of Rupert Murdoch, born Australian but now a US citizen of convenience, and is British only in appearance. EDS is a subsidiary of Hewlett Packard, a US multinational. I will forgive you collage, because calling it a college would clearly be exaggeration.

From TFA (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978598)

From the article. [itnews.com.au]

In a landmark legal ruling, IT services firm EDS has lost its ongoing case with broadcaster BSkyB after the British High Court ruled that the HP-owned company had lied about its expertise.

Google brings up the High Court of England and Wales as first result of "British High Court" so it appears we are victims of bad reporting.

But that not withstanding, the jurisdiction is in England as that's where the contract took place.

BTW, we Australians maintain to this day that Rupert Murdoch was never really an Australian.

Re:From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978880)

Wierdly (since Rupert also owns Fox News), Sky News has begun putting out "Carbon Emissions" forecasts and encouraging people to be environmentally friendly!

Re:Wrong, wrong and wrong (1)

arethuza (737069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978714)

Indeed, the High Court (actually High Court of Justiciary) is the senior criminal court in Scotland, civil cases being in the Court of Session.

Re:Wrong, wrong and wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978994)

Ahhh. So sad. So Rupert Murdoch can't run for the American presidency I take it. Well, doesn't matter. The media tends to be more powerful than the American presidency anyways.

Re:Wrong, wrong and wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30979024)

born Australian but now a US citizen of convenience, and is British only in appearance.

Do you mean he has attained grim visage and a bad dress sense?

Re:Why is this tagged "Australia"? (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978782)

I just love looking at collages in the British Virgin Islands...

Re:Why is this tagged "Australia"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978960)

Well they could easily move the collage from the US Virgin Islands. Collages are fairly small in nature (usually)
I didn't even know collages gave out degrees, I thought they were just works of formal art, primarily in the visual arts, made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.

Re:Why is this tagged "Australia"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30979204)

BSkyB and EDS are British firms

Not quite.

EDS was Electronic Data Systems - founded by H Ross Perot and HQ'd in Plano Texas.
A year or two ago EDS was purchased by HP, also a US firm, although not HQ'd in Plano Texas.

EDS quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978374)

Any one who's worked with these guys will not be surprised.

Re:EDS quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978448)

Any one who's worked with these guys will not be surprised.

I've always suspected that most company executives and upper management lie on their resumes, especially people from Dell, General Motors, and most major banks.

Of course the dog got a better mark... (5, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978486)

...it really grokked Tail Recursion.

Re:Of course the dog got a better mark... (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978796)

Not to mention the puppy's software start-up, eats it's own dog-food...

But it had a real problem with cat (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978926)

Thank you, will be here all evening. Try the beef bone.

RSS advert for article was for an online degree :) (4, Funny)

Sits (117492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978652)

In my RSS feed for this Slashdot article there was an advert saying "Online Master Degrees, learn more now". Strangely relevant and yet embarrassing at the same time...

Re:RSS advert for article was for an online degree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978688)

Fuching awesome! I wern't alredy got my degrae from that sam RSS fead - GO ME! I gotta help pay for /. ya know?

Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!

Re:RSS advert for article was for an online degree (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978838)

Why embarrassing? Was it you alma matter?

Re:RSS advert for article was for an online degree (1)

Sits (117492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979060)

Embarrassing because I suspect the University in question would rather its advert not appear alongside such a story, as the viewer is likely to view the ad negatively. The advert was not for my alma matters but should that matter?

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