Homer Simpson, PhD

This is alarming:

At least 28 senior-level federal employees in eight agencies have bogus college degrees, including three managers at the office that oversees nuclear weapons safety, congressional investigators have found.

The government doesn’t check to see whether employees have diploma-mill degrees or an actual college education.

About Joanne


  1. Steve LaBonne says:

    What do you mean bogus? Don’t you read your spam email? These are _prestigious_ unaccredited institutions we’re talking about, I’ll have you know! 😉

  2. Need to be Anonymous says:

    Some–perhaps a lot–of these guys, particularly in DoD, don’t need an advanced degree to effectively perform their assignments.

    In DoD, many employees have valid undergrad degrees that provide requisite skills, but find that a MA or MS is required by law to advance.

    Such people face a wall–and a choice. Even though their entire careers have been in the same or related field, and they are considered subject experts, they still need a piece of paper. So they buy one. They choose the diploma mill because they and everyone else recognizes that the diploma adds little of value, and will save them crucial time. Other than sending a signal, many don’t need a Masters degree.

    The real scam here is not unqualified personnel, but the money paid by the government for education that is not needed in the first place.

  3. This is what happens when you replace human judgment with rules about pieces of paper that must be held.

    However, I am comfortable in the knowledge that considering the level of education conferred by real institutions in many cases, the people with fake diplomas probably aren’t any less qualified to do their jobs.

  4. Mad Scientist says:


    “Children are our future – unless we stop them now!” – H.J. Simpson

  5. D Anghelone says:

    Anyone interested in this might want to look at the discussion board at DegreeInfo as degree mills are a favored topic there and this has there been discussed.

  6. Chris Haynes says:

    So if I want a stall in the parking lot of government service I need a degree. I’ve seen this for too long and worked for too many managers that could not do the job but were working on their next degree for promotion(often during work hours). My current position(tech instructor) is filled with people of varying backgrounds such as liberal arts,CS EE & ME degrees(or none). The most sucessful are often converts who love computers. Degree requirements are often used to screen out most while being waveable to get the candidate that is desired. I’ll bet most of the current captains of industry who took their companies in the toilet have MBA degrees.

  7. Walter Wallis says:

    I am shocked! Shocked I say!

    The Very, Very
    Reverend Walter E. Wallis,
    Doctor of Divinity
    Hamburger U

  8. The federal gov’t should require the removal of any person found to have used a fake degree to obtain employment or advancement. Allowing these individuals to remain on the job, only rewards their cheating behavior.

    However, I don’t think this is what will happen.

  9. Many years ago I was with a company which automatically sent a letter to each University named on an employment application. I had the pleasure of firing someone who LIED about an advanced degree and being a CPA.

  10. P. K. Pruitt says:

    While I agree with “boo” that some advanced degrees are nothing more than a piece of paper, offering up a bogus degree as a real degree demonstrates a severe lack of integrity. To be blunt, they are LIARS and DESERVE to be fired. If they “didn’t know” the degrees were fake, are they really bright enough for the job that required them.

  11. Richard Heddleson says:

    Congratulations, Walter. I know you’ve been hiting the buns hard to make the grade.

  12. PJ/Maryland says:

    Many years ago I was with a company which automatically sent a letter to each University named on an employment application. I had the pleasure of firing someone who LIED about an advanced degree and being a CPA.

    So, Ted, does that mean the person was hired? Was this a time lag problem, or what?

    I generally agree with Need tb Anon (the second post). The most of these are probably MA/MSes that people needed to get promoted; in fact, it sounds like the GAO investigation was looking at people who got their degrees using a tuition benefit from the Federal govt, which means all of them were already working for the govt when they obtained their advanced degree.

    As more schools develop distance learning programs, distinguishing real degrees from fake could get to be a big problem. I’m glad the GAO is looking into it, since it sounds like the regulations in place aren’t working (or are being ignored).

  13. People just might be too trusting. I’m always amazed at how few times I’m asked to provide identification when using my bank card, and I always take the time to thank those who do. To think that I could have saved all that time and money and just invented my Master’s…

    But I sleep well.

  14. Walter Wallis says:

    jon – As I understand, it is cheaper to eat the losses than to train clerks to recognize fake I.D.
    After 1/1/2011, all babies will be born with a barcode on their forehead.

  15. Aw, gee, now I know why I never got promotified to the highermost jobs.

  16. Anonymous says:

    “Aw, gee, now I know why I never got promotified to the highermost jobs.”–Jack

    That’s because you didn’t show enough ambitions. You need to strive at the highermostest jobs if you are going to show that you are gooder than the rest.

    Just trying to help.

  17. Homer is insane and never cares.