Fake degrees have made the news again.
It was reported recently (Free Malaysia Today, The Star) that The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had arrested three suspects, aged 30 to 34, for being involved in a syndicate that sold fake academic certificates.
The syndicate had charged between RM2,000 and RM16,000 for fake diplomas, degrees and Master’s degrees from local private institutions and could produce these fakes within a week. The MACC also stated that this has raised concerns surrounding the possible involvement of the staff of the affected tertiary institutions.
At Verity Intelligence, we help organizations, big or small, to identify any falsities in a person’s CV. We help our customers to verify potential (as well as existing) employees, partners and vendors by screening an individual’s background which includes financial status, criminal and work history and others. A common red-flag that we often discover, are individuals with fake degrees.
Over the years, we have found people from all walks of life lying about their academic achievements. We’ve come across dishonest ‘doctors’ and ‘engineers’ that have put people’s lives at risk. People have trusted them with their health and the integrity of infrastructures. One fake doctor’s misdiagnosis to a patient could cause permanent damage or even death, while one unskilled engineer is all you need to bring down an entire building!
So, why is this happening so frequently? Can anything be done to reverse this?
A possible reason could be due to cultural pressures. Asian cultures often equate academic qualification with success, which leads some people to desperation in trying to live up to unrealistic expectations.
Furthermore, nowadays most jobs, even labour-intensive ones have a minimum requirement of a diploma. Gone are the days where people could get a job with minimal schooling.
Perhaps academic qualifications should not be the only qualities that employees and employers look out for. Essential qualities for a society’s workforce such as integrity, attitude and aptitude should also be valued as highly, if not more so, than academic success.
Integrity was the missing quality among the sellers and buyers of fake degrees. And if our society had given more credit to individuals with higher moral integrity, rather than just academic success, then there would be less dishonesty and less fake degrees.
To those who feel pressured to succeed: Do not despair. There are many roads to success, and an academic certificate is not the be-all-and-end-all for you. Instead, stay principled, work hard, do the right thing and be true to yourself.
After all, as the ‘doctor’ and ‘engineer’ have learnt, dishonesty is definitely not the best policy.
Want to know more about the issue of fake degrees? View our collection of past articles surrounding topic by clicking here. For more information about Verity Intelligence and background screening, stay tuned to our website at verityintel.com.