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Old 09-09-2021, 07:25 AM   #1
hazel
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Where the degree mills are


We've seen them on this forum! Those posts that advertise people who will write your essays for you. There's a very interesting BBC article on them. Apparently if you visit these sites, you see mainly white "profile pictures" but the actual work is done mostly in Kenya by students. They call themselves "academic writers" and even have their own Facebook groups where they trade tips.
 
Old 09-09-2021, 08:37 AM   #2
cynwulf
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It's a consequence of technology and the www that this can happen. It's the logical progression of academic cheating. From writing answers on your sleeve, to sneaking in a calculator, to "googling it"...

Welcome to the age of stupid.

p.s. some of the dumbest people I've ever worked with had degrees.
 
Old 09-09-2021, 08:37 AM   #3
business_kid
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That explains many, many engineers I have worked under during my days as a techie

Mind you, it depends on your subject. It would be difficult in Electronics, because circuitry varies so much and mathematical equations are mandatory.
 
Old 09-10-2021, 12:56 AM   #4
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
the actual work is done mostly in Kenya by students.
Makes sense that it's a country that has
a) English as an official primary language
b) is much poorer than the target countries

p.s.: yes, a degree has very little to do with actual intelligence
 
Old 09-10-2021, 06:07 AM   #5
business_kid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho
p.s.: yes, a degree has very little to do with actual intelligence
Agreed. It seems others have noticed this before
Quote:
Originally Posted by H.L. Mencken
It is the classic fallacy of our time that a moron run through a university and decorated with a Ph.D.will thereby cease to be a moron.
 
Old 09-10-2021, 03:35 PM   #6
sundialsvcs
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In 1984, I walked out of my local state university – by the way, "owing nothing to anybody" – with a "B.S. Computer Science Degree, summa(!) cum laude (woo hoo!!)" – that in the end was worth absolutely nothing, other than it secured my very first job at the same University.

"Which was, at the time, a rather cool job ... for the about-three years that it lasted."

Then, my wife and I jumped-ship to Silicon Valley, as it existed at the time. (Didn't stay there long, but ... whodathunkit that we are still together??)

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 09-10-2021 at 03:40 PM.
 
Old 09-10-2021, 07:13 PM   #7
rtmistler
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It's all what you make of it. If someone obtains a degree, but always has poorly employed their knowledge or skills, they'll continue to "not shine".

A degree means you're capable of accomplishing a difficult, long term commitment. If you cheat or buy it, then you haven't accomplished anything. Guess what? That shows to interviewers with half a brain. Those who don't evaluate the candidate properly, and assume the degree paper speaks for itself? They're welcome to that candidate. Long term, the odds are it's not going to work out.
 
Old 09-11-2021, 03:42 PM   #8
obobskivich
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Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
It would be difficult in Electronics, because circuitry varies so much and mathematical equations are mandatory.
You'd think this, but I remember a news article a few years ago where some top engineer in silicon valley got 'found out' as a complete phony, and all of his work was just being farmed out to a similar service (as to what hazel talked about in the first post), I think in this case they were in Malaysia or Indonesia or something, but it was a big scandal because apparently some of the code involved was military-related and he was just emailing back and forth to have his work done for him (of course the people doing the work had no idea what they were working on - they're just receiving 'an assignment' and completing it for pay). I probably am getting some minor details wrong here - this was a while back, and a quick (lazy?) web search didn't find any immediate results.

As the saying goes: 'where there's a will...'
 
Old 09-11-2021, 07:43 PM   #9
leclerc78
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Imagine that some of these inepts that control our life: buildings & bridges that colapse, planes that fall from the sky, medical staffs that could not figure out a rule of three, or get mixed up with the units ... it's scary.
 
Old 09-12-2021, 11:32 AM   #10
business_kid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
You'd think this, but I remember a news article a few years ago where some top engineer in silicon valley got 'found out' as a complete phony, and all of his work was just being farmed out to a similar service (as to what hazel talked about in the first post), I think in this case they were in Malaysia or Indonesia or something, but it was a big scandal because apparently some of the code involved was military-related and he was just emailing back and forth to have his work done for him (of course the people doing the work had no idea what they were working on - they're just receiving 'an assignment' and completing it for pay). I probably am getting some minor details wrong here - this was a while back, and a quick (lazy?) web search didn't find any immediate results.

As the saying goes: 'where there's a will...'
That would be possible, with a bit of basic know-how. Engineers can stare at computer screens all day, and people think they're working. You'd get caught
  • During the development phase if there was a problem and you didn't know 'your own' design.
  • If they saw your email inbox.
  • If a small modification was discussed and it became obvious you were not familiar with the project.
  • If anyone checking logs saw regular emails to Malaysia going out/in.
  • If some smart-ass techie could see the screen, because your workflow pattern would be wrong/different.

A bogus engineer should have been caught at interview, as he should never have been hired. Several things might raise suspicions: chats at drinks after work; lack of commitment or involvement; presentation questions, etc. Even silly things like the Malaysian guy using some font you don't have installed.
 
Old 09-12-2021, 01:07 PM   #11
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leclerc78 View Post
Imagine that some of these inepts that control our life: buildings & bridges that colapse, planes that fall from the sky, medical staffs that could not figure out a rule of three, or get mixed up with the units ... it's scary.
Not really:
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtmistler View Post
A degree means you're capable of accomplishing a difficult, long term commitment. If you cheat or buy it, then you haven't accomplished anything. Guess what? That shows to interviewers with half a brain. Those who don't evaluate the candidate properly, and assume the degree paper speaks for itself? They're welcome to that candidate. Long term, the odds are it's not going to work out.
I'm not saying it never happens, but the chances that an idiot with an online degree is allowed anywhere near a bridge are very, very small.

And let's not forget, everybody makes mistakes, even those that earned their degree.
 
Old 09-13-2021, 08:47 AM   #12
business_kid
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Just a thought: Maybe the personnel guys who hired the engineer with the online degree had online degrees as well? That's how things like Chernobyl, or Solar Winds happen. Maybe it's how several versions of M$ Windows happened
 
  


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