Learning as a Lifestyle vs. Having a Diploma

How much is a degree worth? Have you ever asked yourself this question?

The other day I stumbled across an article that talked about a dog (a real canine dog named Chester…not to be confused with Dog) who “earned” an MBA online. The first time I read the article and watched the YouTube video, I didn’t know what to think.  The ad exposes Rochville School as a “diploma mill,” (a place that will send you the degree of your choice for the right price) and discusses the importance of checking the accreditations of any online program before enrolling.  GetEducated.com - Dog graduate of Rochville School

I was vaguely amused at the mental image of a dog in a graduation cap and gown.  This pug has an MBA and took a class in financing! This is quite impressive to me, since I can’t even get my Labrador puppy to stop eating crickets. Underneath the amusement though, I was annoyed and maybe a little angry.

As ridiculous and humorous as a pug with a Master’s degree may seem, the short commercial from GetEducated.com highlights what I consider to be a growing problem. A good online program must have certain accreditations and meet standards of education. A diploma mill, on the other hand, is a simple exchange of money for a degree.  An accredited online program and a degree mill view education as two different things: an accredited online program sees education as being more a verb (it is something you do, something to work towards) while a diploma mill equates education as the sum total of having a paper degree.  Doggie diploma from Rochville School

Personally, I’ve always thought of education as a process, something continuous.  Sure, when we reach certain academic milestones we’re rewarded with diplomas.  The graduation ceremony might be nice (although, I always found them boring) and the diplomas look pretty when framed, but the “education” part doesn’t end when Pomp and Circumstance stops playing.  From there, we must take our knowledge, apply it and add to it.  Diploma mills see education as something that can be bought instead of earned.  As someone with a Master’s degree, it bothers me to see people belittling the effort it took to get that degree by making it available to anyone with a credit card.

As a student, what is your view of education?  Should we be able to buy degrees like Chester the Pug did?  What effects, if any, do you see these diploma mills having on you and your reputation as an online student?  Or, are diploma mills a valid way of obtaining a degree?  We want to hear what you have to say!


12 thoughts on “Learning as a Lifestyle vs. Having a Diploma”

  1. I totaly agree with you but sometimes experience can mean more than education. I can take accountancy as an example, most accountant in London only went to college but not to university and trained themselves next qualified accountants and worked for 10’s of years and i think they have more experience and knowledge than a person who finished university and maybe worked for few years. So it really is a hard subject to decide on but i still think degree’s should be bought online.

    Thanks for the great post…

      1. I agree that experience is often underrated and brings perspective that may not be found any other way. I also think that education can help to roundout that perspective! Thanks for the comments!

  2. I always dislike the idea of purchasing a degree with a price. If a paper degree is what a person is after, how long can he last in his life in his learning process? Learning should be forever. My personal view is, for everything we do, we achieve something. A degree should not always be that “something” else it would be completely meaningless.

    Thanks for this wonderful post!

    Easiest Online Degree

  3. I totally agree that education isn’t just about having a diploma; it is more like taking some knowledge & applying what you’ve learned. But it is also very important that we choose an accredited online learning program that was able to meet standards and has the goal of providing good knowledge and not just a frame of diploma.

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