Ivy League Titles – Are they valid?
„I can’t believe these things really happen! “. More often than not, this is the reaction when I am talking to people about the fraud throughout the world in academic titles. It just seems to be too distant to our own reality and our own values. How can anyone pretend to be something that he or she is not? How can people live with this?
Apparently, many of the people who are committing fraud in their academic titles and achievements are able to live the high life for quite a while. Very often they go undetected for months or even years, in most cases causing irreparable harm to their companies and organizations. The damage they cause can be economic, reputational or in some extreme cases even cost life. The most famous cases are ranging from CEOs to Admission Directors at reputable universities, Airline pilots and even Medical doctors and nurses.
I started diving into learning more about fraud in academic titles and how to help institutions, companies and other organizations in 2018. I rapidly learned that the unofficial numbers of this kind of fraud are much bigger than most people believe. A recent conversation with a fellow entrepreneur has been an eye-opener to me. Let’s call her Melissa.
A dream is born
About two years ago Melissa and a friend of her started with a vision – using artificial intelligence to help their customers make better decisions. Looking for someone with the required technical experience they found the ideal candidate. John looked perfect on paper. Accomplished Ivy League student. Outstanding credentials. Well-connected in the software and startup scene, apparently. The ideal partner. Melissa and her friend started working with John and things looked great. Having John lead a team of accomplished data scientists abroad, he was not only able to setup a great website in record time, but also train the AI much faster than initially thought. Success was inevitable. The media was ecstatic.
A dream is shattered
Today, just a few months later, the dream is gone. The money is gone too, and so is John. He was a real blender. AI-powered App – nothing more than a façade. A team of highly paid data scientists – there was never any data nor scientists. But at least the Ivy League title, the one that made him so attractive in the beginning and the trusted quality filter Melissa used to select him – nothing more than sound and smoke.
“The money is gone too, and so is John.”
Melissa’s experience is not unique. The deeper I am getting into this topic, the more I hear stories like hers. The injured seem to be obvious. Melissa. Her friend. Their investors. Thousands of customers that were let down.
But the damage goes further than that. The most persistent damage is being done the academic institutions issuing titles. The Ivy Leagues of this world, but also every single university or academic institution. Companies used to trust in the seal of approval of these institutions. However, today, how can you trust these titles if it is so easy to fake them. Fake news are soooo “last year”. Fake titles are the “new kid on the block”.
What higher education and educational institutions in general have to generate today is transparency and trust. But especially trust is difficult to earn, as long as it is so easy to falsify academic titles.
And the solution
With these challenges in mind Certix has set out to help institutions and people like Melissa to identify false claims. Academic institutions can easily integrate Certix’ solution in their processes to do honor, where honor is due – to confer academic titles to students with true academic achievements.
Certix creates relationships of trust between institutions and people like Melissa. The more institutions take action and allow easy and 100% secure validation through Certix, the more companies and entrepreneurs can really thrive and do not fall prey to fraudsters and blenders.
You are also welcome to share your very own stories about academic title fraud and how it has affected you.
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