Because HR is lax (or under-resourced?) and uses a four year degree as a hoop to jump thru rather than developing more thorough skills and experience analytics (that’s why HR-XML is out there), folks confuse “being credentialed” (I got my BA, BS, MA, MS) with “being educated”. Because only certain folks determine who is qualified to receive a degree, degree granting is a DE FACTO MONOPOLY (RICO statutes anyone?). Where there are monopolies, there are those who can make profit thru coercion (whether monetary profit like lenders or “physical profit” like professors extorting sex for grades from coeds).
<ed.note>While the degree to which models of commercial higher ed schools, charter schools, home schools have multiplied — and with this a variety of distance and web-enabled ed models, the credentialing oligarchy is still in place. It is worth observing that undergraduate standards are being developed via an initiative under the auspices of the National Governors Association (with 47 States participating). I expect these credentialing folks to be overturned as the public becomes aware that the true bottleneck (say for nurses and doctors) is not the number of students who can enter programs (say medical school) but the number of folks/processes society have deemed authoritative to determine competency on the outcomes side of the ed pipeline. The for-profit ed model will necessarily have to begin lobbying for alternative accreditation mechanisms within 5 to 10 years for their profitability to continue as their stock holders demand. Also, this just in at BusinessWeek.</ed.note>