If there was a real black market for degrees and certifications

damn…so how many ppl get caught on AVG??

Fake procter?? LOL wow, that gets an A for creativity I guess.

How does a fake proctor help? Does he station himself in the bathroom and let’s people look off their notes on the toilet?

It was someone’s friend - the plan was to pass him notes I think.

I wrote an article about it a few weeks back but I think it was too controversial to feature…

charterholder masquerading as a proctor maybe?

“go look for smart looking asian and copy down his answers”

I agree with this. In my undergrad I saw probably around half a dozen people cheat/get caught during exams, and every one of them was a FOB asian. I’m just theorizing here, but I have the suspicion that in western culture, the people who pursue higher education are generally speaking the kind that put high value on their own personal achievement, and as such cheating to get a degree or charter just isn’t an option. There’s always exceptions of course, but that’s just my thoughts.


Dude 500K for a degree? Are we talking USD? If I had 500K to spend on a fake degree I wouldnt have the need for a fake degree. Most I would spend is $150 just because I couldnt fool anybody. I dont look/act/talk like the havard/standford type.

I don’t think it’s because Asian people don’t value personal achievement. Cheating is just assumed to be normal. If everyone cheats, then you’re not getting an unfair advantage from cheating. When I enrolled at Nerd University as an international student, I found out that many of the US students had SAT tutors; naturally, SAT tutors are not available in many foreign countries. So, clearly, the US kids had an advantage over the international kids. However, the US kids still attributed their university admission to personal effort. Similarly, once the Asian kids assume cheating is normal, they can cheat without guilt or damage to their sense of personal achievement.

Well, my disclaimer was that it’s not really a “fake” degree. It’s more like the cost of travel to a parallel universe where you got that degree, but otherwise have the same circumstances as right now. So you’re not lying - it’s just how much that degree is worth to you.

In fact, most people probably spend more than $500k on such MBAs once you consider opportunity cost.

True but most people get loans, govt,employer to help pay for the cost of MBA. Then again in your parrel universe they may also pay for the fake degrees.

Most people at Harvard Business School pay a majority of the cost by themselves. Loans do not offset costs - you have to pay those back. Ultimately, most of these people decide that the high initial cost will be offset by higher future income.

My point was those options ( loans, govt subsidies, employer) are not available to pay for fake degrees. And I doubt that “most” people at havard have 500K cash to pay for tutuion and fees. I think its safe to say that your local “fake degree” slanger would not put you on a payment plan. I could pull up bunch of studies showing Harvard/Yale students with a shit load of debt but I dont have the time.

I don’t understand what you are saying. Incurring $500k of debt is ultimately the same as paying $500k in cash. I also never said Harvard Business School students pay $500k in cash. I said that they incur $500k in costs, which include cash, lost income, and loans to be paid off in the future.

I also don’t understand what you are saying about government loans or employer aid, or why it is relevant. As I explained earlier, $500k is the cost that I would pay to get a (real) business school degree from Harvard. Evidently, most students at these schools do incur about this much in initial cost.

You dont understand a lot of things apparantly…

I think Asian cultures value the group more than the individual whereas Western cultures value the individual more than the group… or at least thats what my management class told me.

As racist as it may sound, Asians cheat way more than your average white bread male. Its like their standards are so high, and failure is so shameful, that its perfectly acceptable to break rules so long as you pass.

During level 2 in the LA test center, I saw a Chinese guy sitting in his car at break, chatting on his cell phone, writing down stuff that was going to be on the afternoon exam. I was parked next to him and was basically standing over him without him seeing me, but when he did he looked like he was about to cry. I was so focused on my own test taking that I never did anything, but part of me wishes I would have turned him in. CFA is such a merit thing, I don’t want people who don’t deserve it to have it.

i weep for humanity…humanity weeps for stormy

$500k seems a bit high. Tuition, fees, books, etc. will run you $63,288 per year according to HBS website, so $126,576 for two years. $500k would assume $373,424 in opportunity cost, or $186,712 per year. Median first year compensation for HBS grads in 2011 was $140,000, so I don’t think people with an average salary of $187k are going to HBS so that they can make $140k coming out. The data must be out there somewhere (I can’t find it quickly), but I would think HBS students are probably making around $100k when they enter.

Hmm. Good of you to look up the numbers. Thanks.

Maybe it is job specific. I would wager that the finance people earn more than others, both before and after business school. 1st year bank associates after business school can probably get $250-$300k. For normal 2y analysts entering business school, previous compensation would have been about $150k (?). Plus, there is income growth in post-analyst years, assuming you can get a job without business school. But you are right - most people are not in finance and probably make less money.

There is also some prestige and perceived security effect that makes the decision not 100% economic. People might be willing to pay more than their explicit economic cost, as they might believe that the credential will make it easier to change jobs in the future (like if they get fired). Plus, the degree itself is desirable. People pay $100k for Porsches. Why not pay the same premium for a Harvard degree?