Do Employers Check Degrees? The Mystery Revealed

Do employers check degrees? They sure do, and here’s why and how they can…

It’s no secret that resumes can be a little bit “fluffy”. Similar to how we like to filter our photos on Instagram, many people “filter” their information on their resumes. Not every bullet point is 100% true, and it’s not even a big deal. Employers know this and see past the little white lies. The problem is that sometimes the little white lies aren’t so little. Sadly, people can also fib on their actual degree information. Whether it’s a false graduation date or flat out lying about an entire degree, it’s a real concern for many employers. So if you’re asking yourself the question, do employers check degrees, this is the place to find out.


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Are you curious to know if employers actually conduct background education checks? Can they verify your education and how? These are real questions that many are curious to know. The mystery is now revealed. We have done the research and discovered a few things, such as, how employers know your educational background, why you need that college degree, and why it’s just not worth it to fake it on your resume.


The State of the Matter

We know that it’s tempting to spice up your resume to get ahead of the many others that you are competing with. It’s a competitive world out there! It’s easy to understand the desire to get a job as quick and easily as possible, with the high costs of tuition and the time it takes to earn a degree. But sometimes the fast and easy route isn’t always the best.


The good news is there are University options out there can help offer tuition-free degrees at a substantially lower cost such as The University of the People. This can be a valuable solution to the problem of paying for your tuition, as well as prevent the dilemma of feeling the need to lie on a resume.

The problem is that nowadays, more and more people are falsifying their resumes. According to a survey done last year, 85% of job applicants lie on their resumes. People either think it’s no big deal, that employers won’t actually check, or that they fear their actual background just isn’t good enough and they feel forced to lie to get ahead.


So what are people doing? They’re stretching the truth by embellishing on their resumes with graduation dates and names of courses and universities. And some go as far as to using diploma mills. These are websites that offer diplomas and degrees for purchase. Companies have gotten better at knowing which applicants are being truthful or not.


How Do Companies Know if You Have a Degree?

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Unfortunately, the vast number of people that fib on their resumes have made employers more skeptical of their applicants and in many cases, the hiring process can become longer and more complicated. The fact of the matter is that employers do check your credentials. And here’s how:


Educational Background Checks

  • There are companies like Global Verification Network and other third party agencies that offer degree verification services. They can find out if applicants exaggerate or lie on their educational qualifications.

Skills Assessment During the Interview

  • During a job interview, employers know exactly what questions to ask to check whether or not you have the skills they are looking for. So if you put an accounting degree on your resume and are applying for an accounting position, be sure that they will test your capabilities and knowledge.

Preliminary Exams or Tests

  • Many employers will ask you to do a test to see if you qualify for the job or even just for the next round of interviews. They are trying to filter out the unqualified applicants. Sometimes, if there are certain certificates or diplomas stated on the resume, they will ask you to present a copy of it too.

Social Media Research

  • Today, social media is not just a fun and friendly way to engage and communicate with others. It’s also a way for employers to see if your account is legitimate and if your information matches your resume.


Why It’s So Important to Have a Degree

The truth is, knowledge is power. And that hard-earned degree that you are working so hard to achieve is what is going to get you ahead in the job market. It’s not just about putting that shiny diploma on the wall. It’s about gaining knowledge and skills that are ever so important in not just the professional world, but also in life in general. Let’s get into why earning a degree is so important – both for you as a student as well as for the employers.


Benefits of Earning a Degree


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Gaining Skills That Are Important for All Professions.

  • Earning a degree involves building important skills, such as communication, time management, self-discipline, efficiency, networking, and so on. Also skills like reading, writing, and organizing prove to be important in all jobs. These are all essential tools to have when becoming a professional.

Earning More Money.

  • The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the annual incomes of people with bachelor’s degrees are about twice the amount of those with just a high school diploma.

Being More Qualified.

  • College graduates are more likely to be offered a position by an employer than those without a degree. They are also more qualified for a wider range of positions that involve more skills.

Being Happier and Healthier.

  • College graduates are more satisfied and live happier and healthier lives. A study done at the University of Maine showed that college grads are a lot more likely to report having good or very good health, being happier, exercising more, maintaining a healthy weight and are even four times less likely to smoke. Nice!


Benefits of Hiring Degree Students


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Being a Better Candidate.

  • College graduates are more attractive to employers. Why? There are many reasons. College grads are eager to learn and ready to accept challenges. They tend to be great multi-taskers. They are also more likely to have gained the most recent and upcoming information in their industry. And they are likely more comfortable with technology and understand the market better.

Relevant Knowledge and Experience.

  • Many jobs are specific to the degrees you earn. For example, computer science, business management, and accounting are a few examples of degrees that are needed in order to apply for jobs in those fields. You will surely need the knowledge and experience from your degree in order to even be considered as a potential candidate, let alone succeed in the position!

General Impression.

  • In general, almost all employers are going to be more impressed by those holding a degree than those without one. It shows dedication and motivation and seriousness on behalf of the applicant.


It’s Just Not Worth It to Fake It


As tempting as it is to embellish on your resume, it should be kept to the little details and not the educational information itself. It’s just not worth the risk of dealing with the repercussions of getting caught. Always wondering if anyone will find out is a heavy burden to carry. It’s like having a chip on your shoulder that you can’t break free of. There are a few reasons as to why it’s not worth the hassle of faking your resume.


What if You Get Caught?

  • Let’s just say that you were to pass the initial phase and get hired on false pretenses. There is still the chance of your employers finding out. It could cost you not only your job, but also your reputation. You would be fired and lose the reference from the employer. It could make you unhireable in the future, especially if your industry is small. And no one wants that.

The Job Itself: Can You Do It?

  • Every job entails its own specific skills and qualifications. These are things that are not just words on a paper. Putting that degree or certificate on a resume means that there are certain abilities that you acquired. And not having those necessary skills would make it hard to live up to the job. You would probably end up making many mistakes that could have been prevented, asking loads of questions that your employer might wonder why you don’t already know the answers to, and end up getting very stressed out and frustrated. Talk about an uncomfortable position to be in!


So What’s the Bottom Line?


It’s not worth faking a degree; it benefits no one. Basically, you can’t fake the skills and knowledge that a degree will give you. An employer will eventually find out and your reputation will forever be at stake.


At the end of the day, it’s best to earn a degree the proper way and reap the benefits of applying for and getting that job that you’ve worked so hard for. Remember, nothing worthwhile comes easy!


"I have already gotten two raises and been promoted"

Madeline Bracken


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