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In a recent post, The Latest Bubble, I wrote about how education is the latest money-maker that may or may not be in the best interests of those chasing after it. But it gets worse. In the latest issue of the_ Reader’s Digest_ , there’s an article about “How I Help People Cheat” in “The Cheating Epidemic.”

This writer works for an online writing company that hires 50 writers to write those term papers, essays, and other scholarly literature. I think I know one of those companies - I was lured to write for one, but turned it down when I got a technical writing contract. I’m so relieved, now that I know what it was probably all about. Luring writers and people looking for higher education seems to be the theme of the internet these days.

This is downright dishonorable. For one thing, the people requesting these services can barely spell their name, or as he puts it “barely write a grocery list” - never mind the work required to earn a BA or MA. The sad thing for them is that they are not getting an education this way.

I’m not surprised by this. I’ve seen it coming. And I blame the greed of those opportunists trolling the internet. You can’t log onto a web page without ads promising that you can “publish that novel” or earn an advanced degree. Now that the educational bar has been raised, people who were once satisfied with a high school diploma feel the pressure to have an advanced degree - the bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma. A Master’s is the new Bachelor’s and so on. I remember some jobs in Silicon Valley asking that technical writers have a PhD. How far will you have to go to stand out? It isn’t about actually getting an education - it’s about having the right credentials.

It's also about trying to fix low self-esteem. Anybody familiar with Iyanla Vanzant, who has appeared on Oprah and Starting Over , knows that she pursued advanced degrees and a legal career just to fix her self-esteem. And only then did she realize it wasn't what she wanted to do. And it wasn't enough to fix her self-esteem issues.

The internet is a wonderful thing and I was one of the early users, but it’s taking a downward turn, spiraling out of control, and we all need to be aware of these issues when we‘re navigating our way around it. Don’t fall for the easy fix - you know - if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And if your self-esteem needs fixing, do the real work to fix it by pursuing the right things for the right reasons.

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Member Comments

    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Apr 25, 2011
    • I have heard of the professional writers..... Sad that we need them!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Apr 25, 2011
    • you can cheat but what happens when you get the job because then the flaws must show up unless all your co-workers have paid for their eduction and are as equally dim?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kathy Holmes wrote Apr 25, 2011
    • So true, Eva. Accomplishments help to raise our self-esteem. But some people think to raise their self-esteem is to acquire what is seen on the outside and they don’t care what they have to do to get it. Unfortunately, this takes away from the many who work really hard to earn their degrees and accomplish many other things. The cheaters and those on the fast track skipping some of the work are the ones who take away from others. But too often today business are enabling these behaviors so that they can make money. That’s what’s crazy and so wrong!



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