Friday, December 14, 2007

Dishonorable Degrees

Twice a year, Jude M. Werra, of Jude M. Werra & Associates, a headhunting firm in Brookfield, Wisconsin, reviews the hundreds of résumés he has seen in the previous six months—the elegant, triumphant C.V.s of C.E.O.s and V.P.s—and he condenses them into a single statistic. "It's the number of people who've misrepresented their education divided by the number of people whose education we checked," Werra explained last week: in short, the percentage of people who invented a degree. Werra calls it the Liars Index. The index, which has been published since 1995, was at its highest in the first half of 2000: 23.3 per cent. It now stands at 11.2 per cent.

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