credentialism


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credentialism

the allocation of persons to social positions, especially occupations, on the basis of specific paper qualifications. Though these qualifications are, in particular, educational ones, this does not necessarily lead to either education for socially relevant need, or improved performance in occupations. There is a high demand for jobs in modern economies, which leads to considerable competition among applicants. The requirement is for educational credentials (certificates, diplomas, degrees), which regulate the flow of manpower. The pursuit of such credentials becomes an end in itself, leading to what Dore (1976) called the ‘diploma disease - see also Berg's The Great Training Robbery (1970). The form and content of education is of secondary importance. What is of primary significance is the level of qualification attainable. The process is criticized as failing to meet the real needs of industrial societies because it tends to serve mainly as a method of selection in the entry to occupations, rather than providing a preparation for them (see SCREENING). It is also criticized for frustrating many of those who embark on higher education hoping to advance occupationally since the number of appropriate jobs does not expand to match the expansion in the numbers qualified’ to fill such posts.

An identical process, although potentially more insidious in its implications (according to Dore), is the way in which, in THIRD WORLD countries, credentialism and the attempt to emulate Western systems of secondary and higher education leads to the expansion of educational systems in a form which is inappropriate to the needs of the economies of these societies. For both developed and less-developed economies, however, the counter-argument can be made that the thesis of‘credentialism’ undervalues the intrinsic value of extra education, both in employment, in providing specialist as well as general transferable skills (see also HUMAN CAPITAL. POSTCAPITALIST SOCIETY), and as a consumption good pursued for its own sake, rather than merely for reasons of gaining employment (see SOCIAL DEMAND FOR EDUCATION). See also GRADUATE LABOUR MARKET, HIGHER EDUCATION.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Relationship between Postsecondary Education and Skill: Comparing Credentialism with Human Capital Theory.
Over-Education, Under-Education and Credentialism in the Australian Labour Market.
This credentialism can be implemented both directly and indirectly.
Credentialism of teachers by regulatory means served to allay parental fears about poor care.
b) credentialism and competitive excellence (expressed through practices, programmes and centres of excellence);
CREDENTIALISM AND RECOMMENDATION: THE BASES FOR THE REPRODUCTION OF THE IRON AND STEEL WORKERS IN CONTEMPORARY ARGENTINA
Dockery and Miller (2012) provide some evidence that there is some credentialism through comparing qualification levels of different generations within occupations, with those individuals having more than 'required' levels of education obtaining a somewhat lower return to their qualifications, relative to those individuals who find a job for which they have the 'required' education.
They perceived value in the credentialism associated with sitting for the numerous South Kensington-linked drawing examinations that Gill implemented.
Williams, Turner, and Jones, 2009) The brand name associated with credentialism may enable the graduate to compete for high rewards within a volatile labor market.
He explores the relationship between credentialism and upward mobility as well as the relationship between student quality and institutional growth.
But the ethics here are complicated: it is one thing to defend, as Van Schendel does, the value of 'long-term, multifaceted dedication to a particular area', another--and more troublesome--thing to impose the credentialism that suggests that academic knowledge of any group of people belongs--or ought to belong--primarily to those people.