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.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
Keywords: diplomas, credentialism, classified advertisements, vacancies, unit root, Beveridge-Nelson decomposition.
Degrees of Control: A Sociology of Educational Expansion and Occupational Credentialism. New York: Teachers College Press
The author contends that this "credentialism" and the myths of "radical heroes" (e.g., Gramsci and Freire), a particularly common practice in North American academies, all but defeats the emancipatory purposes of popular education.
Edwards L (2014) Discourse, credentialism and occupational closure in the communications industries: the case of public relations in the UK.
(86) See Ikuo Amano, The Origins of Japanese Credentialism (Victoria, Austl: Trans Pacific Press, 2011) at 107.
What realities are employers constructing that increasingly demand undergraduate degrees as an initial employment hurdle when filling low-skilled jobs?" Credentialism is a term often used to identify a situation where a change in the pool of applicants encourages employers to artificially inflate the education and skill requirements for recruitment to an otherwise unchanged job (Skott and Auerbach, 2003; Okay-Somerville and Scholarios, 2013).
The loose coupling between skill development and labor market utilization may be in part attributable to the signaling power of education (e.g., Arrow 1973; Spence 1974) or credentialism processes (Collins 1979) rather than reflect increased job demands for higher levels of skill (Handel 2011; Quintini 2011).
Chapter three presents student transitions into the labor market and opens with a brief review of three contemporary reasons why college matters: developing cognitive capabilities (human capital), the receipt of the degree (credentialism), and the establishment of relationship networks (social capital).
First, there is the impact of credentialism laced with what we call " advocacy malpractice" around here.
Molecular gastronomy is a natural reaction to this phenomenon, creating a creeping credentialism that once again affirms the position of elite chefs while forcing the rest of us into an arms race of equipment and knowledge.
Over-Education, Under-Education and Credentialism in the Australian Labour Market.