A friend of mine has completed his masters successfully with good marks but he actually did not complete his bachelors degree. He lied about having a bachelors degree in the new college in UK(masters) and got admission. His bachelors was in a different country(not UK, but in Europe). He is now concerned that once he gets a job in IT industry, his employers are going to find out and fire him if he gets a job somehow. He can't lie about not having a degree at all as he has a masters degree which is verifiable. Though he is technically very good and he is intelligent.

What are his options?

  • All the roles I have ever gone for will check everything back to school age... ymmv – Rory Alsop Feb 3 '18 at 16:45
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    Your "friend" is fraud, he should turn himself in to the police. I know that is not what you want to hear, but you asked for what are your options, so that is one of the options. By submitting bogus paper work for your Masters degree, you have misused the college's good faith as well as denied admission to a deserving candidate. As a result, the college will now scrutinise every genuine application more stringently, which just causes additional nuisance to future candidates, all for no fault of theirs. – Masked Man Feb 4 '18 at 9:10
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    Additionally, your so-called Bachelors degree was from a different country, which means the college will now view all applicants from that country with some suspicion. Even now, you don't feel any remorse for your actions, but you are just worried about it because it might cause you to lose your job. – Masked Man Feb 4 '18 at 9:13
  • @MaskedMan Not all countries have study limitations at all, meaning if you want to study, you can study. If demand is high, you may need to travel, but the opportunity is there. So your accusation of "stealing" a place makes no sense in those countries. Also you severely overestimate the importance of a bachelor, being from academia I can assure you that frauds/cheaters will be normally revoked of their PhD and still retain their master/diploma because it is seen as unimportant. No, they won't check future students. It is unusual that someone flunks a bachelor and is able to get a master. – Thorsten S. Feb 4 '18 at 15:27
  • That said, while impostors existed at all times and often went undetected, there is no protection against repercussions once the bluff is found out. So the thing is to get a lawyer and find out how the situation is. – Thorsten S. Feb 4 '18 at 15:32

I don't know why the "new College" accepted him without paperwork. He might want to enquire online about admissions policy. My school wanted (what I thought was) irrelevant paperwork and I had to do some running around to get it. He's hoping he doesn't get revoked.

Do companies verify all the degrees or just the most recent one?

"Companies", maybe not. 'Paid for Background Checks', depends upon what is paid for, I'd go with probably since it's the checking company's rep. on the line.

What are his options?

Hope and pray, or take another course that doesn't rely on the dirty trail; but then checks might turn up that he has a Masters and didn't put it on the resume (or declare it on the background check form). 🐟

The lesson is: Don't do that. Institutions are really cracking down on cheating/plagiarism/etc.

He'll be working where fewer questions are asked. If he sails through there can be additional checks down the road if he's promoted to management or they give him a company credit card.

  • Thanks for the answer. As he has already completed the course I don't think he is worried about "plagiarism". Another 3 years for a bachelors course makes no sense at all after masters. – user82479 Feb 3 '18 at 0:15
  • I will add the statement. It depends on the employer. I had to send a copy of my transcripts, from every school I listed on my resume, and they would only accept the transcript if it was sent by the school. – Donald Feb 3 '18 at 2:06
  • @user82479 - The c/p/etc. includes falsification, which is what he's worried about, read that again, revoked means they take away your papers, blacklist you, and it's like you never went to school plus a bad record. It means he is hosed.. -- The reason employers ask for things (a whole bunch of interviews, stack of papers, and left nut) is for one of two reasons: you like to look at them and do anything they ask for free so they can offer too little, reason #2: they'll pay for it. Where I am they'll pay over $20 to cook and ppl. say get lost; big city has big rent. Some work for 0+crap. – Rob Feb 3 '18 at 4:56
  • just say he has a masters and was so clever he was accepted without a bachelors – bharal Feb 3 '18 at 14:01

Here by my own experience (with a different study field than IT in bachelor and master and now got a job in IT industry) most of the IT based companies seek for people with sufficient skills not their degree. what it seems more important than degree in IT is certificates provided by technology providers and also skills to fulfill assigned tasks. it's pretty simple for companies to examine your skills you need for your position in IT sector. as i have seen in some companies in Asia and Europe they actually recruit people for a test period and you have time to prove yourself. people here in IT industry understand fully that there is nothing about degree to your skills.

I suggest him to be trustworthy about his situation or at least if he prefer he can refrain to express his bachelor status in his resume and focus on his master degree and his skills and he can only tell it if he is asked about his bachelor degree.


Your friend may check with his course what exactly the rules are. For some reason when I was at university I checked these things, and an interesting thing was that if you managed to be allowed taking your final exams through cheating, and then you passed the exams, then the cheating was forgiven (different country, different situation, but they might have similar rules).

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