Explainer: what is credentialism and is a degree more than just a piece of paper? - Deepstash

Keep reading for FREE

Credentialism is reducing qualifications to status

In the 1970s, social scientists coined the term "credentialism". It is an ideology that puts formal education credentials above other ways of understanding human potential and ability.

Credentialism is again entering the higher education debate as academics and the wider public try to make sense of the current university system.


401 reads

Issues concerning the future of universities

  • Students are unsure if their degrees are worth the high tuition fees.
  • University academics bemoan the factory style teaching system.
  • Online learning and the growth of accredited university certificates through MOOCs (massive open online courses offer alternatives) offer an alternative.

While these issues are important to debate, they ignore the fundamental value of credentials in the workplace.


102 reads

University degree: A basic requirement

  • A university degree is now considered to be the ultimate status symbol for entry into the middle classes across the world. It is a basic requirement for any professional occupation.
  • Certificates are not meaningless. There is still a so-called graduate premium in economic terms because employers value the added skills.
  • In social terms, a university degree provides non-market benefits that are difficult to measure, including longer life expectancy, more leisure time, social mobility, and lower propensity to commit crime.


127 reads

Beware of class prejudice

The concept of credentialism can be a type of class prejudice.

We need to ensure that university is more than a rite of passage coming together in a piece of paper. It is the role of the academic profession and higher education institutions to shape worthwhile learning. However, higher education is vulnerable to abuse without regulation, such as buying fake nursing degrees that can lead to tragic outcomes. A formal qualification should be a representation of something more important.


122 reads



When you put others first, you teach them that you come second.

Ready for the next level?

Read Like a Pro


Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas


Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.


2 Million Stashers



5,740 Reviews

App Store



72,690 Reviews

Google Play


Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Read & Learn

20x Faster





Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations


Claim Your Limited Offer

Get Deepstash Pro


75% OFF | 1-Year Pro Subscription

Claim Offer