College Guide


September 14, 2009 2:00 PM When Is It Okay To Lie About Not Having a College Degree?

By Jesse Singal

The obvious answer is “never,” but this story that someone submitted to reddit had me rethinking that stance. Given a situation like this one—where the person is obviously qualified for a higher-paid job than what he or she can get because he or she lacks an oftentimes-meaningless piece of paper—I’m finding it hard to blame the perpetrator.

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.


  • buddy66 on September 14, 2009 6:57 PM:

    Your headline question doesn't ask what you think it's asking, does it?

  • Anonymous on September 14, 2009 7:16 PM:

    You see, I once needed a summer job as a shipping clerk, after my first year of teaching, so I lied and said I had only two years of college. They wouldn't have hired me if I'd said I had a degree. So I lied about not having a college degree.

  • Crissa on September 14, 2009 7:31 PM:

    I've been in the situation before, generally where they're asking for a college degree to do some meaningless job like computer repair or tech support.

    How would a degree help me plug in computers, exactly?

  • Mike on September 14, 2009 8:26 PM:

    So, this guy's company is paying for him to get a degree they assumed he already had?

    I'd go with your gut on this one; it is never okay to lie. Period.