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Which Grad Students Cheat the Most? 397

SpectralDesign.Net writes, "The results of a research paper released Wednesday reveal who is admitting to cheating (in North America). The study focused on 5,300 graduate students in Canada and the U.S. and concluded that the biggest cheaters were business students — 56% of them admitted to copying papers, plagiarizing, etc. The author of the study said, 'The typical comment is that what's important is getting the job done. How you get it done is less important. You'll have business students saying all I'm doing is emulating the behavior I'll need when I get out in the real world.'" Other grad-student cheaters include: engineering students, 54%; physical sciences, 50%; medical and health-care, 49%; law, 45%; liberal arts, 43%; and social science and humanities students, 39%. These numbers are close to the guesstimate of the anonymous professor.
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Which Grad Students Cheat the Most?

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  • by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:54PM (#16154575) Journal
    They mean that Business students are the least dishonest.
    • You know what these numbers really mean?

      It means that Captain Kirk was a Business Student.

  • cheating (Score:4, Funny)

    by 56ker ( 566853 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:55PM (#16154592) Homepage Journal
    I run a website about video game cheats. Therefore cheating is "a necessary measure and the sort of practice I'll likely need to succeed in the professional world". ;)
  • by dslmodem ( 733085 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:55PM (#16154593) Journal

    I rationally decide to cheat.

    -- from an anonymous coward B-schooler :-)

  • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:56PM (#16154600) Homepage
    The study focused on 5,300 graduate students in Canada and the US and concluded that the biggest cheaters were business students -- 56% of them admitted to copying papers, plagiarizing, etc. The author of the study said, 'The typical comment is that what's important is getting the job done. How you get it done is less important. You'll have business students saying all I'm doing is emulating the behavior I'll need when I get out in the real world.

    The study must have been done on students in the first half of their business degree, and the second half must be the part where they teach, "Always lie about cheating."
    • by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:15PM (#16154778) Homepage Journal
      I wonder if there isn't some amount of truth to that.

      At my college, our final graduating class size was less than 10% what it was when we started. I know of people who cheated, copied, and plagiarized in the associates program but none of them made it to the final graduation. Oddly enough, only about 33% of our starting class graduated the assoc program, we had 5 students tossed out of the school in the second to last class of the program for plagiarizing code. Once we got into the bachelor's degrees, even though the papers got longer and more common, there was significantly less cheating. Sure, there were a few slackers who depended on other people in group work, but it was more like 15% than 50%.

      I would be much more interested in seeing those numbers from graduates, not active students.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Morphine007 ( 207082 )
        Note that they said The study focused on 5,300 graduate students... these guys aren't graduates of an undergrad degree. These are students who are working on their MSc's, MA's, MBA's, PhD's, etc... They're what you do after that undergrad degree you mentioned.
    • by rts008 ( 812749 )
      Why this was modded +funny instead of +insightful, I'll probably never understand...I don't find it so funny, but I do see it happening all the time.

      If you were trying for funny, KUDOS!- it is in a sad way, but how true anymore.
  • PoliSci (Score:5, Funny)

    by ReidMaynard ( 161608 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:57PM (#16154606) Homepage
    and an amazing 0% of Political Science students!

    They learn quick, don't they.
    • I did Politics as my undergrad and there was no reason to cheat. Honestly, Politics is simply means to learning how to craft bullshit and argue and justify anything. Pretty hard to cheat when it is hard to get an answer wrong. As for MBA students, of which I am one, many do cheat or cross the boundaries with group thinks, etc.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bblboy54 ( 926265 )
      and an amazing 0% of Political Science students!

      Actually, their results are included in another degree. Would admit to being a poli-sci student?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by techpawn ( 969834 )
      I don't think the answer of "I can neither confirm nor deny that" counts...
  • by mpapet ( 761907 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:57PM (#16154608) Homepage
    Okay, I'm not so much the grammer freak, but this one is not good.

    "students confessed cheating" maybe?
  • Sad but true... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by creimer ( 824291 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:00PM (#16154634) Homepage
    You'll have business students saying all I'm doing is emulating the behavior I'll need when I get out in the real world.

    I've seen this too often when managers focus on getting their numbers in instead of doing the right the first time. One company I worked for promoted the supervisor who always got his numbers in to be the department manager. Senior level people started to leaving (I was number three out of a dozen) since the guy was so ruthless that no one wanted to work with him and he would find reasons to fire you if try to hold him to a higher standard. What happened? He hired new people and quality took a serious hit but he got his numbers in number. BTW, the company is facing bankruptcy but the manager is still getting his numbers in.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Once I was hired to manage a convenience store that was doing poorly because the previous manager was stealing money/merchandise. Anyway, after a few weeks I got a series of calls about getting the inventory down. Finally, my boss said that she, her boss, and I would be written up if I didn't get the inventory down within a week. So, when the Coca-Cola, Pepsi, cigarette vendors showed up, I told them we wouldn't need anything that week. I did get the inventory down to the required level. Of course I also pi
  • by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) * on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:00PM (#16154635)
    As a university professor, I have caught cheaters on numerous occasions (approximately one a semester, often more) -- mostly undergrad, but the occasional grad. I have heard that justification numerous times. It's an odd one to give after you got caught; obviously, failing the course and facing possible expulsion is hardly "getting the job done." But I get the sense that I am the anomaly - I think students get away with cheating in many of their courses. Most of the cheating I find is plagiarism, and there are many cases where I don't think the student really understood what they were doing. I had two very interesting cases - both grad students, bizarrely enough - where the student plagiarized work that I had written. One of them copied sentences from an article I had written that was published on the web, and used them without attribution. The other had actually plagiarized a wikipedia entry that I was an active contributor to! I caught the latter one because I recognized a quotation she used as one I had contributed to the wikipedia entry; when I went back to look at it, entire chunks of prose were being used without attribution. I do think there is another explanation for a lot of these cases than "getting the job done," however; many of the students are doing things that are so stupid that they must know (at least subconsciously) that they will get caught. I think there is a category of cheaters who are seeking attention, as bizarre as it might sound.
    • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:05PM (#16154685) Homepage
      A recent Foxtrot [gocomics.com] summed up the issue nicely.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Overzeetop ( 214511 )
      It probably has more to do with students ability to budget time and allow for the proper schedule to write a paper than attention. There's also the typical slacker that just looks for the minimum effort path. Of course, as they expect to be far younger and hipper than you, you wouldn't even think to look at a place like Wikipedia for information so that source is perfect for plagiarism.

      Outside of academia, it is generally accepted truth that original research is a foolish waste of time (okay, maybe in print
    • Wow... Back in my day people at least tried harder at cheating. I paid a good portion of my college tuition by writing papers, including stacks of 3x5 cards, for other students. I also sat with them to explain what I'd written in case the professor asked them questions. Class sizes precludes most professors from doing that sort of checking, even with TAs, but it would be nice if some random sample were checked :D.
    • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @03:30PM (#16156033) Homepage Journal

      In my junior year of comp sci undergrad, I took a class with my friend (hi, Aaron!) that required us to write a lot of programs. We usually talked about the projects in detail, figured out the best way to solve them, then went off and separately implemented those solutions.

      One assignment was the typical "you have ten telephone lines and five operators..." sort of problem. We hashed out our strategy as usual, sat down at our respective computers, and typed out the exact same programs. I mean it. Line-for-line identical. Since we both pulled variable names out of the assignment text ("int telephonelines = 10; int operators = 5;", etc.), we'd evolved the same formatting style from years of working together, and we were implementing the same relatively short algorithm, our answers were perfect matches.

      Fortunately, our professor was a good guy and believed our convincingly dumb-struck expressions when he told us what he'd discovered. We were also both able to explain every step of the algorithm and why we'd chosen it, and we all had a good laugh about it afterward.

      I know that's a bit different than a kid turning in your Wikipedia entry for credit, but remember that strange things do happen sometimes, and not every case of obviously blatant cheating turns out to be legitimate.

  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:01PM (#16154640)
    The survey gives the percent of cheaters who admit the cheat? Does that mean the business students are the most honest in admitting they cheat, and the other students (**cough** law students **cough**) both cheat and lie more?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 )
      Ethics isn't a required course in many, many undergrad & graduate programs.

      This applies to business, (pre-)med, and a variety of other fields.

      Then, even with an understanding of ethics, some people just don't care.

      50% is a huge number though. I imagine things might break down a bit differently if the question was something other than "have you cheated within the past year". It's like asking everyone with a car "have you broken the speed limit in the last year?"

      I'd be much more interested in comparing th
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kilgortrout ( 674919 )
      Law stundents have unique issues when it comes to cheating, at least in the US. In order to get a license to practice law, you have to pass the bar exam AND be approved by a "Character and Fitness Committee". If you get caught cheating in law school, most likely you will be permanently barred from the practice of law. At least you run a significant risk of that occurring. There probably is a lower incidence of cheating among law stundents due to the greater risk they run if caught. It's not about flunking a
  • by Some_Llama ( 763766 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:01PM (#16154646) Homepage Journal
    Billy Madision, where the business graduate is asked to give a speech concerning business ethics in a "decathalon of education", this results in him pulling out a gun and trying to shoot his opponent.

    Pretty accurate protrayal of what i've seen in the business world...

    Unfortunately, when you work for a corporation whose ONLY motive is profit then moral considerations are barely an afterthought, to the detriment of everyone who uses that corporation's products and are affected by the same and those who work for the corporation.
    • by greysky ( 136732 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:16PM (#16154785)
      I've worked for several companies, ranging from small dot-com startups to Fortune 500 giants. The best ethical behaviour I've seen in my career was working for a billion-dollar financial investment firm. The worst ethics came from a start-up founded by former professors (humanities and engineering).
      • by mcmonkey ( 96054 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:44PM (#16155061) Homepage

        I've worked for several companies, ranging from small dot-com startups to Fortune 500 giants. The best ethical behaviour I've seen in my career was working for a billion-dollar financial investment firm. The worst ethics came from a start-up founded by former professors (humanities and engineering).

        My career spans similar extremes, and my experience mirrors yours. My hunch? Oversight works.

        At a small start up with no outside investors, no one really cares if a shop getting 30 emails a day over DSL is using a warez copy of Exchange. If the owner decides to go that route, it filters down to employees who will feel free to use email, phones, etc. for personal purposes.

        At the big firm, folks at the top are prone to be more aware of the oversight, especially in a financial firm. If I know my boss's boss's boss is concerned about the contents of communications coming into and out of the company, and the implications of records of those communications being subpoenaed, then I need to be concerned about my use of those resources.

        (....typed while at a computer in said billion-dollar financial investment firm)

    • by khallow ( 566160 )

      Pretty accurate protrayal of what i've seen in the business world...

      No, I disagree. If profit is the only motive, then actions which waste profit are immoral. So I gather from the description of your examplee, the business graduate is acting in an immoral manner because he is attempting to waste both his future income potential and that of his target. Businesses from the profit-only viewpoint would support the basic rule of law because it lowers costs, preserves assets, etc.

      Ultimately, a moral code is

  • by nuggz ( 69912 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:02PM (#16154652) Homepage
    I don't like to call it cheating.
    It's just a question of which resources you are utilising to accomplish the task.

    Maximizing the benefit of your available resources is clearly something you should do both in school and in real life.

    Where cheating breaks down is that you are improperly using them in violation of the rules. In school it is cheating, plagarism etc, in "real life" it's fraud, cooking the books etc.

    Go ahead push the rules to the limit, but don't use the "real life" excuse, it's just as invalid in school as at Enron.
  • by CrazyTalk ( 662055 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:03PM (#16154664)
    Having just graduate from Business School earlier this year, I have to disagree with those statistics. Everyone I knew was very careful about NOT cheating. However, there were lot's of "Group Projects", including take-home exams, where the professors actually encouraged students to work together. I don't think that qualifies as "Cheating" though.
    • by imadork ( 226897 )
      That is, everyone you knew was very careful about not admitting that they cheated.
      Good luck in the Business world, son. It eats honest people like you for breakfast.
    • by flynt ( 248848 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:41PM (#16155032)
      So you're disagreeing with results of a survey with 5,000 students across two large countries because you attented one school, with one group of people, and had one group of friends that didn't exhibit the behavior? Is this the type of rigor they taught you in Business school? I'd get my money back.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dslauson ( 914147 )

      However, there were lot's of "Group Projects", including take-home exams, where the professors actually encouraged students to work together. I don't think that qualifies as "Cheating" though.

      OK, that's a little rediculous. This is a survey of people who admitted to cheating. Are you saying that you don't think they know when they're cheating or not? A grad student totally knows the difference between, as in your example, working together on a group project or a take-home exam, and something like plaigar

    • Yeah, I have to wonder at the definition of cheating here. I don't think it would be possible to "cheat" on some of the exams I've been given.

      For example, in one class I had, the professor had done research on the theory of high temperature superconductivity. He gave us a bunch of papers and told us to "fill in the blanks", basically to derive the theories used. It was perfectly acceptable for the three of us in the class to work together, or even to go to any professor and get advice on our work. At a
  • by maynard ( 3337 ) <j DOT maynard DO ... AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:04PM (#16154674) Journal
    "The typical comment is that what's important is getting the job done. How you get it done is less important," McCabe said. "You'll have business students saying all I'm doing is emulating the behavior I'll need when I get out in the real world."

    Which is exactly the type of reasoning that leads to this [slashdot.org] clusterfuck. Perhaps it's time for professors and the deans to expel these students rather than let the behavior continue? The cheaters might learn a valuable lesson, and society as a whole would be the better off for it.
  • by bahwi ( 43111 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:05PM (#16154681)
    Now trackback the cheating of those in Enron and MCI/Worldcom back to their cheating days at Harvard and other business schools. I bet the relation will be pretty high up there.
  • by Vo0k ( 760020 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:08PM (#16154713) Journal
    Interestingly, in my studies I stumbled upon 2 or 3 subjects which were plain impossible to pass without cheating. And not that "I failed", simply anybody not cheating would fail, and most of the cheaters still wouldn't make it through. The subject was too difficult for my group, for the group year before, two years before, three years before and that's where known records end. From groups of 30-50 students 2-10 most proficient at cheating would pass at the first try, the rest would get a clue and re-try while cheating (passing another 10-20 students or so), and whoever tried the honest approach, would simply fail.
    Interestingly, these were informatics-related subjects.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by theLOUDroom ( 556455 )
      Interestingly, in my studies I stumbled upon 2 or 3 subjects which were plain impossible to pass without cheating.

      And the problem is exacerbated by grading on a curve.

      Even if you do it honestly and score fairly well numerically, if everyone else cheats and gets near perfect scores, you fail.
      Schools don't realize it but grading on a curve places students who try to work on their own at a real disadvantage.

      In some ways I believe teachers are complicit in the cheating. They will deliberately catch a
  • You can't cheat off of someone when you're trying to come up with interesting physics experiments, and then trying to perform them and write a thesis about it. Maybe if I had had a way of cheating I wouldn't have taken 7 years to graduate.

    Unless.... I could have faked that data!

  • Sickening.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by slashmojo ( 818930 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:09PM (#16154723)
    medical and health-care, 49%

    Bodes ill for our future health care needs.

    Almost a 50/50 chance of getting a doc who cheated his/her way through college.. scary.

    On the bright side if your doc is ever stuck with a diagnosis he can always look it up on wikipedia..

  • by revery ( 456516 ) <charlesNO@SPAMcac2.net> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:13PM (#16154759) Homepage
    ok, let's keep this civilized. In Group 1, posters who would like to rant about the general decline in morals in this country, please line up right here; Group 2, people who want to say that these students are only following the example of a world gone to hell in a hand basket, please line up right next to Group 1. In Group 3, we'll have those who would like to say, "who cares, it's just school, I did the same thing in college but I don't do it when it really matters". And finally, Group 4, those of you who would like to post variations on Slashdot cliche's, please line up outside the free sterilization clinic, and I, who for one, am welcoming our new ethically challenged overlords, and am imagining a Beowulf cluster of processors designed by immoral engineers (in the Soviet Union, no less), will be right behind you.
  • by Stormcrow309 ( 590240 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:15PM (#16154774) Journal

    I am a student in the MBA program at my school. If you want to look at the big cheaters, look at the Public Administration students. These guys are VERY brazen about cheating and their teachers don't seem to care. Most of the PA students get into trouble in the 'normal' business classes, like accounting, due to cheating. Plagerizing, collabrative work when it isn't suppost to be (like take home finals), turning in the same paper in multiple classes. Our instructors in the management classes use turn-it-in religiously, so it can get funny to see the surprised look on the PA students faces when they get told that they get to have a fun talk with the Dean.

  • by rlp ( 11898 )
    Yeah, but how'd that compare to students studying to become Ninja?
  • Tricks of the Trade (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 )
    I used to run the "Acadamic Committee" in my 1980s college fraternity - about 100 guys each year in a 10K student university. Most of our job was campaigns to reinstate members who'd been expelled for low grades or partying too much (and burning down a frathouse, but that wasn't my committee ;). After that, our biggest operation was lending out old tests in our library from which members could study (for the often-repeated questions). I knew about all kinds of cheaters, including paper-writing operations, a
    • "Every biz major I knew cheated regulary. At very least by studying the old questions first, before studying the entire section being tested."

      That's cheating? I suppose it would be if it was forbidden by the prof to look at old tests while studying.
  • Devil's advocacy (Score:3, Informative)

    by neatfoote ( 951656 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:24PM (#16154857)
    OK, shall I go out on a limb here and say that I think there really might be valid arguments in favor of grad students cheating?

    Mind you, I'm a grad student myself, and I would never, never even consider plagiarizing or copying anyone else's published or unpublished work (at least partly because I think my own work is better than most other people's, anyway :) ). But realistically, grad school is not like undergrad, where every test performance, every paper, every evaluation is being used to sort you out of the herd and give your future employers information about your ability and potential. In grad school, three or four big, important performance evaluations-- getting in, passing comps, finishing the dissertation, getting it published-- are interspersed with lots of smaller "evaluations" that are basically hoops to jump through.

    Most humanities and social science courses I know require papers, and most students will get A's on said papers-- A's that are basically meaningless since employers don't look at transcripts anyway. So one's performance on the paper is essentially immaterial-- it's not making you look any better, it's not teaching you much (particularly in courses outside your field), and the professor may barely skim it before dustbinning. Under those circumstances, actually writing the paper essentially just ensures that you waste lots of time that could be devoted to performance points that do matter, like the diss. Plagiarism under those circumstances is still lying, I guess, and lying is always wrong, but I don't think in these cases that it's the sort of lying that necessarily says much about your professionalism or future behavior-- just that you're the sort of person who gets impatient with pointless rules.

  • Sure, only 56% of business students admitted to it... the other 44% just print out fake degrees online and don't ever consider themselves students, they just go straight to "graduates".
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr AT mac DOT com> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:30PM (#16154913) Journal
    It would seem from these figures, that Law students actually are more ethical than engineers.

    Who did this study, again? ;-)


    • It would seem from these figures, that Law students actually are more ethical than engineers.

      No, it just means the law students are better at not admitting to being unethical.
  • 56% of business students are cheaters! OMG!!1!

    What I think this fails to take into account is both the severity and frequency of cheating. Someone looks over the shoulder of a fellow student on a multiple-choice test and directly copies their answers. Definitely cheating. Now, someone includes a line from another person's paper, and forgets to cite it. Cheating as well, but definitely not the same level of cheating. This second form can be accidental, if someone just forgets to add the proper citation.
  • Statistically speak, it looks to me as if the random error due to the sample size is around 3% per group of students. So it's difficult to say, statistically speaking, whether there is any real variation in the populations. On top of that, you have the possibility of lying about cheating which could introduce systematic biases, although there are ways of controlling for those.

    This is actually a bit shocking to me, as a relatively-recent graduate of a doctoral program in a physical science. I can honestly
  • I don't know, but you might want to ask the guy who got 1780 on his SATs.
  • How exactly does one cheat in the Humanities? I mean it's not like there's a "right" and "wrong" answer, like in Math and Engineering. As someone who taught Assembler to undergrads, I never had a real problem with cheating, because of the way I structured the assignments to encourage groups to work together, and because I gave really hard tests that I made up every quarter, so there was no test recycling. Well that and they were all engineering students... Sure a few may fudge an assignment here and ther
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 )
      One cheats in the humanities by:

      1. making up fake references.

      2. taking someone else's ideas as your own without giving credit.

      3. pure plaigarism (an extreme example of 2, and then some.)

      4. making claims about a work that you haven't studied directly (using secondary sources while trying to give the impression you are using the primary source.)

      5. making false claims to buttress your argument (making stuff up... "Gertrude Stein had been diagnosed with cancer earlier that year, before finishing the novel." Whe
  • "[I'm] ... emulating the behavior I'll need when I get out in the real world."

    This sort of remark demonstrates how clueless they are about the so-called "real world".

    I think that these people would do well to realize that the real world requires being innovative and original. If most of what you expect to do in the "real world" is copy somebody else's work, you will rarely be the first to get anywhere, and that will intrinsically limit your level of success.

  • by fortinbras47 ( 457756 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:07PM (#16155299)
    I'm not sure if it's just because people or more likely to get caught, but at the university I attended, the computer science department had the most honor code violations. (It's a low absolute number, but it accounted for a substantial portion of overall honor code violations).

    This article doesn't distinguish between grad and undergrad (and is a bit dated), but it I think it is interesting: http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2003/march12 /judicial-312.html [stanford.edu]

  • by 1000101 ( 584896 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:15PM (#16155377)
    A few years ago I went back to school and got a CS degree (already had degree in Economics). I was approached many times from other CS students asking for help on programming/database/math projects. Most of the time the questions were legitimate and I wouldn't consider them 'cheating'. However, there were times when I was flat out asked to share my code/algorithms. I hated that. One of the primary reasons I went back to get another degree was because I loved the problem-solving aspect of software development. It's kind of like cheating in games. If you're handed the answers, where is the challenge? Where is the benefit? Also, I found that (at my school at least) there was a strong community of Indian students who stuck together. Once I made a few friends in this small community, I found that the cheating was rampant. Code sharing, test sharing, etc. was commonplace. It always put me in a difficult situation when I was asked to show someone else my code. I don't mind helping others (frequent message boards), but simply giving someone else code that I worked hours on was out of the question.
  • by Kirby ( 19886 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:17PM (#16155401) Homepage
    This is part of the reason why I weight college degrees so lightly when I interview people. It just doesn't mean much, when half the students only know how to google for answers. While that is a useful job skill (I google problems every week, if not every day), an employee that just does that, and isn't thinking independantly or really understanding the problems is a big problem.

    Good companies to work for will generally treat this kind of attitude with a 'fired with cause'. There are a lot of bad companies out there to be an Initech slacker at, collect a paycheck, and do as little thinking as possible. I have no idea why anyone would want to end up there. So, it's kind of a self-correcting problem in that sense.

    For those actually working for a college degree, it's more annoying. I have a CS degree, and I never cheated in college. (Really. Risking explusion is so not worth it.) Yes, it was obvious that some jerks were, and it leads to more experienced people like my present self finding very little corrolation between the degree and good hires, so it does devalue the diploma. But if you actually can contribute individual insights, are smart, and can get things done, you'll rise above these shortcutters very quickly. They'll work in the trenches at a job they hate, while you decide between Google or a hot startup for a career path. You'll win, in the end, 9 times out of 10. So don't worry about that other guy.

    Winners don't do drugs!
  • by tomzyk ( 158497 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:59PM (#16155744) Journal
    Other grad-student cheaters include: engineering students, 54%; physical sciences, 50%; medical and health-care, 49%; law, 45%; liberal arts, 43%; and social science and humanities students, 39%.
    I may have cheated quite a bit in college, but I don't think it really matters. For instance, I'm a double major in Mathematics and Statistics and I know for a FACT that this statement is based on falsified data. Everyone knows that when you sum up the parts, you can't have more than 100% of it.
    (54 + 50 + 49 + 45 + 43 + 39) > 100
  • Flamebait, but (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Java Ape ( 528857 ) <mike,briggs&360,net> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @03:13PM (#16155875) Homepage
    This just makes me sick. What happened to morals and ethics? Honor? Integrity? Those aren't just words -- they're concepts, and used to be considered the foundations of character. I hold three B.S. degrees, an M.S. and a host of additional credits obtained from various universities. I have never cheated on a class, nor seen a class that "required" cheating, though I have had to repeat a very few classes that I wasn't bright enough to pass on the first attempt. This, in my opinion, is to be expected when one undertakes a difficult course of study.

    I agree with the previous poster from Harvard, who was appalled that cheating could be so widespread when it was conspicuously absent from my peer group. Why aren't the schools throwing these Bozo's out,with a nice note on their transcript about "violation of educational ethics"? No wonder the world is so screwed up, we're so busy trying to make a buck that we've forgotten the basis of civilization. Machivellian behavior is only advantageus when it's statistically improbable. In primates, troops disband (often violently!) when trust degenerates below a minimum threshold. Since our society is based on similar social contracts (e.g. shared trust), I would expect extremely serious repercussions as the percentage of liars/cons/cheaters increases. I need a nice rock to hide under.

  • Makes sense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by T.E.D. ( 34228 ) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @03:50PM (#16156233)
    If I were to order those types of majors by the potential income a grad could expect, it would come out in the same order.

    To put this another way, no one takes a history major because they want to make the big bucks after college, while no one goes into business school because they are fascinated with the subject material in the classes.

We don't really understand it, so we'll give it to the programmers.