I so much want this to happen. I left college in 1981 in my sophomore year to work in the field I love, software engineering. I have done many projects that would be worth a PhD if done in the academic context. Much of my career I have worked with PhD credentialed peers. Yet I have no such paper. Beyond the paper, there are things particularly in the more theoretical and research areas that I would like to know much more of. Many of these I do explore with online resources and in books. However I get no credit for these things. I can't use them to gain admittance to say a PhD program. I can't use them to be admitted to a more research oriented project.
I have checked what it would take to pick up this paper in an accredited way many times. The answer with brick and mortar is to take many years off earning an good income and sit in a desk. The online options are not sufficiently accredited. If there were online options with no mandatory time duration and testing out on an all required courses and full accreditation that would be ideal. I suspect it would be ideal to millions of others also.
As the need for continuous re-education and learning increases how can we as a society afford to not make it as efficient and accessible and fully accredited as possible?