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Yeterday, social media lashed out at Axact after NYT report disclosed its million-dollars fake degrees scam. Axact appears to be ‘world’s leading IT company’ as its slogan reads; however, most of its office floors (at least at DHA) are occupied with agents who operate in Middle East region luring Arab/international people with certified US degrees solely on basis of their professional experience. These degrees range from Bachelors, Masters, and PhD (Axact takes pains to prepare thesis for you as well, if you don’t have enough time or skills!).
Agents are advised to use Bayt.com or Linkdin as source and it is said to customer that either of these organizations have forwarded his/her profile for consultations. As a matter of fact, while I was working at Axact’s DHA office, the Bayt.com, largest job search engine in Middle East, warned Axact not to use their name as source, after which, we were advised to use Linkdin or else manipulate the script somehow.
Axact agents tell customers the main reason why big corporations do not hire you is absence of bachelors, masters, or PhD degree that they can get sitting home. Our script read like: “you don’t have to take classes, or, listen to online lectures, or take pains for admissions and other documented procedures. Just log on to our university website and our Senior Academic Officer will enroll you. It takes less than five minutes and you receive internationally certified/attested degree within couple of months solely based on your professional experience. ”
Indeed, there is no criterion for professional experience of the applicant. You may get even PhD degree with as minimum as one year personal experience. It is all situational and manipulative. Only thing that matters is to pay enrollment fee after logging on to university website, and then, continue to pay unless your accounts are squeezed to figure zero.
Once a customer pays enrollment fee, he is in the trap. Now, senior agents (closers) would call him from time to time asking more and more money for attestations from concerning embassies and/or shipment charges until his pocket runs dry.
It was quite an embarrassing and decisive day for me to quit Axact, when a customer was probably fed up with paying extra attestation/registration fee. The senior agent asked him to wait for a moment so they could bring Mr.ABC from Egyptian embassy over conference call, who would guide you further as to why that attestation is mandatory.
Indeed, there was no Mr.ABC from Egyptian embassy; rather, it was one of senior Axact agents who spoke like native Arabs. He sat beside the agent who was already on phone and pretended to be talking from embassy. They ultimately got him pay more for that attestation. This is one out of hundreds of calls each day.
As for the universities that offer degrees on basis of professional experience, all are virtual and have no physical address, though they appear to be located in the United States (and so do agents tell to customers). According to NYT report, these university websites are registered in Cyprus and Latvia.
The punch line for all this business is “a degree solely based on professional experience”. An idea that dates back to the close of World War II, when many retired soldiers were jobless and the US Government issued special provisions allowing soldiers to obtain academic degrees on basis of their experience so they could get employment to earn livelihood.
Have said all this, I admit the silence I had adopted for so long. However, it always made me uncomfortable to think as to what is going at Axact. Whatever I have said above is, I say on oath, 100% true. I have tried to give neutral inside picture and want readers to decide it is legal or not. This is what has been going on at Axact floors for years. Many employees would say degrees are made-in-Karachi and I would try to shun each possibility as rumor. However, for me, the NYT report has proved to be the last nail on Axact’s coffin.
I left Axact within a month of my joining in sales department, thinking it too controversial to continue with. According to agreement, we were bound not to disclose the nature of job as people generally do not understand. Today, all I want is proper investigations that could declare this creepy business as legal or illegal and take practical action accordingly, since it is matter of Pakistan’s reputation in entire world and it is about education, the holiest of human professions.