Morning Wood: UMass should give out its degrees in the form of NFTs

Paper degrees are useless


Collegian File Photo

By Nole Ksum, NFT Enthusiast

To be honest, I don’t understand the economy that well. But if there’s one thing I do understand, it’s that having a degree ups your chances of getting a high paying job by a large margin. People who’ve completed college make more than those who’ve only completed high school at every point in their career. People need degrees, but not everyone can afford to go through college for four years to get one. Thankfully, modern technology has gifted us with a solution that could radically change the game for the United States job market: NFTs. That’s right, it’s about time that the University of Massachusetts gives out its degrees in the form of NFTs.

Virtually everyone I know agrees that college is too expensive nowadays. Why invest potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars and put yourself and your family through financial hardships for a job that you might not even get? With a system like this in place, you could simply buy someone else’s degree through the internet. That means not paying tens of thousands in tuition, room and board and God knows what else. It’s like getting your degree from an online college but without having to go through all those tedious classes. You might be under-qualified, but then again, so are a ton of people who actually bother going through college.

On the other side of the aisle, there’s college students like me. A lot of college students are worried that their degrees might become useless in a few years, either because they get automated out of existence or the market becomes too saturated. With an NFT degree, they can always just sell it online before it loses its value and use the money towards earning a new degree. If the degree is worth enough, they can just live off the money they get from selling it. They could also use the money to invest in crypto and buy someone else’s degree.

There’s also the environmental aspect. UMass has always prided itself on being a progressive, eco-friendly school. Yet every single year, this University hands out degrees and diplomas made of paper, made from the very same trees that help protect our ozone layer from greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, NFTs are a perfectly paperless form of artwork that definitely do not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions whatsoever. Trust me, it’s science. Not only that, but there’d also be no need for everyone to drive over to the commencement ceremony. Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy could simply email us our degree tokens.

Finally, there’s the visual aesthetic. All of UMass’s diplomas seem to have the same monotonous look: just a wad of black text on a yellowish-white background, complimented by the state’s seal. How can UMass sell the idea of being a university full of diverse people and ideas that challenge the status quo if all its diplomas ultimately conform to the same design? The diploma is the goal of everyone’s college education, after all. There’s simply no creative freedom allowed by the University in what one’s diploma can look like. NFTs, on the other hand, are more than just tokens: they’re a form of art limited only by the creator’s imagination. I, for one, never imagined how many different ways there are to draw a monkey that looks half-asleep. If UMass students were given their degrees in the form of NFTs, there’s no telling what kind of gorgeous artwork they would style their degrees with. Mine would be the bored ape but with an eyepatch.

It’s time for UMass to get with the times. I predict that by 2030, every college in America and the world will be giving out NFT degrees. Why not get ahead of the curve? In today’s job market, even a college degree is volatile, and won’t guarantee you a good job. On the other hand, NFTs are extremely valuable, do not go through radical changes in price over a span of a few weeks and are most definitely not a bubble that will burst within the next few months. These tokens have a future in the US economy. It’s past time that UMass takes advantage of them.

Noles Ksum can be reached on Reddit, where he can be found mansplaining the economy.