cre·​den·​tial·​ism | \ kri-ˈden(t)-shə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce credentialism (audio) \

Definition of credentialism

: undue emphasis on credentials (such as college degrees) as prerequisites to employment

Examples of credentialism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But there are intermingled questions of gender, race, and credentialism that are likely at play, too. Ankush Khardori, The New Republic, "The Republicans’ Unhinged, Baseless Attacks on Biden’s DOJ Nominees," 21 Apr. 2021 But much of it is mere credentialism, an attempt to improve a child’s position in the queue for the best universities, and hence the best jobs. The Economist, "Demography Will age weaken the Asian tiger economies?," 5 Dec. 2019 Thanks to creeping credentialism, many jobs that once didn’t require a bachelor’s degree now do. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Bernie Sanders’ Old Free College Try," 24 June 2019 Few institutions have suffered the backlash against elitism and credentialism as much as central banks, which are mostly run by professional economists. ... Greg Ip, WSJ, "What You Need to Be on the Fed...and It Isn’t a Ph.D.," 14 Apr. 2019 The credentialism of the Democratic Party is not widely shared by the public at large. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "The Democrats’ Elitist Obsession With Qualifications," 21 Mar. 2018 Linda Galipeau, chief executive officer of staffing provider Randstad North America, says credentialism is a problem for lots of job prospects., "Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.," 16 Jan. 2018 David Bills, a professor at the University of Iowa, wrote in a study of credentialism. Jeffrey J. Selingo, Washington Post, "Students have new ways of measuring degrees of success," 17 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'credentialism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of credentialism

1967, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of credentialism was in 1967

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Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Credentialism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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