Do some degree, I've seen it in practice for A&M deckies and with Maine wrench turners, but that was a few MODUs at 2 companies (not the entire company's fleet) and mainly when a DP cert was not the golden ticket it has become. And I think that has a lot more to do with how bad HR resume filtering processes are at those places.
I personally don't believe the hiring of academy kids in the OSV side of the oil patch had anywhere near as much do with having a BS Degree, as much as it simply had to do with a UL license in a world ever burgeoning tonnage OSVs amidst a confusing and changing as shit at worst or complicated and stupid at best, USCG mandated large OSV training / licensing program. My license was absolutely the only reason I got hired at my first OSV company, and the only reason my starting pay was so high. They didn't even know what they needed yet for their new builds, but I was hired over the phone and a contract sent by email the next day. No prior OSV exp, No DP cert, No connections, no nothing.
It's a lot quicker to hire somebody with a UL license and stick him/her on a big OSV than it is to convince some "hawsepiper" to go take a 3/M UL or 3A/E UL test that they could've taken years if not decades ago.
That is, of course, my opinion. One which I am entitled to, just as you are to yours. The difference is that I'm not trying to drag people through the mud like yours does.
When I find my "precious," wherever the hell the stupid thing might be, I'll gladly give it to you so you can shove it up your ass.
Then you'll know how it feels to be part of this ridiculous brotherhood you allude to. I don't know "ring knockers," and wouldn't associate with them if I did. The last time I saw a guy wearing an academy ring at work (OSV), I did my best to shame him out of wearing it. Didn't work.
And while that ring is up there, maybe you can find your head, too.