It's a obviously a natural progression of businesses wanting more from their employees.
In the old days, a business would train their employees to perform their job, though a varity of approaches, apprenticeships, internships, OJT and so on.
Now jobs require advanced degrees, paid by the employee
and now years of experience,
and now Active Certifications, paid by the employee
and now Active top security clearances. (They haven't figured out how to get employees to pay for this yet, one approach is to get their Highly trained employees jobs as security guards, till their clearance goes trough.
Funny how Dilbert's phone use constitutes stealing, but I doubt PHB's does. I had a boss who got the company to pay for all her phone calls from Europe when she was on a one-month vacation, because once-in-awhile she might check in with work. Usually, though, she was unreachable, and since I saw her phone bills as part of my job, I know that about 95% were to family members.