No, I Don’t Have a PhD

It happened again yesterday.

An acquaintance introduced me to her other friend, and when we got through names, titles and work places, I remarked that we did similar kinds of work. The mutual acquaintance immediately said “No. She has a PhD. She’s Dr. So-and-So.” As if this changed the fact that we had the same titles and did the same job.

I deal with this all the time in academia. A subtle or not so subtle belief that everything tastes better with a PhD.

I respect the work it takes for someone to get a PhD. I know it means they automatically have higher status than I do. I know it means that they know more than I do about any and every subject. I also know I will never have a PhD.

Once upon a time I thought I would get a PhD and teach, write and go to meetings for a living. And then life happened. I went in a different direction. I am not ashamed of my education or lack of a doctorate. Here I am and no regrets. And I still get to go to meetings for a living.

When all is said and done, some days it’s still hard to take the conscious/unconscious slights that come my way just because I don’t have a terminal degree. If I didn’t have a solid word-of-mouth reputation in my work it would be a sad state of affairs indeed. The higher ed system is a terminal case and the only cure for me is exit.

There are a lot of smart, dedicated people out there. So in this season of graduations I applaud the accomplishments of everyone getting a degree.  I am sure I missed a few:

  • general equivalency degree
  • high school diploma
  • associate of arts
  • associate of science
  • associate of applied science
  • associate of occupational studies
  • bachelor of arts
  • bachelor of science
  • master of arts
  • master of science
  • master of business administration
  • doctor of philosophy
  • juris doctor
  • doctor of medicine
  • doctor of dental surgery
  • O.W.L.S
  • N.E.W.T.s

Worthy accomplishments all.



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