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
Worthy accomplishments all.