Degree initials after name?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by nobycane, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. nobycane

    nobycane New Member

    I did a vague search on this issue first and came up limited, so I will start a newer thread.

    When is it proper to use your degree level initials after your name in a professional manner?
    For example, it is very common for individuals whom have obtained their doctorate (Ph.D.) to use the abbreviations after their name (ie: John Q. Public, Ph.D.)...especially in the academic world.

    However, is it common to use a graduate degree after your name, such as a Master's level? (ie: John Q. Public, M.A.)

    I have seen individuals use both B.A./B.S., M.A./M.S. as their title and seems a bit unusual.

    My educational institution is implementing a new procedure in making educational business cards to hand out to students and parents...and their is an option to mark bachelor's, master's or doctorate level.

    What are you opinions on this issue?
  2. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Degree ettiquette says that one can sign onesself "John Doe, PhD" or "John Doe, MBA" or whatever (assuming John Doe actually has the degrees he claims) when acting in a capacity in which the field of expertise of one's degree is relevant. One does not sign onesself "John Doe, PhD" when writing a letter to the editor of your local paper ... unless you have a PhD in World Affairs.

    In your case, since the question involves mentioning your degree on educational business cards prepared by your school, you would be perfectly justified in claiming your degrees earned (as degrees in progress, if noted as such).
  3. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    As a cop, I don't use my academic title. But when I teach, I do.
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    As a cop I didn't use my academic title, but who wants to be arrested by mdoneil BS MIS?

    As a nurse I didn't use my academic title, but I used my licensure mdoneil RN.

    As a librarian I try not to sign stuff.
  5. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    How do you figure that? Just curious.
  6. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member


    I think it deferes from country to country.
    Take UK for example, there people list their degrees and memberships, once a person becomes member of IEE they can use
    MIEE designation after their name, CEng is registere with UK EC and also people use degree title in their email signature.

    I think in Israel the same a degree is great honor and on email, professional letters one states his degree after his name.

    In US I think it's more for Ph.D, Dr and many professional titles such as MD, JD, RN, PE etc.

    Learner MSEE, MSIT, PE ;-)
  7. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

    In the high tech field, a BS degree is usually the minimum. I have never seen anyone put that on their business card. The oddest one I saw was a Plasma Physicist who put PhD, CCNA, and MCP (even though their job had nothing to do with IT). I had a boss at one company use his certified commercial real estate certification on his business card (previous job - everyone thought it was really odd).

    I plan to put MBA on my business card once I finish the course. My brother who is a Chippie has his title (Sgt and then MPA) on his official business card. My bosses now use dual titles Dr. and PhD.
  8. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Generally the only experience I have had with people using letters after their name BS degree and lower has involved professional certification...such as A+, Network+, MCSE, MCP or the like.
  9. jimwe

    jimwe Member

    I saw someone who had "MOB" after their name. What is that? Did they graduate from Mafia U?:confused:
  10. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Master of Organizational Behavior?
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    My lack of turning it off presently. Six or eight months ago I was more assured of it.... but now it seems to have settled down. I don't mind divergent opinions (in fact I enjoy divergent opinion I find that divergent opinion challenges my beliefs and that is the only way I may change my opinions or beliefs).

    There was a bunch of nonsense arguing going on at that time. I usually remove the tick mark from show signature now.... but apparently it is time to correct my signature.
  12. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I don't, in either situation.

    As a cop, I'm known as "Officer Tait", but when I teach, I insist on being addressed as "Bruce". Since I address my students by their first name, why should I be exempt?
  13. PatsFan

    PatsFan New Member

    In the mental health field I see masters degrees and doctorate initials after names, but rarely bachelors degrees. In Massachusetts oftentimes it's just one's license these days, but often its both degree and license:

    "MSW, LICSW" or just "LICSW."

  14. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Now that's refreshing: Someone who not only gets how it's supposed to work, but appreciates -- ne, embraces -- it. We're of one mind on this.

    Ah, now I understand. Cool.

    Actually, that's a very good way, now that you call my attention to it, to give readers your status if you take a hiatus from this place. I keep forgetting that whatever one keys-in to one's signature is reflected in all of one's posts, past and present. In other words, the signature does not freeze in time in an old post like the post itself does. If one changes one's signature, it is reflected at the bottom of posts even three or four years ago.

    So, for example, if a person were to sign-off from here for a while to, for example, concentrate on his dissertation for a while, he could say so in his signature so that even when people see something he posted a long time ago they would be able to see that he's not around much anymore and, therefore, anything written in response may not get read or further responded to.

    Interesting. And useful. See? Ya' learn (or, at the very least have called to your attention) something new every day. Thanks.
  15. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Health care folks NEED to use their degree abbreviations when signing work related stuff because the degree initials can convey a lot of useful information to the reader. Putting "M.D." after a physician's signature is not done to impress the reader or gratify the physician. It's done to convey that the writer is a physician and trained, and empowered, to decide and do certain important things. That's th best rule, I think. No one should attempt to use a degree abbreviation just to impress, IMHO.

    But BOY do they ever! Especially in Education (sorry Dr. Pina)!

    Now, when discharging particular professional duties, the signer may be required to demonstrate his professional authority. "John Smith, C.P.A." MUST sign annual statements concerning the entities he audits WITH his title. (But not, mind you, with his M. Acc. degree)

    Lawyers sign pleadings with a statement identifying whom they represent, i.e. "John Smith, Attorney for the plaintiff Fred Jones" but usually avoid "Attorney at Law" and almost ALWAYS avoid "J.D." Again, the designation is used to convey significant information rather than to impress the reader.
  16. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Mandatory use of titles

    In California, Professional Engineers and Professional Geologists are required to use the PE or PG titles. Not just on stamped plans or reports -- they are required to notify clients and potential clients of that fact that they are state-licensed and state-regulated, even before any report is prepared. There are different ways to satisfy the notification requirement; they include using the titles on business cards and correspondence, or displaying license certificates or signs in the office. The regulations even specify what minimum size font you can use (presumably so it is not buried in the fine print).

    For the same reason, you will also see license certificates displayed at the barber shop or hair salon.
  17. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    In class, the students call me by my first name. But I put MA after my name when my name is written.

    BTW, when is the next Ghetto Beverage Test? :cool:
  18. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    No need to apologize nosborne (call me "Tony", please). We ABSOLUTELY use such titles in academia to impress. For many years, I established a local and national presence in my career, possesisng a masters as my highest degree. I received a certain amount of respect. When I completed my doctorate, however, things definitely changed. I appear to have a higher amount of implied credibility now that I am "Dr. Piña-Colada" (oops, I meant "Dr. Pepper").

    I put my title on my Degreeinfo signature, because we seem to care about (and certainly talk about) such things on Degreeinfo. I am still vacillating whether to post all of my degrees and universities as others have done.
  19. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    In the U.S., it is common (and not seen as a breach of etiquette) to put one's highest degree and professional certification on business cards and correspondence, even when the degree is not a doctorate. It is more common for those with graduate degrees (e.g. John Doe, MA or Mary Doe, MBA). In countries outside the U.S., as has been stated previously, is it not uncommon for someone to list all degrees, certifications and memberships (if one has the space).
  20. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

    Re: Mandatory use of titles

    Are you a PE? I thought about going that route, but outside of government work, very few engineers are PE's and even fewer of these are EE's. The problem with getting a PE is that you become personally responsible for your designs. If for instance I design a PDM or RF match and I have a PE, and some stupid Line Maintenance geek shocks themselves to death, I can be held liable and even lose the license. Structural and Civil Engineers are always at risk. Without the PE title, you don't have that risk, the business always has the burden of responsiblity.

    Most Silicon Valley companies could care less one way or the other. The only place I have every applied that demanded one was the Santa Clara County Water District, and they are not worth the effort as the pay sucks.

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