Is too many degrees a bad thing?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by potpourri, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. ebbwvale

    ebbwvale Member

    This sounds like a British study where most people, like here, do not go beyond the undergraduate degree which is classed as a professional qualification. The use of the PhD would be very limited outside universities circles or very senior management perhaps, and the Master's degree would be treated as a very high qualification. The Master's degree is often a dissertation only degree. Masters are sometimes given to those who do not complete the PhD for some significant reason for the work done.

    People do not necessarily go to university for professional qualifications. They often achieve them via professional board examinations. If it is a UK study, I'm not sure how applicable it would be elsewhere.
  2. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    One recent study focused on "usability professionals" (i.e. usability engineers, designers, managers and information architects), in both North America and the UK.

    This conclusion is not necessarily true for all fields, but it is true in some. If you are considering a PhD, you should not automatically assume that it will eventually pay off financially -- in some fields, it probably won't. Of course, if you are pursuing a PhD for non-financial reasons, this may not matter. But if financial considerations are important, then a PhD is not always the best idea.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2013
  3. BobbyJim

    BobbyJim New Member

    No doubt that advanced degrees help increase salary of "usability professionals" such as engineers – but location, professional registration/certifications, company size, industry and years of experience weigh heavily in salary surveys. My career happened to be in automation, and here are 2 links to a recent international salary survey of industrial automation professionals. The premium for a doctorate does not seem very large compared to the other factors.
    Cover Story: Automation profession outperforms economy | ISA & InTech 2012 Salary Survey Results for Automation, Process Control & Instrumentation Engineers and Jobs
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2013
  4. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Yes and no. Most studies show that people with a PhD are less likely to be unemployed but I don't recall any study for people that reach 4, 5 or more degrees. My guess is that there is a saturation point and then the employability probably goes down with more than 3 degrees.

    I recall that the last time I hired someone, I was calling for a research assistant with knowledge in risk management. A person sent me his resume with 3 finance degrees with a PhD in finance math, he was doing a second PhD in Finance. I did not hire this person, I couldn't think how I could manage a person like this and how someone with so much education would want a job that pays 20 dlls an hour.
  5. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    I am surprise that you did this. Some people enjoyed golfing or other leisure activities with their spare time.. Others like this person find studying to be a leisure activity. $20 an hour may have meant a big deal to him.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I didn't say a higher number of degrees. I said "higher degrees." Meaning that the unemployment rate for doctorate holders is lower than for master's holders; master's holders are lower than bachelor's, etc. Also, average pay goes up that same ladder.
    That's too bad. You really don't know, yet you created an assumption, treated it like fact, and then acted on it. In reality, you had only one fact (that the applicant wanted the job) and you ignored it.

    Not everyone is in it for the money. Imagine what you might have learned if you'd asked? And imagine the working relationship that could possibly be arranged, having this talented person working for you for mutually satisfying reasons. Who knows where it could have led and what could have been created?

    And, please, I'm not second-guessing you--you're the only one who was actually in the situation. But I do want to use your story to illustrate another point, that there are all kinds of reasons why people work, and pay can be one of the less important ones.
  7. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Based on experience, people with very high level of education tend to leave after they find something better and they tend to be difficult to manage.

    I normally only hire people with bachelors or may be masters for research or teaching assistant, they do a much better job and are easier to manage.

    I hired someone with only a masters and is doing a terrific job, he doesn't ask questions and do the job and is happy with the pay.

    The assumption that because someone has a PhD is better is a wrong one. Many PhDs tend to be hard to manage and not ideal for jobs that just require basic skills.

    If I need someone to write research papers for journals, then I might hire a PhD but then I would offer this person at least 30 to 40 dlls an hour so the person can stay at least 6 months. Otherwise, the person would stay only a week or two while the person finds a better job.
  8. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    PM me their number, I might have a project they are interested in.
  9. selini

    selini New Member

  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Who said someone with a Ph.D. is (or should be) assumed to be better? As for me, I just said their unemployment rates are lower, and one should realize that money isn't the only motivation for taking on a job.

    As for not hiring a Ph.D. because of the reasons you state, this ignores the fact that many, many Ph.D. graduates have decidedly non-academic careers. It would be better to look at the person's entire background before leaping to any conclusions.
  11. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

  12. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2013
  13. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Thanks for offering, I did not keep his resume but will contact you if I get another PhD in Finance looking for work.
  14. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I would agree. I was a hiring manager and would be cautious of hiring someone with a PhD for an Area Service Manager position.

    I just changed jobs and listed my PhD because one of the people interviewing me was someone I knew over 15 years and he knew I was getting/got a PhD. His wife completed her EdD from USF and we shared experiences. If they did not know I completed a PhD, I would have listed:
    BS - Charter Oak
    MS - Touro
    Grad certificate - UF

    and that would be plenty for a hospital manager position.
  15. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Even an MBA can be too much sometimes, I had to erase mine from my resume few times in order to get a technical job.

    Most employers do not expect to pay a lot for average positions and want people to stay. Many see high education as a risk of people leaving once a better opportunity comes along.

    Having too many degrees has mainly utility if you want to become a professor in my opinion.
  16. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I think I start to remove my Ph.D in progress from my resume.
  17. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    This is the beauty of distance learning part time degrees, you can add them when you need them or delete them when they over qualify you for a job and you don't need to explain time gaps in your resume.

    A PhD in CS is not so bad because it is a technical degree, there are plenty of Phds in CS that work as programmers doing the same job as someone with a BS. The problem is mainly for management degrees as employers might thing that a PhD in a management related field is looking for a top position with top dollars.
  18. siva11

    siva11 member

    Nice information .. :)
  19. mattiberry85

    mattiberry85 New Member


    It's not really an issue to do so. I was nearly finished with a Masters and went back and completed an associates degree. A friend had a Master's and went back to get her certification as a Paramedic. While its not totally common, it happens. Especially for individuals who are changing fields.
  20. meryberry

    meryberry New Member

    Too many degrees is strange thing for me.

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