MPS Thoughts?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by JoshD, Feb 7, 2021.

  1. Acolyte

    Acolyte Active Member

    I don't understand this. First they beat you up for not having a degree, then when you get one, you aren't supposed to tell anyone you have it. In the environments I worked in - I did a lot of medical videos, and everyone I dealt with had a million post nominals - all kinds of nurses and specialists, and every single qualification was listed after their names in their email signatures - and any grant writing we did required us to list our educational requirements - even a "B.A" after your name - per the guidelines for the grant. If someone handed me a business card with an MPS after their name, I wouldn't think they were being pretentious, I would simply think- "they have a Masters degree" - I've seen plenty of business cards with "MBA" after a person's name. Why should other graduate degrees be any different? :confused:
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  2. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    No one is saying you can't tell anyone about your degree. All of mine are on my office wall. Heck, I'm not even saying you can't do it it's just that in many fields you look pretentious when you do.

    The medical field is a massive exception to what I said above. In many cases it isn't just encouraged it is legally required to list your license and/or a degree on a name badge such as R.N. or M.D. The former being a license and the latter being a degree. That isn't a matter of the doctor being pretentious, that's a matter of hospitals being legally obligated in many states to put prominently who you are and what your role is.

    The key issue is availability. I remember as a kid when I saw someone with a business card that had "MBA" after their name and I thought that was the coolest looking thing. "MBA" just like an "MD" or a "PhD" or even the honorific "Esquire (Esq.). Back then, of course, an MBA was a degree for middle managers who wanted to move up to the next level. Many programs required at least a few years of experience in the field before you could even think about undertaking one. Today? MBAs are a dime a dozen and it is not uncommon to hit the workforce for your first job with an MBA.

    We're also in a place where they are incredibly common relative to how common they were in the average work setting in, say, 1985.

    We all have high school diplomas. You're required to have one where I work for every job from taking out the trash to CEO (exception granted if you don't have one but still have a college degree). You would be well entitled to put "HSG" or "HSD" or even, if we're feeling fancy, "Dip.H.S." after your name. Why don't you? It would look ridiculous. Granted, it would look ridiculous in part because it isn't a convention but also because almost everyone you encounter also has one. The letters don't really set you apart from anyone. And that's really what post-nominals are used for, at least in the U.S., to show that you possess a qualification that sets you apart as an expert in a certain field. Didn't John Bear have in one of his book an example of a guy who had a long and ridiculous string of post-nominals that included things like Boy Scouts of America? You don't need to list your entire resume after your name. And the vast majority of people don't feel the need to do so. So when you do it, it stands out and usually not in a good way.

    In the US we are just over the moon with silly post-nominals. But certifications often trump all but the absolute highest terminal degrees in the workplace. My business cards list my SPHR and my long expired PMP. That's it. No degrees.

    It's to the point where you don't do it for the same reason you don't list your bachelors. And, again, the notable exception to that is the medical field where "BSN" is an important distinction.

    And, for the record, if I am handed a business card with a post-nominal that I think is odd to list, I am not going to say I will go as far as never hiring that person or never being willing to do business with them but, yes, my opinion of them does take a dip from which they then have to recover if they hope to earn my business.
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  3. Acolyte

    Acolyte Active Member

    I guess I still see graduate degrees as exceptional, since only like 8% of the population actually have one of any kind. And DANG - I'm almost the opposite - I would assume that if they had an MBA or other graduate degree and didn't put it on their card that they were either ashamed of where they got it or that it wasn't legitimate or something, or that they were trying to hide something - in context of course - I guess If I were hiring someone to be a dog-walker and they had a PhD after their name, I might think that odd, but in any professional context I would just see it as another qualification, and even the dog walker candidate with the PhD, I wouldn't think them pretentious really, I don't have that kind of sense, lol. I'd probably just think he/she were proud of their achievement or that it was important to their sense of identity or something. I'd think it more pretentious to pretend it wasn't part of their set of qualifications - a sort of false modesty - a dishonesty. But I come from a blue collar background, I didn't go to college until my 30's and 40's - and most of my 20's and early 30's were marked by being told that I didn't qualify for particular jobs because they required a Bachelor's degree, or that I couldn't move up from my current position without a degree. It was a real barrier to me for a long time - so I still see a college degree as a real achievement and I don't take it for granted.
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  4. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    This is a niche field, with a very niche clientele. While I’m far from being at that level, I have some very well off friends and family members who use these services. In that circle, they’re not looking at your resume, they’re looking at your performance history, trustworthiness/discretion, and connections. Most just refer to them, as ‘my guy’.

    Degrees and credentials are vital for learning, connections, and opening doors. Outside of your first job, in many fields (in my experience), at a certain level... people want to know about your accomplishments, not your education. It’s a bit like watches, there’s a whole narrative on watches for executives, at the top... baller move tends to be not wearing a watch, or only wearing that Jaeger or Patek sparingly. Personally I’m inclined towards Neuhaus’s view, listing degrees or alma mater can be cliche in many fields.
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  5. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    You're right, context does matter. And realize that within that context it still doesn't make sense for a lot of people.

    I recall once we had a young man start an entry level job fresh out of college. And he was VERY upset that we wouldn't put "MBA" after his name on the name plate of his cubicle (there are no post-nominals or titles on those plates, at all, for anyone). So he sort of stuck it to the man by taking some ID badge he had from college, like the kind of thing he might have had for an open house or something the college was hosting, that listed his name as HIS NAME, MBA" and he stuck it to the cubicle wall next to his name plate lest anyone mistake him for a peasant without an MBA, I suppose.

    I saw it and I shook my head. I didn't chase him down over it. His manager, on the other hand, told him to take that crap down. What followed was, I think, a highly educational moment for him where his manager asked him point blank "I have a PhD. Do you want me to insist you call me Dr. Name instead of Jim?" Of course he didn't. Yet, he was trying to force that MBA onto his colleagues as his position was 100% non-public facing. No one outside the cubicle farm would ever see that MBA on his cubicle. Yet, he most definitely didn't want others, especially his superiors, to hold that same level of formality over his head.

    Fact is, maybe only 8% of the population has a graduate degree, but if you have a graduate degree and work with others in a similar role, your world includes a lot of people with that graduate degree.

    My therapist advertises herself as having an M.A. That's fine. For therapists I feel like it's nice to know what sort of education they're sporting as it can be any number of degrees. There's a guy in the office next to my therapist's office who is an LMHC and his masters appears to be an M.Div. (New York has a CACREP certificate program that is licensure qualifying for people with "counseling" masters degrees that are not licensure qualifying. I have heard that some with M.Divs. in "Pastoral Counseling" have followed this path). That's a neat bit of info, especially if you're not into a person with a religious background OR you're specifically seeking them out.

    Aside from that, context matters. Do you care if your insurance agent has an M.A. in French Literature? Does it really add to your experience if you know that the guy selling you your Hyundai has an MBA?

    As for thinking someone like me is ashamed because I don't list any of my degrees...

    Do you really feel like you need to list everything on a business card? That unless my business card says "J. Neuhaus, M.S. M.B.A., SPHR, CEBS, PMP" that I'm ashamed of one or more of those credentials? Does that little string that I just demonstrated to you impress you? Am I less of a professional without it?

    As far as I'm concerned, academic degrees are like your private parts; it's fine to be proud of them, there is a time and a place to show them off, sometimes a professional has a valid reason for wanting to see them and if you feel like you need to wave them around so everyone can compliment you on them then you have problems that more degrees will not fix.
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  6. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    This is a really good comparison. I enjoy watches and I have a small, niche collection of them myself and I spend a fair amount of time in online watch communities talking about this exact issue. The MBA is basically the Rolex. Sure, it's fine. And you should be proud of it if you have one. But the idea that you need to wear it everywhere or that your clients will think less of you for not wearing it (or more of you for when you are wearing it) leads to much more cringe than anything positive. It's where you end up with the 20 something in his ill fitting suit working his job at Enterprise Rental Car trying his best to act like he's an actual executive (as opposed to an account executive).

    Your resume is not a catalogue of everything you've done post-high school. Your business card is not the educational section of your resume. Show, don't tell. Less is often more.

    I interview a lot of people in the course of a week. I can tell a lot about a person by the top line of their resume where they put their name and contact info. The only thing that can be more revealing than someone's email address is how they list their name and if they put any qualifications up there as well.
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  7. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    I do not list MBA after my name on LinkedIn nor my resume/CV. I just feel like they will see I have an MBA when they look 3 inches below the top. Lol

    The ONLY time I have my MBA listed after my name is in my email signature for the school that I do Adjunct Instructing at, because then students and others know my qualification. Although come May 2022 I will have a MS from Duke University, I will still not list my educational credentials after my name. I will however, like you stated, hang it in my office with the others. Lol
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  8. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    Maybe Duke just is really good about virtual relationships but my team at Fuqua have built stronger relationships than any I had built in undergrad on a campus. I would not say I am overselling anything when I say my virtual relationships I have built are far and away better in all aspects than those I did in undergrad. Do I have friends from undergrad? Sure. However, the level of comfort and trust I have with my team at Fuqua far exceeds the level of trust and comfort I have with others. Duke University has a dedicated professor for these types of relationships and they really strive to pull you out of your comfort zone. I suspect these individuals being life long friends despite having never met in person (thanks COVID).
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  9. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    There are a few things to consider here...

    1. Industry. If you're earning a degree in "wealth management" then we might reasonably assume that everyone in the program is some manner of wealth manager or financial advisor. So the likelihood of you getting any decent referral traffic from that would seem slim. If this were a program in accountancy then it might be different. If you have a classmate you know well who specializes in some niche area of accounting then you might very well refer a client. Even then, though, how often is that likely to occur?

    2. I cannot speak to your Fuqua experience and you know your relationships better than I. I have found, though, that some people overestimate how useful these relationships can be. You know Jack and Jack knows you and you like each others posts on Facebook all the time. But when you apply for a job at Jack's firm, can Jack actually help you? Is Jack actually willing to be a reference despite never having worked with you outside of a remote schooling environment? Maybe it's all good. But while I have seen full blown adults tap into their fraternity networks from their undergrad years the relationship you may have established with years of actually living with a person is different from group work. Look, I do a lot of Zoom work and even before COVID I have a good relationship with people whom I have never met. I have a counterpart across the country who, I don't even know what she looks like or what rough age range she is in. We talk. We have inside jokes. It's great. I have a similar relationship with many of my colleagues in subsidiary organizations with whom I interact for work regularly. I can surely get a LinkedIn reference out of them. But I wouldn't be in a position to ask them to be a personal reference for a pistol permit or something non-work related. And, honestly, even in terms of business I don't know how far I could reasonably take that.

    Now, my best friend whom I have known since high school? He's at the level of friendship where if he called me at midnight and told me to meet him with a tarp I would give him the benefit of the doubt. Professionally, we have helped each other immensely over the years.

    Professional contacts are good. I'm just saying that one should not assume that they are going to make lifelong connections or build meaningful trust before they embark on a journey. And one should definitely not quantify them as "invaluable" when trying to calculate the ROI on a program. The University of Scranton, while certainly not Fuqua, is a good school. And it has a very loyal alumni base especially in the region (though I live on the outer edges of said region). Still, if I interviewed for a job with a fellow alumnus I could best hope for "Oh, Scranton, neat. Me too." And for the people in my MBA cohort? Maybe worth a bit of friendly chatter.

    Ultimately, though, if they have to choose between kicking some business to you or to their close coworker with whom they go fishing you are not likely to win any business there. But they may still like you, like your Facebook posts and even be friends. I'm just saying there are different levels of friendship.
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  10. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Meanwhile, I couldn't care less if someone lists their post-nominal letters behind their name. Whatever makes one happy!

    I see little comparison between one's private part and their academic credentials. There's nothing private about your academic achievement. Your private part, on the other hand, is a whole different topic. Like academic qualifications, not everyone is proud of their private part.
  11. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    This had me laughing out loud hahahaha
  12. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    As for MPS, I would recommend earning a MPS from a top school if you need a credential for job marketing. If you just want to learn the knowledge from the industry experts, Udemy does the job.
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