If you have an advanced degree…

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Sara Estes Cohen 7 years, 9 months ago.

  • Author
  • #102345

    Ari Herzog

    It is common for people with a doctorate to insert the Ph.D. designation after their names in everything they do. Ditto for other medical degrees, and for the J.D. and LL.M. legal degrees.

    But what about master degrees? I infrequently see someone’s MBA or MPA listed after their name, but the fact it is occasionally done must be for a reason.

    As I seek employment opportunities, would my using the M.P.A. designation after my name help me? Or, is it meaningless in that context? Related thoughts?

  • #102373

    Sara Estes Cohen

    I include MPP in my signature – (as well as ABCP) – I spent a lot of money and time on that degree – I at least want to make sure I get visibility for having it.

  • #102371

    Michele Costanza

    Ari: The M.B.A. and M.P.A. are considered terminal degrees (highest degree awarded) and advanced professional degrees in the field of study. Yes, there are Ph.D.s in business. However, the M.B.A. is accepted as a terminal degree in that field, at least in the United States. Individuals typically don’t put M.A. or M.S. behind their names since those aren’t terminal degrees. For example, in a college English department, a professor may have the M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) for creative writing, which would be the equivalent of another professor who teaches literature or linguistics with a Ph.D.

    I would follow the protocol of your professional field when using the letters behind your name. In your case, using the M.P.A. behind your name is acceptable since the M.P.A. is considered an advanced professional degree for your field. Plus, some positions you apply for may require it.

  • #102369

    Bandar El-Eita

    Wow, that is an excellent way to frame it.

    Are there rules on accreditations? I know in finance there are things like CFAs, and they tend to appear when fully completed (which is a multi-year process).

    I also wonder about the need for such things in an email signature as opposed to a business card, a car I would expect to have such designations, the email signature a little less so.

  • #102367

    Michele Costanza

    Bandar: If individuals hold a credential such as a professional certification, usually they designate it with the letters behind their name.

    Probably the most important thing is that people are honest, and they don’t lie about whether they actually have the academic or industry credential.

  • #102365

    Mark Hammer

    Personally, if I need to convey to someone that they aren’t dealing with some yahoo, particularly if I think they need re-assurance that someone in a position of responsibility has given deep thought to whatever they requested or need, I stick in my Ph.D. after my name. I have to field a lot of irritable e-mails from people in response to their complaints about our pan-governmental employee surveys, or suggestions for improving it. In those cases, I always respond as Mark Hammer, Ph.D., because they deserve to think they are being taken seriously by someone closely connected to the survey design. Most of the time, though, I’m just “Mark”, and omit any signature, whether I’m responding to someone higher up or lower in our corporate chain of command. It’s just a credential that determines my pay, and little else.

  • #102363

    Ari Herzog

    Good point.

  • #102361

    Ari Herzog

    Good point about “terminal degrees” which I hadn’t considered from that angle. Running a LinkedIn search, I saw over 1000 people with MPA after their name — and based on your thoughts, I’ve begun emulating. Thanks.

  • #102359

    Julia Huston Nguyen

    My approach is similar to Mark’s. I work with a lot of academics, so on first contact I use the Ph.D. in my signature to signal that I come from a similar background and understand their questions/concerns. Once the initial contact has been made, though, I revert to my first name because I want our working relationship to be collegial.

    Within the agency, we’re all on a first name basis, regardless of position.

  • #102357

    Tony Richardson

    I believe so. Especially if you are in the job market. It can’t hurt to market your achievements.

    Tony Richardson, MBA

  • #102355

    Anita Arile

    Hi Ari,

    I am just about complete with my MPA and I’m so glad to find this type of information on GovLoop! I now know that it will definitely benefit me when I am applying for a higher paying job.

    Again, thanks a bunch!

  • #102353

    Ari Herzog

    You bet. 😉

  • #102351

    Brian Connolly, MPA

    I think using the initials after the name denotes a certain level of professionalism. There are people, and I received an email from one, who do not value the MPA as much as they value an MBA. Regardless, it is an earned terminal degree and should be used. Go to my LinkedIn question on the same topioc and see the answers! There is alot of support out there for using the initials.

  • #102349

    Caryn Wesner-Early

    Hear, hear! I work for the US Patent Office, where most of my colleagues have advanced degrees. Mine is a terminal degree (MLS), and I use it so they know that I have a comparable education to theirs. I use it on my cards and in my e-mail signature; since you don’t address someone as “Master” as you do “Doctor” (but how cool would that be!), I think that gets it across.

  • #102347

    Ari Herzog

    You wouldn’t be a Master anyway; wouldn’t feminists insist women be Mistresses or Masterettes or such?

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