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When is it okay to pretend you've got a PhD?
Thread poster: Dylan Jan Hartmann

David Hayes  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:48
Member (2009)
French to English
Entry requirements Oct 11

These days, a successfully completed Master's degree would be a prerequisite to be even accepted on any reputable PhD programme. I therefore think the "completed MA" vs "unfinished PhD" scenario exists largely in theory.
But in any case, this is not comparing like with like since a PhD, unfinished or not, is a different, higher form of study. The relevent question would have to be, is a completed PhD worth more than an uncompleted one? To which the answer is, quite obviously, "yes"!


 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
See case study Oct 11

David Hayes wrote:

These days, a successfully completed Master's degree would be a prerequisite to be even accepted on any reputable PhD programme. I therefore think the "completed MA" vs "unfinished PhD" scenario exists largely in theory.


Bachelor’s with honours?


 

David Hayes  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:48
Member (2009)
French to English
Master's Oct 11

I am familiar with the UK and French systems and know of no university where it is now possible to register for a PhD without a completed Master's (MA, MSc, Master 2 [in France], etc.). Perhaps it is different elsewhere.

 

David GAY  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
Who cares? Oct 11

A PhD in France is almost worthless and lots of doctors are unemployed.
In Germany, it's the opposite.
In the US, a MBA is a diploma that should theoretically offer some value.
In Germany, MBA means Mediocre But Arrogant.
If you hold a MBA or a PhD, isn't it a waste to be on Proz? It just shows that the investment wasn't worth it.
A PhD is an expert, but only in a very narrow field. So his/her knowledge will only be useful in a very limited number of cases (whenever the translation relates to this narrow knowledge).
Is he going to receive a better rate because he's an expert? The answer is no. He'll have to give away his knowledge for peanuts. Not worth it. If you have invested 200 000 USD in a MBA, it's a real waste to be paid less than 30 USD/per hour.




[Modifié le 2018-10-11 13:54 GMT]


Sandra& Kenneth
Jorge Payan
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
relevant xp Oct 11

Samuel, you're talking, yet I think Dylan refers to semi-"studied/ies at PhD level" as a phony credential to boost one's credibility and advertising appeal comparing to completed PhD. I see no problem to list all the relevant finished/incomplete/ongoing courses if it stated properly:
> Did a person tell a lie?
No.
> Did he get relevant xp?
Most probably--three years more than a Master.
> What makes incomplete/ongoing PhD differ from completed?
Efficacy and efficiency in the field.
> What is a diploma?
A certification that at a certain time one was up to all the level requirements.
So what's the big difference, rough competition?

Since when a student's CV with a "graduation in 2020" or "three years" remark is but a blatant lie? It's like a "divorced" dilemma, not the case.

I see nothing wrong with naming incomplete/ongoing courses, because it's also but a marketing tool, like 'magic' CVs, 'enticing' cover letters, 'perfect' interviews, 'power words', and other devices to attract customers

[Edited at 2018-10-11 14:53 GMT]


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
When is it okay to pretend you're a doctor? Oct 11

How about "Dr John Smith - expert medical translator" who actually has a PhD in some obscure aspect of Greek mythology?

David GAY wrote:
If you have invested 200 000 USD in a MBA, it's a real waste to be paid less than 30 USD/per hour.

It would be. But presumably you wouldn't be?


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
MBAs Oct 11

Chris S wrote:

David GAY wrote:
If you have invested 200 000 USD in a MBA, it's a real waste to be paid less than 30 USD/per hour.

It would be. But presumably you wouldn't be?


There are some (real) MBAs on PROZ.


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 04:48
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
PhDs Oct 11

David GAY wrote:

A PhD in France is almost worthless and lots of doctors are unemployed.
In Germany, it's the opposite.
In the US, a MBA is a diploma that should theoretically offer some value.
In Germany, MBA means Mediocre But Arrogant.
If you hold a MBA or a PhD, isn't it a waste to be on Proz? It just shows that the investment wasn't worth it.
A PhD is an expert, but only in a very narrow field. So his/her knowledge will only be useful in a very limited number of cases (whenever the translation relates to this narrow knowledge).
Is he going to receive a better rate because he's an expert? The answer is no. He'll have to give away his knowledge for peanuts. Not worth it. If you have invested 200 000 USD in a MBA, it's a real waste to be paid less than 30 USD/per hour.




[Modifié le 2018-10-11 13:54 GMT]

Given that associate professorships in the US start in the region of 45k USD/yr and even tenure professors often don't make six figures, no, it's not a waste to be on ProZ.


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
benefits Oct 11

Lincoln Hui wrote:

David GAY wrote:

A PhD in France is almost worthless and lots of doctors are unemployed.
In Germany, it's the opposite.
In the US, a MBA is a diploma that should theoretically offer some value.
In Germany, MBA means Mediocre But Arrogant.
If you hold a MBA or a PhD, isn't it a waste to be on Proz? It just shows that the investment wasn't worth it.
A PhD is an expert, but only in a very narrow field. So his/her knowledge will only be useful in a very limited number of cases (whenever the translation relates to this narrow knowledge).
Is he going to receive a better rate because he's an expert? The answer is no. He'll have to give away his knowledge for peanuts. Not worth it. If you have invested 200 000 USD in a MBA, it's a real waste to be paid less than 30 USD/per hour.




[Modifié le 2018-10-11 13:54 GMT]

Given that associate professorships in the US start in the region of 45k USD/yr and even tenure professors often don't make six figures, no, it's not a waste to be on ProZ.

you can't compare a gross income with a net income. An employee receives some benefits (health coverage etc). A freelancer gets nothing. 45 k USD/yr is not too bad for a start. I bet that most of the translators here on Proz don't even have this level of income.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Doctors Oct 11

David GAY wrote:
45 k USD/yr is not too bad for a start. I bet that most of the translators here on Proz don't even have this level of income.


But some do. Some make a helluva lot more. Which was my point.

The OP himself proudly claims to smash $100k a year.

But I do wonder sometimes when you get a medical doctor or equity trader or experienced lawyer switching to the much less lucrative world of translation and then continuing to work in the same field, one which they presumably either failed in or hated.


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
100 KUSD but GROSS Oct 11

Chris S wrote:

David GAY wrote:
45 k USD/yr is not too bad for a start. I bet that most of the translators here on Proz don't even have this level of income.


But some do. Some make a helluva lot more. Which was my point.

The OP himself proudly claims to smash $100k a year.

But I do wonder sometimes when you get a medical doctor or equity trader or experienced lawyer switching to the much less lucrative world of translation and then continuing to work in the same field, one which they presumably either failed in or hated.


The OP claims to make 100 k (US ???)$ per year but it's a GROSS income (how much is it NET?) and as far as I understood he said that it's not sustainable. Does he have a health coverage, pension plan…? No. And it seems he has reached this level of income only 15 years after starting as a translator.
As far as I know, the cost of living in Australia is very high, so 100.000 dollars GROSS is not that much.


Dylan Jan Hartmann
 

David Hayes  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:48
Member (2009)
French to English
Research Oct 11

Some people do actually ENJOY carrying out original research. They may do (or at least start) a PhD for the academic stimulus and enjoyment. They may then end up doing translation work (not necessarily full-time) later on.
Down in Australia, I might become a bricklayer if I simply wanted to make big bucks since they are reported to be earning a fortune : https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/huge-demand-for-brickies-much-moolah-to-be-had-for-willing-workers/news-story/1361993800e23bb9a36f9ae37924cc97


[Edited at 2018-10-11 15:50 GMT]


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
migrants Oct 11

David Hayes wrote:

Some people do actually ENJOY carrying out original research. They may do (or at least start) a PhD for the academic stimulus and enjoyment. They may then end up doing translation work (not necessarily full-time) later on.
Down in Australia, I might become a bricklayer if I simply wanted to make big bucks since they are reported to be earning a fortune : https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/huge-demand-for-brickies-much-moolah-to-be-had-for-willing-workers/news-story/1361993800e23bb9a36f9ae37924cc97


[Edited at 2018-10-11 15:50 GMT]


Seems like a great ad to attract some migrants to Australia.


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:48
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Questionable marketing strategy Oct 11

I generally agree with those who do not think that the statement cited by Dylan crosses any ethical lines, but I do see it as rather dubious marketing strategy, for it does indeed beg the question of why the person in question did not complete the course of study and actually earn the Ph.D. (Yes, I know that there can be explanations that do not cast aspersions on the individual’s skills and motivation.)

This scenario is analogous to that of the many longtime members of the ATA providing services in language pairs in which the organization offers certification, but who do not have certification. Yes, there are a number of legitimate reasons for not taking the certification test. But is it really plausible that each and every one of these persons has other indisputably solid formal credentials, an established base of clients that pay top rates, lives in remote wilderness thousands of miles from any of the test locations, or is perhaps so desperately poor that they can’t fork over the fee and cover the travel expenses required to take the exam? Especially in a ferociously competitive market where acquiring and then leveraging meaningful credentials is of utmost importance?

Unless I see persuasive evidence to the contrary on that person’s profile or résumé, my default assumption is likely to be that the person in question either took the test (perhaps multiple times) and failed, or lacks sufficient confidence to even register for the exam. (And yes, I know that there are also some absolutely marvelous translators out there who are just poor test-takers....)

As a rule of thumb, I would say that it makes sense to avoid claiming any credential that necessarily calls attention to what one does not have.

[Edited at 2018-10-12 15:36 GMT]


Dylan Jan Hartmann
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Keep an open mind Oct 11

Robert Forstag wrote:
in a ferociously competitive market where acquiring and then leveraging meaningful credentials is of utmost importance?

Unless I see persuasive evidence to the contrary on that person’s profile or résumé, my default assumption is likely to be that the person in question either took the test (perhaps multiple times) and failed, or lacks sufficient confidence to even register for the exam.

(And yes, I know that there are some absolutely marvelous translators out there who are just poor test-takers....)


It could also be that these translators have no need for such credentials.

In the market I operate in, doing a good job is the answer, not pieces of paper.


Kaspars Melkis
Michele Fauble
Teresa Borges
Jean Chao
Christine Andersen
Kay Denney
 
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