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Bora Zivkovic
The Open PhD – What a Concept!!! http://openphd.wordpress.com/2009...
I like the project but I don't think it is legal to attach the title of PhD to your name if it did not come from an accredited university - Jean-Claude Bradley
I did not get that she is thinking of adding the letters to her name, just getting the equivalent knowledge. - Bora Zivkovic
There's also the "Personal MBA" from Josh Kaufman: http://personalmba.com/ It's clear that many things are going to change in how we gauge a person's intellectual capabilities. I don't think using a "title" would be appropriate though. I think we need to find a way to make assessments in a more granular matter. Someone's research accomplishments could be one dimension, one's proven encyclopedic knowledge another. - Meryn Stol
I do hope of course the author's "Open PhD" idea gets as much traction as the Personal MBA has. :) - Meryn Stol
It wasn't clear to me that she was not going to use the title. If not I think it makes a lot of sense. Many positions that she might be looking at down the road will probably require the degree but certainly not all. - Jean-Claude Bradley
"My degree will be in Educational Technology with an emphasis in (what else?) Open Education as the Great Equalizer" For the field she's pursuing a career in this step is very appropriate. A PhD would be kind of out of fashion there I guess. :P - Meryn Stol
Meryn - I don't think a PhD in Educational Technology is out of fashion at all - in fact I would suspect it is getting more and more into fashion. - Jean-Claude Bradley
JC, I said it jokingly of course. Still, I do think a tension can grow between these two things, namely on one hand the believe in radical institutional changes (which if you're a good educational technologist you will, unless you've been sleeping under a rock) and on the other hand staying within the safe boundaries of the traditional academic "status system". Don't get me wrong, I do think status systems are important, but I think they'll can be much more advanced than the simple academic degrees we have now. In fact, a PhD doesn't tell *that* much of a person. For edtech, I'd probably look at the person's blog and personal experiments with technology. - Meryn Stol
Let's just say that I think a PhD in edtech will be sooner "out of fashion" than a PhD very distant from edtech - say biology or physics. - Meryn Stol
Just to throw this in. I remember New Scientist estimated (back in the eighties - yikes!) what the cost of doing a PhD was in total; i.e. lost earnings, fewer pension years, I guess fees too. It was about £20k ish from memory. Not that they were denying any upside, but the emphasis was on the loss. When I took up my first research job in industry in '86 (with my shiny PhD) I got a whole £500 extra for the 3yrs work I'd done - a differential they forgot about after a year or two. The PhD really helped when I took up a technical position in Brussels with a diplomatic / political element to it. The big boss was German (Germany - where PhDs mean something) - so I got a very nice raise which set the tone for negotiations in future jobs. Point is, all other things being equal, I got that post because of the nice letters, and easily recovered NS's £20k. Anyhow - messing around in a lab for 3 yrs and playing snooker in the evenings was reward enough on its own :-). - Tim Jones
JC, on second reading of your comment, I think you've misunderstood what I was trying to say. What I mean is that a PhD will be "out of fashion" *within* the field. From the outside, as a percentage of total PhDs, or people pursuing a career in that field otherwise, we might see strong growth. But let me tell you that I think this woman makes a very appropriate move in my eyes. I'd like her better without the PhD than with. - It's just that I don't make or break a fashion trend. :) - Meryn Stol
Meryn - we are completely in agreement. It is the terminology that has me worried. "I have an Open PhD" to me implies you do have a PhD. Perhaps the term "PhD equivalent" or "PhD level research" would be more clear. - Jean-Claude Bradley
JC true. But I think the name serves to provoke people's senses a bit. I think the same thought was behind the "personal MBA" name. It captures people's attention because of the controversiality. As Bora says, I don't think she'd ever use the name in regular communication. It would too easily lead to confusion. - Meryn Stol
Well, her blog is open for comments...so one can ask her directly, or point her to this thread.... - Bora Zivkovic
I think she should just get a FriendFeed account. :P I'm gonna point her to this thread. - Meryn Stol
and of course, she has a few more posts after this initial one, is on Twitter, and has more info in her blogs' tabs on top. - Bora Zivkovic
But... but... if everyone starts doing this, how is my University going to pay my salary? You are breaking my business model! - Daniel Lemire