What's a PhD Worth?
Hello dear readers,
I have an interesting philosophical question for you.
I have a new friend with a problem.
This person doesn't have a PhD, but has approximately the experience equivalent to one.
The job essentially entails maintaining a huge collection of highly specialized equipment, as well as training/helping anyone who walks through the door so that they can use any or all of it. This person has gone beyond that mundane description to establish industry contacts that provide state-of-the-art improvements to all the equipment.
Unfortunately because of administrative mumbo-jumbo I don't understand, this person is not getting paid their worth - nor given the authority they really need to do a great job- because they aren't appointed in the appropiate title, due to the status of being PhD null.
My question is, would it be so bad for the administration to change the rule requiring a PhD for this particular type of position?
I'm a little bit torn about this. Obviously there are situations where lab managers or technicians can attend classes, write a thesis and obtain a PhD while continuing their current jobs. It's been done before.
I'm just not sure I believe in perpetuating this system where everybody has to jump through these arbitrary hoops.
I think the most valuable things I learned in grad school I would have learned anyway if I had continued to work in a lab and seek out situations that allowed for advancement. The classes were largely a waste of time, and the 'program' didn't provide much in the way of, well, anything.
But the one nice thing about the PhD is, even if I left my postdoc position now, nobody can take away my degree. It's proof, so to speak, of my training.
And it's too bad there's nothing equivalent to validate time as a postdoc, although you couldn't pay me enough money to agree to do a 'training program', anyway.
So my question is, should I encourage this person to find a way to get a PhD, while at the same time trying to convince the appropriate Powers That Be to find a way to reward this person for what they contribute to the University? The last thing I want to do to anyone is encourage them to go to grad school!