A British-born American theoretical physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering Freeman Dyson thinks about “the PhD system is the real root of the evil of academic snobbery. People who have PhDs consider themselves priesthood, and inventors generally don’t have PhDs”.
Is he really right? Does the academic degree have a great impact on the person’s moral condition and society’s attitude to him? While entering the higher educational institution or opening its website, willy-nilly, we draw attention to its teaching staff. And the first thing that catches the eye is the presence of the academic degree in the teachers’ majority: senior and junior researchers, PhDs, etc. Actually, there is nothing surprising. High requirements to the quality of higher education determine the staffing of educational institutions with highly skilled personnel of the appropriate level. But sometimes the degree is not entirely ethical component.
Let’s start with the banal. Graduated student “by sweat of the brow” is working on his thesis project, the contents of which, to put it mildly, is at odds with the curator’s views to disclose his chosen topic. It is at odds as long as the student cannot find or offer something more or less suitable. It may be research papers, publications, own researches and developments with unexpected results. The main thing is that teacher is happy and satisfied, diploma is written, defended and is at its rightful place … No, not in the archive, but in the teacher’s thesis, which, in fact, is not phony named. Rather, co-authored.
The second option is less ethical and more expensive. Usually, the defender of thesis has little interest in the moral and ethical component of a degree. That also concerns a thematic component of the thesis. The author picks up the material and is engaged in development alone without a degree. The task of the future candidate is to examine the content of scientific work conscientiously and defend it at the commission meeting.
Forewarned reaction of “pundits” requires noting that these facts are unsubstantiated and have the place to be. It is enough to pay attention to the numerous ads for the provision of educational services, including the completion of scientific papers (articles, theses). And as we all know – the demand creates supply. But it is not always ethical.
Thus, academic degree provides the opportunity to teach at the university. And that is good enough financial help. As an active scientist, you can apply for a grant. When the decision to go into politics is taken, the academic degree will only benefit you. If there is a forced break, then the return from a long vacation will stimulate research degree and pursue a professional career without much loss. In the future you will be able to help people, who ask question on “how to get a degree?” Degree in physics, mathematics, biology, medicine, and other sciences guarantee you an advantage in hiring. Nevertheless, don’t forget that while getting an academic degree the life forges ahead. Therefore, ask yourself what is more important to you – family or degree.