How Real is that PhD?
We live in a world where a person’s expertise is judged by the level of their education and experience. Employers and universities evaluate prospective personnel based on degree subjects, research topics and publications. Education, after all, is for the training and grooming of experts that keep societies around the world functioning, now and in the future. But how accurate is education as a gage for expertise?
Like many people in the past few years, I have found working one job does not allow for much financial comfort, so I have also been self employed as a freelance translator and a ghostwriter. When I first looked into ghostwriting I had the notion it was mostly autobiographies, but soon discovered that most writing projects would be academic works for PhD candidates. Of course, there were also many jobs for high school assignments and undergraduate degrees, in addition to both master’s and doctorial dissertations.
Though cheating is unethical, one could almost overlook the struggling high school or undergrad student paying for some difficult writing assignment. However, advanced degrees are indicators that the owners know what they are doing and their skills can be trusted. Okay, not everyone is a good writer, so you could still be a master in your field and not be able to put together a high quality thesis or dissertation without professional help, but there is simply no excuse for those studying for doctorates to hire writers.
People holding PhDs are expected to write and publish in academic journals. They are called, Doctor, and held in high regard; their research is scrutinized and quoted by other professionals. But how many well respected individuals with PhDs really know their subjects or did their own work to earn that respect? I know of at least twenty people running around with the title of doctor based on work that I did for them. I don’t know their names as that is always confidential, but at around $700 a paper it did not concern me at the time.
After two years of hard work I recently earned my Master’s in Law. I know that I am knowledgeable in the law because I studied and did all my own writing. I am also very learned in risk management for international investing, cancer research, biometrics, airport planning, forensic pathology, railroad systems in Saudi Arabia and juvenile delinquency in the UK. I cannot call myself, Dr. Chadwick, because I was not the one enrolled in those PhD programs. I cannot claim to be an expert in the above topics, but those who can did not earn the right to do so.
I could still use the extra cash, but cannot bring myself to do work that other people should be doing if they want that degree. Education used to mean something, and I will no longer contribute to helping those that do not have the capability of doing academic work earn that distinction.
There is no shortage of companies willing to write dissertations for a price. How long this practice has gone on is anybody’s guess, but there are more of these ghostwriting businesses on-line all the time. So the next time you hire an expert based on PhD qualifications spend a moment wondering if that person actually did their own work.
D.A. Chadwick MSL