Alphabet soup: letters after names

When you get a professional’s business card with letters after their name, what idea comes to your mind? Notorious billionaire Thurston Howell III, the famous character from the TV sitcom Gilligan’s IslandWho was tactless, slanderous, pretentious, and lazy? Or, the customer-serving, professional, and educated professional who wants to do the job right the first time to earn your praise and smile? Letters after names mean things. It should be a prerequisite when choosing your next professional.

The difference lies in the details

Letters after nouns are officially called “nominal suffixes”. It can be earned for a number of achievements. Letters can be earned towards academic education, accreditation, certification, designation, and/or recognition. Although the result is the same – a professional can put some letters after their name – the status of the achievements is not the same. There are clear levels of achievement that are greater than others. Plainly said, some letters mean a lot more than others.

Academic Education – Although a student should be very proud when earning a certificate degree, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree, these degrees do not earn letters after the student’s par. Obtaining a graduate degree, either a master’s or a doctorate, is considered the highest and most prestigious level of professional achievement; Therefore, it does not just come with letters, it is the most famous of all letters. As a general rule, if someone has a master’s and a doctorate in the same discipline, they only show the highest level achieved. Thus, when Mr. Macchio Feelgood has a bachelor’s degree in finance, he remains “Mr. Macchio Feelgood.” When he pursues his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, he becomes “Mr. Makio Feelgood, MBA”. And when he reaches the top of academia with a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA), he doesn’t just replace his nominal suffixes (he replaces MBA with DBA); But we refer to him as “Doctor”. Thus, “Dr. Macchio Feelgood, db.” Interestingly, when academic majors differ, both are listed. So, if he had obtained a PhD in Economics, instead of a DBA, he would have become “Dr. Macchio Feelgood, Ph.D., MBA.”

Accreditation and certification – in general, they mean the same thing. Typically, a training or education program is “accredited” by an outside government or accrediting agency and those who complete the program are then “accredited”. Although accredited programs are not as prestigious as an academic education, accredited programs require a professional to have a number of years of experience in the profession, pass a comprehensive exam, and complete continuing education to maintain their certification.

Placement – Although training is part of obtaining a designation and, sometimes, even passing a comprehensive exam, the exam is not required for placement programs nor is education or continuing experience required. So it’s a worthy achievement for the letters. But with a lower level of accreditation or certification.

Recognition – Recognition still deserves the nominal suffixes, and is the least recognized of the four classes. It may be gained through training or simply through access to a professional career mentor that is not often accessed by others in the same profession. Testing, experience and continuing education are not included.

The system means everything

When a professional earns more than one group of nominal suffix letters, it is appropriate to display each group of letters after his name. This is done in descending order with the most popular characters first (closest to the name) followed by a comma and then the next set of characters and so on. Thus, when Snoopy earns his PhD in engineering, he becomes “Joe Cole, Ph.D.” When he passes the first set of exams on his way to becoming a Professional Engineer (PE), he is recognized as an Engineer in Training (EIT) and becomes “Joe Cool, PhD, EIT”. Finally, when Snoopy goes back to school to sharpen his design prowess and eventually earn his Master of Architecture (M Arch) degree, he becomes “Joe Cool, PhD, M Arch, EIT.” It is important to note that suffixes nouns do not appear chronologically in the order in which they were acquired; But in order of importance of achievement.

Once earned, the Pro has every right to use all letters for each achievement earned as long as they maintain their license, continuing education, or other achievement requirements. However, in common practice, it is rare for more than three letter combinations to be displayed at one time. The professional usually drops the least prestigious achievement to a bid of three or less. In some cases, it is appropriate to show all (more than three) achievements of the professional in the form of post-nominal letters; Such as: when receiving an award, when teaching or teaching about a relevant topic, or other special circumstances (eg: when writing an article about Letters after names The author also found it here). However, even if the name of a professional is not yet used, accomplishments should always be shown on the resume.

effect on you

scammers and you want to be It can damage the reputation of any industry. A true professional who believes his career is honorable, takes pride in his knowledge of the latest best practices, and maintains a high level of continuing education as exemplified by his post par letters.

Don’t become a victim. Choose a designer, contractor, real estate agent, banker, accountant, lawyer, or any other professional who takes their career seriously by staying on top of their professional field. A professional may charge a little more to set up upfront or may require you to wait a little longer before they can begin on your project; But, in the end, it will serve you better.

Letters after names mean things. Find them. Get to know her. Only hire those who get it.

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