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I have both an MBA and PMP certification. One component of the PMP certification is the ability to add the letters "PMP" after your name. The MBA is a degree, and I thought that adding "MBA" after my name might seem kind of a reach. Since that time, numerous people who I respect (including some of the faculty at my business school) have added the MBA letters after their name, also as if it were a credential.

On the one hand, Ph.D. is a degree that is also used as a credential. I also have seen people with masters degrees do the same thing, but I've never seen somebody use a BA or a BS as a credential. I have 3 degrees, an MBA, an MA and a BS. Should I use MBA and MA? Neither and stick with the PMP? How much is too much?!?

What is good form here? I am changing jobs in a few weeks, and I am going to need to have new business cards made up (as well as an overall update of my LinkedIn profile), and I want to make sure that I leverage all of my skills and abilities for potential clients researching the company, but I also don't want to do anything "phony."

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    Do you want people to focus on the degree or your qualifications? Don't include titles people might not know either, I had no idea what PMP was (Google makes it seem to be a 4-day training ? if so, that's really going to look poor to me - when I google a certification you added to your name and see such a trivial requirement). Depending on your industry many people don't care about your "letters" unless they are of direct relevance to your job skills. Having an MA means nothing if you don't use it. Ditto to an MBA. But if you work in industry where prestige matters, care more. – enderland Apr 18 '13 at 16:26
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    I think this could have been a good question as "When should I use MBA in my credentials" but Yes or No questions do not make great questions here on SE. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 18 '13 at 16:31
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    Just for clarification, PMP is not a trivial certification. It requires certification of thousands of hours of work experience, classroom training, and a hefty exam. – jcmeloni Apr 18 '13 at 16:52
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    In addition, PMP is a pretty hot item on job boards, not to mention that Project Management is available as a Masters Programme in some decent Universities – kolossus Apr 19 '13 at 6:49
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    @jcmeloni my point is more understanding how well your audience knows (or cares) about your letters is important. – enderland Apr 19 '13 at 12:16
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If you continue to be involved in academe, you can put the letters next to your name. This would be acceptable as the author of some publication as well.

Do include it in your resume, but I don't think I'd go out of my way to use it when dealing with customers, business partners or collegues in a non-academic environment.

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  • An MBA is a business related degree and is an advanced degree of course you put it on your business card – Pepone Jan 22 '15 at 20:51
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Hm.

I disagree with JeffO's answer.

MBA is a business-centric qualification. It is relevant in the business world, be it for a job application, meeting with clients, your business cards, your CV.

Using an MBA in academia is somewhat unusual - it isn't a degree that is prevalent there (why would academics need to know business? Hohoho!) so -

while i wouldn't avoid using the MBA after your name in academia, i would suggest if you are going to avoid using it anywhere, it be in academia. That said, it is a perfectly valid credential to be used after your name regardless.

i don't know why you think an MBA wouldn't be a more valuable credential than a 4 hour exam. The same goes for your bachelor's and master's degree too. Rest assured those are all considered more "credentials" than any certification exam. For the record, so is a Phd. In fact, Phd trumps them all, you can call yourself Dr with that.

As a rule, went to a brick and mortar school? Put it after your name anytime you want. Went to an exam and paid money to a website? Keep it to your CV. The only times I would suggest adding online credentials are ones that everybody knows and that are hard to get - CFA springs to mind.

Given you have so many qualifications, pick out the masters degree most relevant to what you are doing now and list that - and only that - by your name on your biz card.

Jdb1a1, MBA

Or

Jdb1a1, MA

If you had a Phd then you would always list the Phd, and then (maaaaaybe, if the masters is relevant) the most relevant master's (list the master's first). As for linked in, just stick them all in. I would still consider skipping the PMP though.

Finally, if you "just" have a bachelor's, there is nothing wrong with putting that after your name.

All this "putting after your name" refers to business cards, your linkedin profile and publications you might have. On your CV, unless it is a doctorate, i would leave it out (after your name, i mean) - just list it under "education"

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  • I can't speak for the rest of the world, but in the US, if you are a professor in the business department, I suggest you put the MBA next to your name unless you have a phd. All credentials are relevant in academia and many professors put all of them on their business cards. – user8365 Jan 22 '15 at 13:38
  • @JeffO there are professors without doctorates? – bharal Jan 22 '15 at 14:24
  • @bharal it depends on the school and what level the course is but yes there could be professors with out doctorates. Most every one has a masters or higher unless at the local community college in the tech program (at least in my area). Then the list of credentials looks like alphabet soup of tech certs acquired over 20 years or so. – RubberChickenLeader Jan 22 '15 at 19:44
  • @bharal - I think someone with a phd in whatever along with an MBA would be in high demand. It's like many lawyers who work in patent law can have a phd in their technical area of expertise. – user8365 Jan 30 '15 at 1:05
  • @JeffO its more about how it "looks" on a business card. If OP is an academic, sure, all the credentials looks good. If they're in non-academia, then all the credentials can tend to give the impression that someone is a "degree hunter". – bharal Jan 30 '15 at 1:53
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Look around what people in your country/your field of work do.

This issue is highly dependent of your country (I live in a country where title are always used and it's expected to use them). However, even here, employees of companies who want to present themselves as "young" do not use their titles so much.

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I have a BS, MS, MBA, and PMP. I include the latter two after my name on my resume, LinkedIn profile, business cards, and email signature. I wouldn't ever say the credentials out loud when meeting people (when going into an interview I wouldn't say "Hi, I'm John Doe, Em Bee Ayy").

I include the MBA because this is a business setting and an MBA indicates a high level of knowledge in this field. Moreover, an MBA is considered a semi-terminal professional degree, which is typically included in titles. While there are PhDs in business, they are more research focused and rarely seen in corporate settings. DBAs are a higher level of MBA but they are quite rare and little-known. I have several other masters degrees (both scientific and business related) but I don't use them because they do not carry the same weight as an MBA when viewed by colleagues/clients/employers.

The PMP is included because my role leverages this certification. If I took a role that no longer directly involved project management or if I took a higher certification (like a PgMP) then I would omit it.

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