I know in the academic system it is very important if one has completed his Ph.D. with a "summa cum laude" or not. At least if someone wants to go for a professorship position. Also, to try for such a title, one needs to have extra reviewers in his/her disputation. So, I was always advised by my supervisor not to try the hard case unless I know that I need "summa cum laude".

On the other hand, I do not want to stay in academia and want to build my career future in the industry (R&D section). By the way, I'm in Germany and my field is computer science. So, my exact question is how much that certain title is important or effective in finding a job in the industry or to climb up the ladder for a higher position in a company?


how much that certain title is important or effective in finding a job

Assuming you mean "grade" and not "title", then the answer is "depends". It will depend on the specific field, job requirement, the overlap between your Ph.D. thesis and the role, and what else is on your resume. It also depends on the type of company and how "academic" vs. "hands on they are". The closer to the end-product the work is and the more technical the job is, the less the grade will matter. Chances are the main problem landing in industry job will be competing against people of the same age with no Ph.D. but 3-5 more years of hands-on experience. I would focus on that aspect and not worry too much about grades.

to climb up the ladder for a higher position in a company?

None whatsoever. Once you are 1 year into the job, no one cares about your grades anymore and once you are three years in, no one cares about your academic title. Well, Germany is a little more title conscious than the rest of the world, so lets give it 4 years :-)

  • 2
    I think it's even less than one year into the job, on the non-academic side. That said, they'll highly care about results, likeability, and drive. If you are going to skip over the summa cum laude because it is hard work, that kind of thinking is probably not only used on this effort. Computer Science has tons of people that can do the job; but, for one reason or another won't. "Changing the software <in that desirable way> is impossible" is a comment I hear far too often. For those that work hard, we become more in-demand than those taking easy ways out. – Edwin Buck Dec 16 '20 at 13:54
  • @EdwinBuck, You do it if you know it's worth the effort. Otherwise, it'd be like writing the whole software from scratch when you know just a few adjustments on the front end would satisfy the client's need. – Bob Dec 16 '20 at 14:21
  • @Bob I agree. Of course "worth the effort" is basically an opinion, meaning that even the same effort and the same outcome might be considered "worth the effort" based on the person making the judgement. – Edwin Buck Dec 16 '20 at 18:55

In the words of the immortal Ray Stantz:

"You've never been out of college! You don't know what it's like out there! I've worked in the private sector. They expect results!"

In other words, a degree or academic qualifications or such? They're basically a proxy for whether a person is capable of generating results in the business world.

I mean, it's not worthless - if we had an applicant from a prestigious ivy league university with an immaculate grade point, it would tell us that they're probably not utterly incompetent and relatively industrious. Which are good things. But... it doesn't tell us whether they have good decision making, whether they have good common sense, or whether they the ability to get along well with others.

Whereas, if we had an applicant that had worked a similar job for 8 years? That's a better indicator that they're able to generate results.

TL;DR - instead of worrying "How will they judge the meritoriousness of my thesis?", worry about, "How can I demonstrate in an interview that I will be able to generate good work?"

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