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Proper etiquette for college degrees in an email signature?

Enos316Enos316 Registered User
edited August 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Just curious what people thought about this. I am a Network Engineer at a large hospital and was looking to update my email signature.

I have a Bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems. Would it make sense to add this to my sig line? Many others in the hospital do so with their credentials. Just wondering if there was maybe a minimum level of education to be listed or if it comes across as boasting. Or since I'm IT does no one really give a shit?

Thanks.

For example:

Michael Fake BS, MIS
Fake Hospital
Network Engineer
p:860-555-5555
f:860-555-5555
e:fake@fake.org

Enos316 on

Posts

  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I woudn't put a Bachelors Degree in my email sig, personally. I'd only do ones that changed my title (like Dr).

  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo Fake Board GamerRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Don't list your bachelor's degree in your email sig.

  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Honestly, since you're IT they probably don't care as long as their printer works. :P

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  • PriestPriest Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    The common etiquette goes as such -

    If you work in Academia, you post your education in your sig.

    If you work in the Private Sector, doing so makes you a dick.

    Your sig already says Network Engineer.

    ENGINEER. Anyone who doesn't respect that is a tool, as it is a name is commensurate with your level of education.

    The only acceptable other piece of information in the private sector is Dr. to signify Ph.D status, and even then, the private sector often doesn't give a rats ass unless you're an actual honest to god Doctor of Medicine.

  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Yeah, don't do it. A BS doesn't really count for much as a credential. The technical expertise that goes along with a BS is pretty modest, in any case, and no one who's getting an email from you cares what your degree is in.

    You're a network engineer. Presumably you know how to do your job. That's the only relevant information for people who don't know you and are getting an email from you.

  • toolberttoolbert Registered User
    edited August 2010
    urahonky wrote: »
    Honestly, since you're IT they probably don't care as long as their printer works. :P

    This the complete and utter truth. The only thing in your signature should be a title change. IT is IT to most of the world.

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  • embrikembrik Registered User
    edited August 2010
    I used to post my CCNA and Microsoft credentials after my name in my sig, but took it out some time ago. Reason? Coworkers said it was kinda dickish.

    Title is enough. Some of my coworkers don't even do that, they just put their department name.

    "Damn you and your Daily Doubles, you brigand!"

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  • UsagiUsagi Feminazgul ~*special snowflake*~Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Yeah, unless you're a PHD, MD, JD or PE then it comes off as you being a dick

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  • OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle and you're not happy, but you're funny and I'm tripping over my joyRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    What they said. I interact w/ people in academia a lot and it's standard practice. Elsewhere, not so much. Your job title is all that is relevant if you have a very specific function, otherwise I'd use the department but that's just my preference. Since I am the only person who does my job, I use my official title in my sig as shorthand for why I am corresponding with people.

    In academics, the education is their job. You don't have higher education degrees in Spanish but teach math.

    I'm a published writer and have a very unique and interesting writing style. I'm also sharp and witty. My profile is well-written and hilarious. My messages are likewise brilliant. And I've been doing this stuff for...four or five years. I know what "works" in terms of good internet dating writing. "Works" in the sense of leading to a "date" with a human female.
  • witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I would say that anything at graduate level or higher can be included in a signature. That said, depending on your company, it can come off as arrogant/insecure. In a hopsital environment, I agree that clinicians should list their credentials (or highest level of credential), but for other degrees, it's very situational to the work place.

  • Enos316Enos316 Registered User
    edited August 2010
    Thanks folks. That's what I figured. I hadn't done it for the 'dickish' vibe that it even gave me, I was just making sure.

  • darkgruedarkgrue Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Priest wrote: »
    ENGINEER. Anyone who doesn't respect that is a tool, as it is a name is commensurate with your level of education.

    Well, a lot of engineers with engineering degrees might differ rather strongly with you. I wouldn't, since it is the legitimate title of the position, and the context makes it pretty clear I won't be asking Enos316 to build me any suspension bridges.

    My engineering degree is in computer engineering, so I'd suggest no one ask me to build any suspension bridges, either. :P
    Priest wrote: »
    The only acceptable other piece of information in the private sector is Dr. to signify Ph.D status, and even then, the private sector often doesn't give a rats ass unless you're an actual honest to god Doctor of Medicine.

    Pretty true. I work with a lot of Ph.D's in technical fields, it's a rare day when any one person insists on being called "doctor," or even notes it anywhere on communications. Some people do call the local doctorates "doctor," whether it being out of respect or as a gentle form of teasing, I'm not sure.

    As for professional certifications, (CCNA, CCIE, CISSP, etc.), most people leave them off. It comes off poorly in a lot of environments. Job title usually conveys authority in most places, not the education you got to get the position. Otherwise, most people would just sign things "John Doe, CEO's nephew", hey? :winky:

  • InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    darkgrue wrote: »
    As for professional certifications, (CCNA, CCIE, CISSP, etc.), most people leave them off. It comes off poorly in a lot of environments. Job title usually conveys authority in most places, not the education you got to get the position. Otherwise, most people would just sign things "John Doe, CEO's nephew", hey? :winky:

    This is the core of the issue I think. Degrees and certifications that get you job X, well they get listed when you try to get job X. Once you have job X, you just say "Me That Person, X, That Department" because the X tells people what they need to know and usually implies the certifications. It's redundant to list every IT cert I have when my title and job that people see is HEAD IT GUY. That's all they need to know.

    Academia, your position is more tightly related to your degree so it is explicit there. Medicine people take as serious business and your specialization/area usually only comes up after the preliminary, "you're a doctor right" check. I think it's just the whole way that outsiders view it, where "no I mean a real doctor" is par. Internally they worry about the same thing everyone else does, what position and department are you, I don't care that you're a doctor I care if you're the anesthesiologist or the oncologist or what have you.

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  • mullymully Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Everyone (and I do mean everyone) at my company lists their BS in the way you've listed, if they've got it.

    I've even seen people list their BAs and various forms of Insurance designations.

    That being said, if other people in your company are doing it, then.. go for it.

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited August 2010
    I don't even list my job title in my signature. If I'm contacting someone who doesn't already know me, I'll phone them. I put my full name, email and phone in just to save them using the address search at the top of their outlook window or double clicking on my name in the from line.

    By the time someone's looking at your sig, they've read your email. Anything you say at that point is either useful information or bragging. I've never ever had to know the education level of the person contacting me about a work matter.

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  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Lame...leave it out. Email signatures are a little pretentious all by themselves. 99.9% of email you send will be to people who already know who you are, though if you frequently interact with strangers in a customer-facing position that's a non-terrible reason to have one.

    For the record I have a PhD and do not use a signature block at all. I will occasionally make one up in the rare circumstance that I am contacting a vendor or strange professor, and I will include the "PhD" there so they know I am not a random foreign undergrad asking for homework help.

    Also, if you do have occasion to use it, don't include the comma between "BS" and "MIS " The way you have it implies you have a Masters in Information Systems/Science. A space would also be confusing...maybe just BSMIS or BS (MIS)

    Spoiler:
  • IrohIroh Registered User
    edited August 2010
    DrFrylock wrote: »
    Lame...leave it out. Email signatures are a little pretentious all by themselves. 99.9% of email you send will be to people who already know who you are, though if you frequently interact with strangers in a customer-facing position that's a non-terrible reason to have one.
    This is patently false. If you work in any kind of large organization, it's likely you will hear from a lot of people who don't have the time or the desire to keep a gargantuan list of phone numbers handy for anyone that may be able to support them on a given activity.

    That said, your title, phone number(s), and specific location are plenty for an e-mail signature. No one cares about anything else than being able to contact you quickly when they need to.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I dunno I guess I'm just spoiled by the existence of an online company directory.

    Spoiler:
  • strebaliciousstrebalicious Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    DrFrylock wrote: »
    Lame...leave it out. Email signatures are a little pretentious all by themselves. 99.9% of email you send will be to people who already know who you are, though if you frequently interact with strangers in a customer-facing position that's a non-terrible reason to have one.

    For the record I have a PhD and do not use a signature block at all. I will occasionally make one up in the rare circumstance that I am contacting a vendor or strange professor, and I will include the "PhD" there so they know I am not a random foreign undergrad asking for homework help.

    This is pretty much how I handle it. 90% of the time, my signature is simply "V/R, ET1 Me". If I send an e-mail that I think someone is going to call me about, I add my phone number. If I'm acting in an official capacity to someone who doesn't know me, I will throw my job title on there. And if I'm contacting a company, I also throw on there how to dial my number from the US.

    Adding your e-mail in there is kind of redundant. And quotes are just terrible, but that's more just general e-mail signature advice anyway.

    camo_sig2.png
  • UsagiUsagi Feminazgul ~*special snowflake*~Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    DrFrylock wrote: »
    Lame...leave it out. Email signatures are a little pretentious all by themselves. 99.9% of email you send will be to people who already know who you are, though if you frequently interact with strangers in a customer-facing position that's a non-terrible reason to have one.

    For the record I have a PhD and do not use a signature block at all. I will occasionally make one up in the rare circumstance that I am contacting a vendor or strange professor, and I will include the "PhD" there so they know I am not a random foreign undergrad asking for homework help.

    This is pretty much how I handle it. 90% of the time, my signature is simply "V/R, ET1 Me". If I send an e-mail that I think someone is going to call me about, I add my phone number. If I'm acting in an official capacity to someone who doesn't know me, I will throw my job title on there. And if I'm contacting a company, I also throw on there how to dial my number from the US.

    Adding your e-mail in there is kind of redundant. And quotes are just terrible, but that's more just general e-mail signature advice anyway.

    Not necessarily. Depending on your email system when you archive an email it only puts your name, not your email address.

    Also, if you work with people from the stone age like I do, who like to print out emails A LOT, this becomes an issue if they can't remember exactly which person was from which company. Ugh.

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  • Sir Headless VIISir Headless VII Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Or your email get forwarded to someone else and your address gets lost.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Priest wrote: »
    The common etiquette goes as such -

    If you work in Academia, you post your education in your sig.

    If you work in the Private Sector, doing so makes you a dick.

    Your sig already says Network Engineer.

    ENGINEER. Anyone who doesn't respect that is a tool, as it is a name is commensurate with your level of education.

    The only acceptable other piece of information in the private sector is Dr. to signify Ph.D status, and even then, the private sector often doesn't give a rats ass unless you're an actual honest to god Doctor of Medicine.
    Unless you work in biotech, in which case, it is the exact opposite and doctors of medicine are laughed at for being glorifed human technicians.

    In either case, don't post your B.S. unless it is academia.

    39kEWYh.jpg
  • DusT_HounDDusT_HounD Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    @Fuzzy cumulonimbus cloud:
    heh heh- so true!

    "Oh hai, i'm a clinician, and i saved lives in my previous job, therefore i'm clearly so important that i should get paid TWICE as much as you scientist flunkies with PhDs, to do a job that a grad student is more qualified to do, on account of having actual laboratory experience! Now, why don't one of you losers waste your time teaching me stuff like how to use a pipette, and do concentration calculations"

  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 a.k.a. Nubmonger/Antaeus#1352, 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion Oakland, CARegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    As you can see, it varies based on working environment and context. Generally, just follow what other people in your company at your position tend to do. If all your peers are not putting anything, don't put anything.

    I put a full signature with email, contact numbers, and physical address, but that's because my company mandates it and because I deal with a large number of external clients/vendors on a daily basis. I don't put any of my education credentials or even my job title - as others have mentioned, it often comes off as pretentious and/or insecure.

    In the world of business, people don't care about what you know. They only care about what you can do for them (and subsequently, who you know). If you work purely in an internal capacity (i.e., you only interact with people in your company), then this is doubly true. If your job title and/or education credentials help to clarify what you can do for them, then by all means add it.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no.
  • LaOsLaOs Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    As other have said, the various replies here should make it clear that doing this will be dependent on your industry, place of employment, and "going with the flow" of what everyone else in your office is doing.

    However, if you do decide to do this, I agree with Frylock:
    DrFrylock wrote: »
    Also, if you do have occasion to use it, don't include the comma between "BS" and "MIS " The way you have it implies you have a Masters in Information Systems/Science. A space would also be confusing...maybe just BSMIS or BS (MIS)

    Don't put a comma between your BS and MIS as that implies that they are two separate things. I think Frylock has the right of it if you feel you need to specify what the BS is in. (Usually I don't see this specification--just MS or BS if it's not another specific program (like MPH - Masters of Public Health).)

  • EriosErios Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    My $0.02:

    In finance, one may list CFA, CPA or JD status (occasionally, but your title usually reflects it).

    Going

    Sincerely,

    Erios Cuddlefish, CFA on emails to clients etc. is ok.

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