I'm the CIO of a midsize firm, and I would like to pursue a doctoral degree. I'm worried, though, that a Ph.D. is seen as antithetical to the business environment. What do you think? You are defined by your actions and communications, both verbal and nonverbal, by whom you interact with and whom you do not, and by how you treat others and their ideas, not exclusively by your educational ranking. A Ph.D. is not at all incompatible with the business environment — the wrong behaviors are. Others may form preconceived notions based on your degree, some may digest it as an asset, others a liability. You can disarm those notions by being tactful in how you deploy your academic dexterity. Collaborate, acknowledge and leverage the strengths of others, be respectful and share credit. Never use your degree as a weapon, for example as the reason for knowing something that others do not.
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