I have finished my high school and did 1 year program of FOUNDATION IN BUSINESS. I left my degree (BBA/Accounts and Finance) after completing 2nd semester. Now I have done an online 3 months course and certified in digital marketing, and also certified in another online course of Fundamental of Digital Marketing from Google. Now, I am going to have another online course of Digital Marketing for 7 weeks from London Int'l Studies and Research Center. Now I have a plan to start my PHD in Digital Marketing.

Would I be able to start my PHD on the basis of these certificates? I will be glad to hear advice from you.

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    In theory yes, in practice it's very unlikely unless you have some superstar ideas and awesome connections. Is there something about your current research or research ideas that you suspect would make a good PhD? Apr 7, 2020 at 17:22
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    @RobertColumbia, that is probably an answer. Maybe the best answer. Make it so.
    – Buffy
    Apr 7, 2020 at 17:24
  • But the only way to know for sure is to make application to a suitable program.
    – Buffy
    Apr 7, 2020 at 17:25
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    Possible duplicate of PhD without previous academic degree: truth or myth? Apr 7, 2020 at 17:32
  • Please edit to use typical English punctuation and capitalization. Apr 7, 2020 at 17:41

2 Answers 2


You would have to have something in your background and resume that appeals to someone like me, a tenured professor of CS (now retired, though). I have to say that, from what you say, I would be very skeptical. You would need to find some way to convince (people like) me that you actually have the skills, not just "certificates".

The problem is that when you take a standard course of study from a university, people understand what that means. We have a basic trust of colleagues elsewhere that if they say you are ready then (a) they have personally evaluated you in some way and (b) you meet their own standards of excellence, which are probably similar to my own. With online courses it is very difficult to be able to say the same thing. What, in particular, does it mean that you have such a certificate. It could be worthless and mean nothing more than that you paid for a course, whether you gained anything from it or not. It is hard for people to evaluate how much actual expertise you gained through practice and how much feedback you got on your work. How high was the quality of whatever work you did?

That isn't to say that you don't have the required expertise, but certificates alone, from commercial businesses especially, aren't proof that you do.

So, to be successful, you will need some way to convince people of the quality of something that is different from what traditional students are able to do. If you can do that, then you will have a chance. But many of us will be very skeptical.

And one problem is that if you have a slot in a doctoral program, then someone else doesn't. It isn't an unlimited resources. Your road isn't impossible, but it is definitely uphill.

However, if you can establish a personal/professional relationship to a faculty member at a doctoral institution and convince them of your expertise, the road might (might) get easier.

  • (Your road isn't impossible, but it is definitely uphill) I got it brother... Thanx for ur advise. I really appreciate it. Apr 7, 2020 at 20:25

In theory, anyone can be admitted to a PhD program if they can convince the applicable faculty to let them in. Generally, this is done by having awesome research or research ideas already on the table.

Are you ready for this level of work? Getting a PhD is not about memorizing a textbook and regurgitating its contents on a multiple-choice exam, but about contributing something substantially new about your field. If you have such an idea (and can explain its novelty and relevance), you can contact faculty at universities and ask about the possibility of meeting with them to discuss your ideas. If you ideas are good enough and you appear dedicated enough, they can likely find a way to waive admissions barriers (most universities have special case clauses or appeal procedures).

If you are treating getting a PhD as similar to jumping up a grade in secondary school or challenging the final exam to an upper-division undergraduate course in your second year of undergraduate study, then you are not ready for this. Keep learning and studying your field and seek the mentorship of faculty you trust.

  • Thanx for ur advise. I appreciate it. Apr 7, 2020 at 20:26

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