If I start an educational psychology PhD under the supervision of a well-known educational psychologist in a department which ranks somewhere between 50-100 in the US (the global ranking of the university is 350 or 750, depending on which ranking system you consult), would my background in English (BA) and language education (MA) hold me back from securing a job after graduation?

Would they even look at my BA and MA degrees, when they are considering me for a position (let's say an academic position in educational psychology)? Is there anything I may be missing regarding this decision?

  • My initial reaction is one of puzzlement at the question itself. If you have a Ph.D. in educational psychology, then surely you're qualified to teach pretty much all the undergraduate educational psychology courses that one could take as an undergraduate, and presumably the same regarding Masters level courses in your subfield, and at worst your different BA and MA degrees shouldn't subtract from your already established credentials due to your Ph.D. But I'm in math, which is very hierarchical, and perhaps my thinking doesn't apply to educational psychology. Oct 18 '21 at 12:33

While it is difficult to predict what individual employers might do, in general it is your most recent degree that is relevant. Even leaving out the "ranking" of your university, if you have a doctorate in X you are eligible for positions in X.

But, the job market is tight at the moment and you are trying to project several years into the future. But the early degrees are unlikely to have any negative impact for most purposes.

A well-known advisor is a plus, of course.

It also seems like not doing this is your worst option.

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