Is there any possibility that I could be awarded a Ph.D. degree based on my work or life experience and good educational background?
Can you guide me to any institution offering such Ph.D.s?
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Ph.D.s and other academic titles and degrees awarded for "work experience", "life experience" and so on are products of diploma mills. You pay a lot of money (thousands of USD) for a piece of paper that is completely worthless.
Employers know these worthless "titles". Such a "Ph.D." will not help you get a better job, and it will in particular not help you in an academic career. Instead, using such a "degree" in an application will brand you as naive at best or a fraud at worst.
Depending on your jurisdiction, using a "degree" "awarded" by a non-accredited institution, as these diploma mills usually are, may be illegal.
Nobody here will direct you to an institution that engages in such practices.
Many universities award honorary degrees, such as a honorary doctorate. These are not PhDs, but might still be relevant to your question. I have often seen these types of degrees being awarded to people that have contributed a lot to a scientific field from outside of academia (but sometimes for far less, also see this wiki-section on controversies over honorary titles), usually for work that has been connected to the awarding university. Since they are awarded for many different types of contributions, the formal criteria for when to award them is also relatively vague. In all cases I know of, they are also awarded based on external nominations, and not self-nomination. Finally, recipients should usually not use the PhD or Dr titles. An honorary doctorate definately do not carry the same academic weight as a PhD, but can sometimes still be valuable, especially if they are from a reputable institution. As an example, this page provides further information on how the title of honorary doctor is used in Sweden (in this case at Uppsala University).
Also note that besides "legitimate" honorary degrees from reputable universities, some fraudulent insititutions or diploma mills also use the same title for their degrees.
In the UK, there is such a thing as a "PhD by publication/portfolio/published work". This requires firstly that your "work or life experience" has generated novel work of academic value comparable to that of a doctoral thesis. Depending on subject, this might mean publications in academic journals, or non-academic publication of research you've done in industry. If you're in an artsy subject, then sometimes you can get a PhD by publication of literature, fine art, architecture, and so on, that meets the institution's criteria of making a substantial contribution to the field.
It may additionally require substantial new work to review and tie together your existing published work, or at least to put it in the correct context.
This doesn't seem to be so much of a thing in the USA. That might be because the USA doesn't take the same view as the UK that the sole qualification for a PhD is a satisfactory thesis. US universities typically have other requirements in their doctoral programs, passing certain courses and whatnot, that are considered part of the qualifying criteria. They might be disinclined to let you skip that part. Or it might just be that US institutions don't consider it a worthwhile use of their time...
So, your options depend primarily on what country you're interested in, you'll have to check out the situation wherever you are in the world. If you have done work of the right kind and sufficient value, and can work with a university in the UK, then just search "PhD by publication" to find examples of institutions that offer them. Many but not all reputable institutions do.
Unless you count on the one hand honorary doctorates, or on the other hand worthless qualifications from unaccredited diploma mills, nowhere can you get a PhD for "life experience". PhDs are for doing research, they aren't an assessment of your educational background, and certainly are not for having interesting or educational things happen to you ;-)
Not as such... at least from a reputable university. I have known a few people to gain a PhD without having to do a full PhD program. However, these people have undertaken a sufficient body of work themselves that, with some additional work, would qualify for a PhD. The people I am thinking of are all 50+, and have had long-term jobs in their field of study. They have already been working alongside academics in the Universities during their career, often contributing to research being produced. They have also had to attend some classes, put together a thesis (which itself requires significant work), do their PhD defence, and any other course requirements. This process still takes years.
On a side note, I would wonder why you want a PhD without putting in the work. Part of the PhD experience is the joy (and at times pitfalls) of conducting your own research.
I do know one chap who, being interested in a certain piece of technology that he uses at work, approached an academic at a reputable university and asked whether he could do research on it. The academic agreed and the last time I spoke to the chap he had been working on his PhD for three years, whilst carrying on his job, and it was going well. That is a case where work experience and original research were very close but the PhD, if granted, will still have been earned with original research.
A PhD is not like a master's degree - that is just a statement that the person in question has mastered a subject and could, in principle, be awarded simply by examination. In my opinion mastering a subject is undervalued in the academic community but that is another matter. A PhD should be awarded for original research only, but how and where you do that research should be open to flexibility, as in the case of my acquaintance.
A Ph.D. is not awarded for just knowing a certain body of knowledge or taking a specific number of courses. You must perform and document original research and defend it. Also, a Ph.D. is not lost if one does not continue doing research (although one's reputation as a scholar might be lost). Because of ethical conduct (plagiarism, falsification of data), a very small number of Ph.D.s have been revoked. I believe this can be done only by the University that originally awarded it. Anyone else can just fire or shame the miscreant.
In my experience, you won't get a Ph.D. degree with just work experience. You need to contribute to the community by producing journal articles and research papers. So as long as you have significantly contributed to the academic or social environment and the university recognizes your talent, yes you can get a Ph.D. on successful review of your publication.
Note: Ph.D. award is given for your contribution alone, not as a company or as a team.
Thank you for your interest in this question.
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