So just WHAT are all these letters about???
Ph.D. stands for Doctor of Philosophy.
The Ph.D. is the highest degree that is awarded by universities. It is an Academic Credential.
P.E. stands for Professional Engineer.
The P.E. is a Professional Registration with the State of Alabama, similar to a lawyer being a member of the state bar, or a nurse having an R.N. All of these indicate adherence to standards and a commitment to the highest quality of professional work.
One set of credentials represents my attempt to achieve the best possible work in Academia, the other set represents my attempt to achieve the best possible work in Industry.
I've got one foot in each of these domains.
Sadly, the P.E. registration is not respected at all in academia, and the Ph.D. degree is actively disrespected in industrial settings.
There can be a LOT of pomp and circumstance and general snob factor and annoying puffiness about these credentials. I try to avoid all of that fluff and just do good work.
Having a Ph.D. is not quite as exclusive a club as you might think. About 2% of the U.S. population has some sort of Doctorate. A Ph.D. does not mean that you are the smartest person in the room. There are plenty of brilliant people who have never graduated from college.
If you want to read more about these credentials, see my pages here:
Whatever you do, do your best work and have a great day! :-)