I thought it would be a good idea to share a resource that could give a boost to your CV without too much hassle.
Usually when we finish a PhD in Humanities (especially in the areas of Philology, Literature, Linguistics etc.) we might feel the need to complement our academic profile in other relevant areas, but at the same time starting a new MA for every possible field of interest would become an exhausting endeavour.
There is an interesting alternative in the Spanish academic world that I personally find very relevant for any academic plans: The title of University Specialist and University Expert. I was recently shocked to learn that these alternatives aren’t common in other countries… not even in Europe or Latin America. They are starting to appear in other places, but Spain has had a decade of advantage to establish some very good programs and it will be hard for other universities to compete right away in some fields.
Right now these titles are given by each university on its own, so if you are looking for a stronger diploma, I would recommend you an MA or MSc. I personally see these titles as a good complement, not as the backbone of an academic CV. The main message they send is: “The University of Salamanca (Spain) considers me a specialist in Spanish Linguistics… and since this institution was founded in 1218 I think they know what they are doing”.
To be a doctor is the highest step in the ladder of the academic titles, so being considered a university specialist or a university expert in other relevant areas is always benefitial for anyone who wishes to be more well-rounded. For example, a philologist would always benefit from more knowledge in Linguistics. A historian might welcome being certified as an expert in some particular culture (Indo-Iranian or something like that). Of course, research helps when determining the specialization of a scholar, but, does it hurt to attend a few months of extra training with other experts in a subject?
-The University Specialist Title: Usually it consists of a course with different subjects and projects related with research. (4-6 months)
-The University Expert Title: It is shorter than the specialist one and it is supposedly easier to be accepted as a student. The research works are softer than in the Specialist one. (3-5 months)
I have completed advanced diplomas, diplomas, certificates… but somehow the fact that a university recognizes me as an expert or specialist in something other than Spanish Studies (my field) seems like a good step to keep improving and learning. My personal advice is that you consider a specialist title for a subject in which you need to show that you know what you are doing; practical areas, so to speak: History, Literature, Pedagogy, Linguistics, Journalism… And keep the expert titles for subjects where you just want to transmit your theoretical capabilities: Ethics, Philosophy, Human Rights etc. In other words, if your field is International Law and you already have one or two Master degrees, go for the specialist title in Human Rights, and if you are a Philologist who is just interested in Human Rights, but you see no point in studying an MA for 2 years, I would choose the expert title if I were you.
See you in the next post! 🙂