There exists a degree title called the licentiate in Finland and Sweden which is a graduate title beneath a full PhD title; I’ve heard it called, among other things, a “half PhD”, a “PhD lite” or a “PhD for those already working”. However, what formal or practical benefits can/does such a title actually confer, especially since being awarded a licentiate degree entails having a postgraduate degree anyway (a Master’s degree, which very much could have entailed doing research itself)?

  • Can the formal qualification and/or work done for it contribute towards a proper PhD at another institution, either immediately after or after some interim period?
  • Is it accepted as proof of any kind of practical research experience in larger institutions outside of Finland and Sweden? From what I’ve gathered, it seems that research-oriented jobs are very strictly categorized as either “jobs for people with PhDs” or “jobs for everyone else”, which suggests that a “not-quite-PhD” degree wouldn’t actually open any doors and maybe even close some (due to e.g. being perceived as overqualified, as having “quit” a PhD program or as being “not able” to secure a proper PhD candidate position).

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