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In context of a person's academic profile in a web application, I need to broadly classify the various degree/designations/stages in the academic career of the person.

For example I would like to clearly know what is the current stage the person , in his academic career path starting from a pre-university student & progressing ahead.

So I would like to classify something like (below) & ask user to select one of these designations:


Pre-university student Undergraduate(Bachelors/diploma/associate degree) student -doing -earned Masters student -doing -earned PhD(Doctorate) studs -doing -earned Postdoc Faculty Scientist Independent researcher 

Does this cover most of the stages/designations in the academic career or is anything missing ? Is there a better term to represent any one ?


I don't really need a fine grained classification like assistant prof, associate prof, etc but I do want to include all the academic community & related people who have interests in academic topics(which includes scientists or self learners as well) & ranging from university student to faculty, independent researcher or whatever are the higher positions. May not be necessarily a hierarchical list but at least an exhaustive list is needed.

Update 2:

Another idea was too use classification which includes people from academia & even outside that work on/ explore academic topics & removing ambiguity between faculty, scientist & research positions . Something like this:

 -> A Learner/ enthusiast, -> Pre-university student University/Research Students: ================================ -> Undergraduate(Bachelors/diploma/associate degree) student -doing -earned -> Masters student -doing -earned -> Doctorate(PhD, DPhils, etc) student -doing -earned University Faculty/Research Positions: ================== -> Professor -> Associate Professor -> Assistant Professor -> Lecturer -> Emeritus -> Other -> PostDoc, -> Scientist -> IndependentResearcher 

1 Answer 1

Like EngergyNumbers said, you should tailor your classification to the culture of your targeted audience. This list of academic ranks for various countries might be helpful for that.

Also, "Scientist" and "Researcher" doesn't really mean anything. A postdoc, assistant professor, principal investigator, or someone doing research in the commercial sector can be a scientist or a researcher.

I think you know this but just in case: "postdoc" is an (often) temporary job that people take up after obtaining a PhD, and not a qualification. Some people do not do postdocs, and go directly into teaching, industry or become assistant professors after getting their PhD.

Finally, "Post Grad" can refer to both masters degree or PhD students. It is common to say "applying to graduate/grad school" to when referring to applying to a PhD course.