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Career News | April 10, 2024

Inspiring Doctorates at DCAA

By DCAA Staff Writer

Keith Richardson is a Technical Specialist at DCAA who recently received his Doctorate in Business Administration in Accounting. Approximately 45 percent of DCAA staff have an advanced degree but few have a doctorate. While a doctorate is not required for any jobs at DCAA, Keith wanted to obtain this prestigious achievement for a multitude of reasons. “I’m a father of six kids and I’ve always wanted to be a role model to them and demonstrate what they can do when they set their mind to it. I also try to make my mom proud. She passed many years ago, but I know she would be proud of me, as Dr. Richardson.” Keith shares his story about getting his doctorate while working full time at DCAA and what he plans to do with his new degree.

I was already an adjunct professor and shared that I want to set a good example for my family, but I also wanted this for my career. I’m not directly involved in auditing right now, but having options for my future is important to me. I don’t know if my next job will take me back to auditing or keep me in the technical field, but DCAA has incredibly skilled and talented people throughout the agency. I want to make sure I’m prepared wherever I am.

Getting my doctorate was an intense project. The 200-page dissertation and the research it takes to understand what you’re writing about was more than I expected. Numerous people start their doctorate but are unable to finish their dissertation. I took an extra year to finish mine because of the feedback received from my chair during the process. Some people may not realize there’s a difference between getting a PhD and a doctorate. A PhD is still a doctorate but is typically focused academically. My doctorate is an achievement to my industry knowledge and is a result of applying research to the auditing world.

I cannot stress the importance of knowing your passions when considering a doctorate degree. I don’t know if I would’ve made it all the way through the process if I didn’t have the passion and self-motivation. There are major challenges with getting a doctorate, especially if you’re working and have a family. When I look at my degree, I think about how far I’ve come. I was an unsure kid held back in the sixth grade and trailed my twin sister through high school; now, I am proud to share my education, achievements, and my journey.