# In France, what title should I use on my CV with a Master's degree?

In France, students graduating from an École d'ingénieur (engineering school) receive a five-year diploma, named diplôme d'ingénieur, that is equivalent to a Master's degree one can get at universities.

However, one graduating from a university cannot use the title of ingénieur because its use is regulated by the law (see this aricle, in French). There is a list of écoles granted by the CTI, and students that graduated in those schools are (roughly) the only persons able to make official use of the titre d'ingénieur - at least just after graduation.

Here is my issue: I am going to get my Master's degree in CS from a university and I am for job application. The title of the diploma is Master mention Informatique (Master's degree in Computer Science).

Since I'm applying to engineering position (that are both opened for persons with a master's degree or a diplôme d'ingénieur), I would like to better phrase my résumé that way:

Jean PEUPLU - Ingénieur en intelligence artificielle et Big Data

(which translates to "Big Data and AI engineer")

However, the law seems to discourages me to do so. I would also add that the French corporate culture tends to be elitist when it come to the ingénieurs, and a misuse of the title may sharply annoy an overly diploma-framed recruiter. I could write something like :

Jean PEUPLU - Diplômé d'un master en intelligence artificielle et Big Data

(which translates to "Graduated of a Master's degree in AI and Big Data")

This is obviously ridiculous, unusual and long-winded. Any advises on how to cope with this? How can I phrase my degree obtained in an attractive way without having to use the ingénieur word?

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• How famous is your alma mater? Is it possible that using the name of the university can be more impressive than the degree? – OldPadawan Jul 21 '18 at 6:54
• @OldPadawan That's a good suggestion, but I don't think it is a usual thing for students coming from universities. It is very common to see that for ingénieurs, though. – Lyudline Jul 21 '18 at 7:35

I went to the university in France and faced the same issue. I ignored the elitism and used "Ingénieur" when I felt like it, never had issues with it.

Remember that on your CV title you can put the job/status you want, not necessarily the one you have (or studied for). You could keep "Ingénieur" or even use English naming, for instance :

• Analyste en intelligence artificielle et Big Data
• Architecte en intelligence artificielle et Big Data
• IA & Data scientist

You also have to take into account that as soon as the company has dedicated HR or commercial personnel, you can be sure they won't know what they are dealing with. They only look for keywords. And you have to go past them to have a real interview...
It's common (and sadly necessary) to exaggerate your knowledge and experience in your CV in order to have a shot at a job in most cases.

If you feel bad about it, know that IT consulting company may add stuff to their consultant CV in order to sell them (without their knowledge generally).

• Analyste exactely suits my needs. Thanks ! :-) – Lyudline Jul 26 '18 at 10:22

(Note: this answer applies to France only. Things may be very different in other French-speaking places.)

In France, it is very uncommon to use a title derived from a degree. Even someone who has a diplôme d'ingénieur would not introduce themselves as ingénieur Machin. There are a few professions where it is common to use titles (docteur X (medical doctor, not PhD), professeur X (surgeon, not professor, maître X (lawyer), …) but ingénieur isn't one, and the title goes with the job rather than with the diploma anyway.

If your current job title is ingénieur then you can write ingénieur next to your current position. This is not regulated by law and is unrelated to any diploma.

If you have a French diploma, write diplôme d'ingénieur in the diploma section of your CV if your diploma is, in fact, a diplôme d'ingénieur, and don't write diplôme d'ingénieur otherwise. If you have a diploma from a different country, give the original name and give an informal translation. Avoid using the exact phrase diplôme d'ingénieur if you aren't sure whether it would be considered equivalent.

Diplôme de master en intelligence artificielle et Big Data” is perfectly acceptable wording on a French CV, though you would usually state the overall discipline as well as the specialty: “Diplôme de master en informatique de l'Université de Pétaouchnok, spécialité intelligence artificielle et big data”.

• Merci pour votre réponse. J'ai l'impression que mon anglais n'a pas été très clair. En fait, ce que je cherche, c'est un titre à mettre à mon CV, juste en dessous de mon nom, pas un titre à ajouter à mon nom. Je sais bien que l'on dit M. Jean PEUPLU et non Ingénieur Jean PEUPLU. Par exemple, si j'étais diplômé d'une école d'ingénieur, j'aurai mis "Ingénieur en IA", mais là, je suis diplômé d'université, et je n'occupe pas encore de poste d'ingénieur, donc je ne peut pas me définir comme tel. J'espère que c'est plus clair :-) – Lyudline Jul 22 '18 at 21:21
• Je précise aussi que ma question ne porte pas sur la présentation de mon diplôme et de mon université. Je suis très fier de mon Master et je ne veux certainement pas le travestir ou le cacher. – Lyudline Jul 22 '18 at 21:23

Any advises on how to cope with this?

You say that the title given on your Degree is "Master mention Informatique", and that using the word Engineer (Ingénieur) may cause legal or college membership problems.

Given those things, and that you focused more on AI and Big Data, an alternative I can think of is (pardon my french, if I screw up) instead of using Engineer, replace it with Master:

Jean PEUPLU - Master en intelligence artificielle et Big Data

This avoids using the Engineer word, while still using the word Master (which is true, and besides sounds attractive) and focusing it on AI and Big Data.

• Actually, "Master" is the name of the diploma, not a title one can use (one could use maître, but it is of a specific use for lawyers). I tought about it, but it sounded weird to me. However, it might be the best option. I'll wait a bit for other answers, but I will most likely apply your advice. Thanks ! – Lyudline Jul 20 '18 at 22:18
• Glad I could help @Lyudline I suggest you wait to see what other users can suggest. Surely one of the French members of our community can give a better course of action :) – DarkCygnus Jul 20 '18 at 22:22

On peut dire, tout simplement:

Jean PEUPLU - Master en Sciences informatiques ou Jean PEUPLU - Master mention Informatique

et indiquer par ailleurs une spécialisation en IA et Big Data dans un encart bien visible en tête de CV (IA et Big data sont des mots-clés qu'il convient de mettre en évidence, sans devoir citer de diplôme). En effet, le CV reprend généralement le nom de l'institution diplômante, donc un employeur français saura juger de la réputation du diplôme en question. S'en tenir à l'intitulé d'origine n'est donc pas une mauvaise idée...

Même si "Master" n'est pas un titre, un CV se veut en effet concis et il est donc courant de n'y indiquer que l'intitulé du diplôme (au lieu de "diplômé de ..."). Par ailleurs, le titre de "Maître" est réservé aux avocats, donc il faut l'éviter encore plus que celui d'Ingénieur.

Remarque : contrairement au Canada ou à la Belgique, où "Master" et "Maîtrise" sont interchangeables, les deux termes se rapportent à des durées d'études différentes en France:

• "Maîtrise" correspond à 4 ans d'études universitaires en France ("ancien" système, équivalent à l'ancienne licence en Belgique)

• "Master" correspond à 5 ans d'études universitaires (réforme Licence-Master-Doctorat qui a débuté en 2002 dans le cadre du processus de Bologne pour harmoniser les systèmes nationaux de 47 états.)

Ces différences ont quelques fois posé des soucis de compréhension aux employeurs, mais maintenant "Master = 5 ans" est bien assimilé.

I've been there before and used the long winded "Titulaire d'un master en..." in my resumé. Ironically, it turns out I have since been hired for multiple jobs whose titles had "engineer" in them and where I was referenced as an engineer everywhere in the company and paid as such.

This shows that for a thankfully significant number of employers, skills really come first and specific degrees second. However, I've come across others in France that won't even have you in an interview if you lack the right credentials, no matter your experience. This is indeed unfair and elitist - I concluded that I wouldn't want to work for companies with that kind of mindset anyway.

To try and avoid those rebuttals, I wouldn't go so far as to use Engineer as the title of my resumé as Pierre suggests since I don't want to leave myself open to legal problems if things go south with an employer. But I do mention the engineer job titles in the Experience section of the CV. I realize that this is probably not going to help you much if you're fresh out of school, but this is just to show how hypocritical the system is and how you can try to game it.

Also, as someone suggested, it might be better to swap diploma for a formula that reflects your field of expertise more precisely:

Spécialiste en intelligence artificielle et Big Data

Expert Deep Learning et Big Data

Développeur junior en intelligence artificielle et Big Data

...

It is in any case a good idea to adapt your CV - including the title - to each recruiter.