"Degree-wise, a BS/BEng/BSc/whatever merely says that you've been taught the skills to do stuff competently in your area of work, nothing else. Academic success doesn't start until PhD level, which is the point where you're actually making a contribution to the knowledge in your field."
I'm not sure I can subscibe entirely to this statement.
I know many Bachelors degree people, and even more PhDs, who could hardly be said to be competent in their area of work at all. And there are many PhDs who are not academics but some BS/BSc people who are. And there are many, many BS/BSc people who are making a great contribution to knowledge in their field.
Like others above I'd be inclined to reserve the word "academic" for someone (could be a variety of levels) working in an academic institution of some sort.