I was trying to upgrade Mediawiki on my shared hosting GRID account at Media Temple but got a message that the version of PHP was too old.  I checked and the account was using a newer version.  I then found that the SSH shell could be using a different version of PHP. 

This can be tested by entering:

php –v

So, opened a support chat with Media Temple and found out that they have aliased different PHP versions.  So instead of typing in “php”, you could type in “php-latest” and then a command.