DBA vs MBA: Which Business Administration Degree Is Right For You?


For anyone looking to excel in the field of business, the idea of a postgraduate degree has probably crossed your mind. In doing any research, you will come across a DBA and an MBA. While you’re going to want to find out the DBA degree’s meaning, you’ll also be questioning, “What degree is an MBA?” 


You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will answer all your questions and explain highlight all essential differences looking atDBA vs. MBA. 


Let’s get to it! 



Business professionals collaboratingSource: Pexels




What is a DBA? 


A DBA stands for Doctor of Business Administration. When you search the acronym, DBA, you may come across the definition of “doing business as.” So, for starters, we are clarifying that we are not talking about doing business as, but rather the DBA degree meaning. 


A Doctor of Administration program is typically designed to build even further upon the knowledge and skills that one would gain in an MBA program. DBA programs are said to combine theory, professional experience, and scientific research together so that graduates are able to come up with solutions to problems and gain deeper insight into the field of business. 




What is an MBA? 


An MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. The business school degree provides students with a holistic view of business that incorporates accounting, finance, and marketing, among other subject matter. As students go through the program, they can expect to enhance their skills, including leadership skills. 


In all cases, students will have to first obtain a bachelor’s degree to enroll in a master’s degree. In many instances, they will also have some years of practical experience under their belt before earning this postgraduate degree. 


With an MBA on your resume, you gain a competitive advantage over applicants without it. Additionally, you can expand your career opportunities for high-level positions and expect to increase your earning potential. 




DBA vs. MBA: Job Prospects 


While these degrees do share some things in common, they are considered and chosen for different reasons. 


By graduating from a DBA program, you can expect to gain deep knowledge on theory and research that can be applied in business settings. A DBA degree can also equip you to work in many settings, especially senior roles and those that rely on research methods to succeed. 


For example, graduates who hold a Doctor of Business Administration can obtain positions in:


  • Private consulting 
  • Management 
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Education administration 
  • Government roles 



Similarly, those with an MBA can also work in executive and senior-level positions. MBA graduates tend to find roles as:


  • Financial advisors 
  • Investment bankers
  • IT managers 
  • Marketing manager 
  • Operations manager
  • HR managers 




DBA vs. MBA: Key Differences 


While both degrees are postgraduate degrees, there are still differences to know when comparing a DBA vs. MBA. 



Program Length 


  • MBA: If you enroll full-time, you can expect an MBA to last two years. Alternatively, you can enroll in an accelerated program that can take one year to complete. Or, if you enroll in an online program, you may have the option to learn at your own pace. 
  • DBA: DBAs vary in length, but they generally take between three to five years to complete. 





  • MBA: An MBA is geared towards equipping students with the general knowledge that they need for management, with a focus on the practical aspects of the business. 
  • DBA: A DBA goes beyond an MBA and trains students in business research and equips them to know how to handle complex business problems and understand advanced topics. It is more on the theoretical than the practical side. 




Degree Cost 


There’s a big caveat to make note of when discussing the costs of a DBA vs. MBA degree. That is, the cost varies greatly based on the institution, location, and type of program (online versus in-person). 


For comparison’s sake, let’s consider online programs, which tend to be more affordable than in-person options. 


  • MBA: The average cost for an online Master of Business Administration degree is $33,700, as per Affordable Colleges. 
  • DBA: U.S. News reports that students can expect to pay between $27,000 and $60,000 in total tuition for an online Doctor of Business Administration degree. 



Suffice it to say that you can find ways to cover the costs of either degree when you know your options. From financial aid to scholarships and grants, you are likely able to get financial assistance to earn either degree. 


Alternatively, you can enroll in an online and tuition-free program like the MBA from the University of the People. Our accredited program is entirely digital, which means that you can learn from anywhere and at any time. Additionally, the estimated total fees you can expect to pay to earn your Master of Business Administration from our institution is $2,940. Plus, if you need help covering these fees, you can obtain financial aid through scholarships, loans, or grants. 




MBA graduates from University of The People hard at workSource: Pexels



Which Degree is For Me? 


Choosing between a DBA vs. MBA is a highly subjective choice to make. It comes down to considering what your career goals are. It also will depend on your experience in both practical business settings and academia. 


Both degrees are meant for working professionals with an interest in business and high-level roles. If you wish to start your own business, then an MBA may be a better option as an entrepreneur for its practical teachings. 


If you’re looking to excel to your highest potential as a working professional in the field of business, then a DBA may be better suited. 


But again, there’s no right or wrong answer in totality. It really depends on what you’re looking to achieve. 




Final Thoughts 


With the knowledge and understanding of what a DBA vs. MBA entails, you can acknowledge your personal considerations and goals to find out which is a better fit for you. 


If you’re interested in learning more about the online and tuition-free MBA program at the University of the People, you can find the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) here. 



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