What is A Doctor Of Business Administration and Do I Need One?


Degrees in business administration are a great choice for those interested in business, leadership and management. They begin with an undergraduate degree like an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree and can extend to becoming a doctor of business administration or earning a PhD in the discipline.


Business administration entails business practices, management, theory, and related business disciplines to prepare students to understand all that businesses require to run smoothly. This includes the study of human resources, finance, marketing, management and more.


For those who have earned their MBA in Business Administration and wish to continue developing their skills, a DBA (or perhaps a PhD) is the next step. Earning a degree in the field at any level opens up an immense amount of job opportunities in an increasingly connected and globalized world.



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What is a Doctor of Business Administration?

A Doctor of Administration (DBA) is a degree often pursued by professionals who already have an MBA and years of work experience under their belt. The reason to get the degree is to further their education, intellectually challenge themselves, and open up more advanced career opportunities within the field of business. Or, perhaps those who earn their DBA are interested in pursuing research that pertains to their current professional job title.


Since the degree is post-MBA, those who enroll in a DBA program tend to be older and have a fair amount of work experience.



How is it Different From a PhD?

Both a DBA and PhD are postgraduate degrees in Business Administration and are equally reputable in terms of academic achievement. They are alike in the fact that they require heavy research, a doctoral dissertation and a culminating exam. However, they also both have their fair share of differences.


For example, a PhD is usually desired by those who wish to perform continued academic work, such as to become a professor. PhD candidates will generally teach, perform research,and have their work published in books and journals. Or, those with a PhD in Business Administration work as senior researchers in government or businesses.


On the other hand, those who earn their DBA more often than not choose to remain in the workforce as the education focuses on the application of theory. With the degree, they can also perform research. With the title and designation of DBA, they open more opportunities for career advancement. Furthermore, they may also be invited to serve as guest lecturers at colleges or even be an adjunct professor.



Why Get a DBA Degree?

A DBA signals to employees that you are proficient in business and value personal growth. With the degree, you will be able to approach business problems with high-level solutions and critical thinking skills. Not only will you be considered an expert in the field, but you will also be able to qualify for senior-level leadership positions and consultancy roles.



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What Job Can I Get with a DBA?

Since you’re at the top of the field with a DBA, you can work in private, public, education, and government positions. Often, those with a DBA are either in the C-Suite of businesses or serve as consultants for the private and public sector, faculty within education, or are entrepreneurs and business owners.



Where to Earn a Doctor of Business Administration Degree

Choosing where to earn your DBA is a personal and subjective consideration. There are programs available at traditional on-campus institutions and there are programs online. There is an option to earn your DBA part-time so that you can continue to work during the studies.


Many busy business professionals opt for an online program because online institutions offer unparalleled flexibility and accessibility. For the most part, online programs require the completion of 54 to 60 credits to graduate with a DBA. For full-time students, this can take three to five years to complete. Each credit costs between $500 to $1,000 for online programs, so students can expect to pay $27,000 to $60,000 for tuition fees.



Job Opportunities and Earning Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment in top-level positions within business is expected to grow by 8% between 2016 and 2026. In the same time period, the demand for management consultants will increase by 12%, so the job opportunities are plenty for those with their DBA.


These positions are lucrative in nature, earning a median salary of $103,950. For those with the CEO title, the median salary for a DBA graduate is $163,896.



DBA Requirements: MBA, First

To apply for DBA programs, you must first earn your MBA. The great news is that you can earn your MBA online, too. At University of the People, earning your MBA online is a unique experience that is also tuition-free! This means that the cost to earn your MBA is around $2,460, as opposed to traditional institutions that can cost between $100,000-$200,000.


Since UoPeople is an entirely online, accredited American institution, the program is very flexible, which means that students can keep their jobs while earning their degree and/or can maintain any other existing responsibilities, like raising a family. With nothing more than an internet connection, students are able to study whenever and wherever they choose to do so.


The global institution boasts students from over 200 countries and territories. Through the pedagogical model of study, students interact highly with one another through online discussions and peer-to-peer learning and grading systems. Therefore, the sharing of diverse perspectives undoubtedly occurs and students are able to understand how cultures and businesses are around the world.



Final Thoughts

If business administration is calling your name, a DBA could be your end goal. The challenging degree is heavily research based and will prepare you to become a leader in any business, even your own. To better assess the type of degree you need to accomplish your goals, the first step is to write down what your goals are so that you can see what degree you may need.


It could be that a Bachelor’s degree will be enough, or even an MBA. However, if continued education is what you desire most, a PhD or DBA could be the way you go, depending on if you want to work in a professional setting or focus on academia. The choice is yours, and the opportunities to earn the degree are plenty.




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