This article describes what a Doctor of Business (DBA) degree is and why a business professional may consider earning it. The article also discusses the advantages of earning this advanced business degree in terms of career and salary potential. Last, it provides details of a good online doctoral business degree program.
What Is a Doctor of Business Degree?
The doctor of business administration degree is a three or four year doctoral degree that focuses on the application of business theory. It is designed for highly experienced business professionals with a great deal of managerial experience who want to transform their business practice.
DBA students typically investigate applied business research problems. For example, you may study how a customer base responds to new pricing strategies. Or, you may study how effective the social media strategy is for a company. Many students in DBA programs focus on business issues in their own organizations for their dissertation.
The DBA varies a good deal from a Ph.D. in business program, which is more focused upon professionals who want to have careers in business research for colleges, universities or think tanks. Ph.D. students often study issues that are more theoretical, such as how international financial markets respond under conditions of recession, or how the characteristics of people on a project can affect the outcome of the project.
The DBA program teaches aspects of business such as globalization, innovation, entrepreneurship, and qualitative and and quantitative research methods.
The vast majority of graduates from a DBA program are promoted in their own or another organization into a senior executive position. Graduates from a Ph.D. program often become professors or full time university faculty. Their primary focus will be on teaching and research.
A typical curriculum in a DBA program may include these types of courses:
- Understanding the Organization Through Management and Organizational Theory
- Problem Solving Using Quantitative Research Techniques
- Scientific Inquiry Through Applied Research
- Integrative Perspectives on Business Knowledge
- Problem Solving Using Qualitative Research Methods
- Creation and Dissemination of Business Knowledge
- Advanced Quantitative Research Methods
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the New Economy
Why Earn a Doctor of Business Degree?
A doctoral degree in business will provide you with real world, business-focused critical thinking and problem solving skills. Earning this degree will give you knowledge that is based upon the very latest business theories, trends and research. This vital knowledge will show your or other employers that you are a business expert in your field.
Earning a DBA also provides you with a tangible set of decision making and management tools that may give you the qualifications to advance to senior level leadership roles.
A DBA further provides you with a higher level of education than most business professionals, who stop at the MBA level. According to US News and World Report, MBAs are becoming so common that they are not valued as much as they once were. The recent US News article states that with so many professionals having an MBA and with so many programs to choose from, there are signs that the MBA is in decline.
Aspiring C-suite executives who want to stand out from the pack, some experts say, can do so by earning their doctorate. Admission to doctoral programs in business is highly competitive. Anyone who gets into and graduates from doctoral business school has indeed done something of great value.
Many professors and business education experts also argue that earning your DBA provides you with a much deeper knowledge of advanced business principles that most MBA programs never touch. There is a great deal of business knowledge in MBA programs that may be mentioned briefly, but there are theories, concepts and challenges in business that MBA programs do not have the time to really study. The DBA program allows you to study those subjects in detail.
The last good reason to earn your DBA is that employment for business and financial operations professionals is growing quickly. It is anticipated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that these fields will grow at 8% by 2024. This means the entire business and finance industry in the US will add 632,000 jobs in the next several years.
There are specific business professional positions that will grow at an even faster pace, such as management analyst. This profession will experience growth of 14% by 2024.
Online Doctor of Business Degree Option
Liberty University offers a 100% online DBA that provides you with advanced business training in management, HR, marketing, and other vital business fields. This degree features specialized classes that will offer you the knowledge, skills and values needed to advance your business management career to the highest levels.
This DBA is a terminal degree that gives students the management, leadership and specialized business skills that make one stand out as a distinguished industry leader.
The Liberty program consists of 60 total hours, and you may transfer up to 15 hours of courses, with approval. You also may transfer up to 12 hours from an MBA specialization. Students also are required to complete an applied doctoral research project in lieu of a traditional dissertation.
One of the major advantages of this online DBA program is the high number of concentrations students can choose from. If you are working in a specific industry or occupation, you will find that Liberty’s program provides you with ample opportunity to really specialize on your career speciality:
- Information Systems
- Nonprofit Leadership and Management
- Project Management
- Strategic Management
- Supply Chain Management
One of the most popular specialties in this DBA program is finance. This specialty is made to expand on your MBA level of finance. It provides you with the tools that you need to succeed in the business of finance. The curriculum is made with an emphasis on financial leadership, and the strategies that are best for serving the needs of your clients and company.
You will study these types of concepts:
- Qualitative and case study methods for research in business
- Finance at the managerial level
- Advanced analysis of financial statements
- Mergers and acquisitions
Students who graduate with this DBA in finance often work as financial managers, chief financial officers, treasurers and controllers for large companies.
Professionals who earn their DBA will truly stand out from a field of job applicants who almost always have their MBA, but few have gone on to earn a doctoral degree. Also, business and finance jobs are growing, and with such a unique degree, you will be in strong position to work in upper level management, director and executive business positions for years to come.
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- Temple University. DBA vs Ph.D. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.fox.temple.edu/cms_academics/dba/dba-vs-phd/
- Amidst MBA Inflation, Executives Recommend Business Doctorates. (2012). Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2012/02/17/amidst-mba-inflation-executives-recommend-business-doctorates
- Business and Finance Occupations. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm