Is a DBA More Valuable than a PhD?

If you are looking to climb to the highest levels of business, you might know you need to complete an advanced degree. Many people stop at a masters’ degree; however, the business world has become quite competitive and many businesses that are looking for accomplished business leaders to fill positions in their organisations require that you have a doctorate degree. There is always a confusion between a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in business administration. So, what is the difference between the two and is one more valuable than the other?

What is a Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration?

The PhD is the final advanced degree that you can achieve in a university in a given field. Because of its position, it is highly valued and those who have it will often occupy the highest positions in their respective fields. Many also opt to teach in different colleges and universities because their PhD confers them advanced knowledge in their respective fields.

The PhD is a research-based advanced degree with a duration of between five and eight years depending on the discipline. Its name might be misleading for some because in almost all cases it has nothing to do with philosophy as it is awarded in most disciplines.

In business, a PhD in business administration is a research degree tailored for those who would like to go into academia or research. Those who pursue this degree carry out extensive research that helps improve business theory and knowledge.

Finding a PhD Programme

If you are looking to enrol in a PhD programme, you will need to have completed a master’s degree first. In some specific cases, however, it is possible to pursue a PhD after completing a bachelor’s degree, although that is quite rare.

It is also common for candidates to be required to have some experience in their given field, for example, in a managerial or administrative position. Some universities also allow supervisors to enrol qualified candidates into PhD programmes before they complete their master’s degrees.

While most universities require that you attend some classes for your PhD programme, there is an increasing number of universities that have online PhD programmes. These programmes are extremely beneficial for people who are already working and want to complete the advanced degree as they do so.

What is a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)?

The DBA is the highest academic management degree in business. It is a postgraduate degree that takes three to six years to complete depending on the institution. The DBA is a result of demand from senior managers, business leaders and professionals who require a degree that acknowledges their extensive knowledge, skills, and experience in business.

However, this has changed in recent years as the degree has become more research focused. The main focus now is using research to solve complex business problems and present literature detailing, explaining and defending solutions to complex business challenges. It also focuses on gathering and acquiring knowledge acquired from the latest business theories and research. The DBA follows the MBA (Master’s in Business Administration) degree. Enrolling in a DBA programme often requires several years of experience in business. Contrary to the PhD in Business Administration, the DBA focuses on the business side of things, helping build excellent business leaders and problem solvers.

Finding a DBA Programme

With how popular the degree has become, it is now a lot easier to find universities offering the programme. Because most of these programmes are aimed at working professionals, there are lots of online options. Universities like Aston University offer an online DBA programme for qualifying candidates, with candidates able to complete the program within four years.

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What are the Differences Between a PhD and a DBA?

There are indeed several differences between these two degrees. The first one is the scope of the research needed for the programmes. PhD students are required to formulate new theories or create new approaches to theories that already exist. Their research has to unearth gaps in existing theories or other important issues in the business world.

DBA students focus on combining their research with existing business challenges. Many of these challenges are those they may have come across in their work environments.

The second difference is the careers candidates from both camps aim for. Since PhDs are research degrees, those who attain them will usually go into academia, where they can work as professors or researchers, conducting research that grows the body of knowledge in a specific area.

DBAs are tailored for those who would like to work in a business environment. These are candidates who want to climb the corporate ladder and reach the highest management levels. DBAs also allow graduates to get into consulting. Because of the research component in the programme, these graduates can also work in research, teach and even publish in relevant academic journals.

The last difference is time engagement. While there are online and part-time PhD programmes available, there are many more DBA online programmes available since this degree is targeted towards working business professionals.

Choosing Between PhDs and DBAs

If you are just starting out with your career and are interested in research, a PhD is the better option for you. This is especially true for those who are interested in a single subject or business theory. DBA candidates will often have more experience than their PhD counterparts which means they are often older. They also have an MBA degree and work in managerial positions.

So, which is More Valuable?

The real answer is that it depends. A PhD or DBA will be more valuable to you depending on your career goals and the fields you would like to work in. However, a DBA allows you to work in a business environment as well as a research one. This can make it more valuable for those who want more career options. Both of these degrees give you a doctor’s status which means they have the same standing, status and acknowledgement. They are just aimed at different people and areas of focus.

There you have it! You now understand the difference between a PhD in Business Administration and a Doctor in Business Administration. You are now in a better position to choose one depending on how you want your career to look and where you want it to go.