If you currently hold a master’s degree in any area of business and are considering further study in this field, you may be wondering which of these routes to go down. Do you enroll in a DBA or a PhD program?
In many ways, they are very similar. The expectations and outcomes are almost the same, and completing either will earn you the title of “Doctor.” So, what recommends one course of study over the other?
Well, that all depends on you. Let’s take a look at what the DBA is, how it is different from a PhD, and all the reasons you might choose to study a DBA instead of a PhD in Business Management.
What is a DBA?
A DBA degree is a Doctorate in Business Administration. In addition to holding a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, DBA candidates should also have demonstrable experience of working within a professional business environment.
The aim of the qualification is to advance your understanding of your chosen business sector (e.g., finance, marketing, etc.). It is a research project, assessed by the submission of a lengthy dissertation, which details the findings of your investigation.
What is a PhD?
“PhD” stands for “Doctor of Philosophy.” You need similar qualifications to get into a PhD program as you do a DBA—undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in a relevant subject—but experience outside of academia is not usually necessary.
PhD candidates conduct independent research and produce a dissertation that says something new and original about their field of study. This is followed by an oral examination, also called a viva, in which the student must defend their thesis to a panel of experts. This determines the outcome of the award.
What is the difference between a DBA and a PhD?
At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the DBA and the PhD. Both require you to:
- Hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in a relevant discipline.
- Conduct independent research on a topic of your choosing.
- Produce a dissertation that progresses knowledge in your field of study.
The rewards are also very similar. The benefits of studying either a DBA or a PhD include:
- Being able to use the title “Doctor.”
- The research skills you gain from completing either a DBA or a PhD will stand you in good stead for your future career, whether that’s in business or academia.
- Better job prospects. You will be able to work at a higher level—and your salary will probably increase—if you’ve got a DBA or a PhD, as these degrees are among the highest-level educational qualifications you can achieve.
It’s when you start thinking about future positions and career directions that things change. Before you start a doctoral qualification, you’ll probably have some idea of what you want to do with it.
The difference between a DBA and a PhD is the direction the degree will take you in after you’ve graduated.
PhDs, as the name might suggest, are more theoretical than business-oriented. The aim is to get your dissertation published, whether in a journal or as a book or part of a book. A PhD in Business Management might therefore lead to a career in academia, lecturing and conducting further research at a university.
The emphasis after completing a DBA is very different. Once you have been awarded your doctorate, it is expected that you will then return to and apply these findings in the workplace, making it a much more practical course of study.
Reasons to Study a DBA Degree instead of PhD in Business Management
- You are looking to advance your career in the business sphere, targeting senior, executive, or even directorship positions.
- You are keen to discover new information about, and facilitate a better understanding of, your corporate niche.
- Your work history demonstrates your achievements better than your previous academic qualifications can, whether that’s because they are more relevant to your research topic, or because they are more recent.
- It will set you apart from other candidates in the job market and give you many more opportunities in the business world, compared to your prospects after completing a PhD.
- The skills you will learn in a DBA program are different to those you will gain from a PhD. DBAs teach practical business skills, including innovation, lateral thinking, and problem-solving. While you may also get these from studying for a PhD, those programs are more research-focused, to prepare candidates for a career in academia.
Why Study at the EU Business School?
Are you interested in becoming a Doctor of Business Administration?
The EU Business School offers a Doctorate in Business Administration program at its beautiful campus in Geneva, Switzerland, located right at the foot of the Alps. The Swiss capital is famous for being the headquarters of many international organizations, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, and the Red Cross.
In addition to stunning scenery and invaluable company visits and networking events, we provide world-class instruction, delivered by a combination of highly qualified academic staff, consultants, and global business leaders, to ensure you come away with a balanced perspective and a well-rounded set of skills.
You will be taught all the research and analytical skills you need to write your dissertation, plus gain valuable insider knowledge that can be applied in the wider corporate world.
See what previous students of this program have to say about it, plus find out all the information you need to apply, on the course information page. You can also request additional program details through the contact form on our website.