Should You Pursue a DBA?

“DBA? What is that?” you might be wondering. “Is an MBA no longer enough? Which option should I choose?”

If you are deciding whether or not to earn an advanced degree in business administration, you should consider several key points before you act. Here are three questions to ask yourself about earning a DBA:

What is a DBA?

A DBA, or Doctor of Business Administration, is a terminal degree in business. It is more advanced than pursuing an MBA, but less well known than an MBA or a PhD in the same field. An MBA, or Master of Business Administration, typically takes one to three years to complete. Like a PhD in business administration, a DBA takes a minimum of three years to complete, though it may extend to five or more years. Both a DBA and a PhD combine formal coursework with extensive research, and candidates must have advanced critical thinking and analytical skills in order to succeed. While earning a PhD in business administration involves creating new theory, students in a DBA program apply theory to business, effectively putting their research into action. In other words, DBA candidates not only perform quantitative and qualitative data analysis on practical business issues, they also implement their findings in actual corporate situations.

Who should earn a DBA?

A Doctor of Business Administration can certainly position you for business success. DBA and PhD candidates often wish to expand their knowledge of areas like marketing, organizational behavior, and strategy. A PhD in business administration can lead to a research career at a university, in government, or at a business, whereas graduates of a DBA program often go on to become administrators, consultants, entrepreneurs, or executives in their particular area of business. So – if you are interested in applying in-depth research to the business world at a senior level in the public or private sector, then you should explore the possibility of earning a Doctor of Business Administration.

Should you earn a DBA?

Is your goal to perform intense research with a cohort of like-minded thinkers and leaders? Would you like to apply your research to actual business practices? Do you enjoy developing studies on managerial functions and policies, and are you willing to share your results in research publications? If your answer is yes, consider investigating DBA programs at several universities, and try to determine how they can help you advance your career. Look at institutions that focus not only on your current industry, but also on areas that you would like to study and transition into. Also examine the career paths of alumni from those programs – could you translate their trajectories into personal success? If you are not interested in using cutting-edge, critical reasoning to solve high-level business problems, or if you are not interested in employing methods from various disciplines to address corporate issues on a global scale, this path may not be for you.

Before applying to any higher education program, consider your desired career path. Like pursuing an MBA, earning a Doctor of Business Administration requires a significant investment of your time, effort, and money. Whether it takes three, four, five, or more years, a DBA can help you shift your priorities from simply working in your current job to advancing your future career. With that investment, you have the opportunity to transform the world of business and management with the expert knowledge, sophisticated analysis, and invaluable insights gained from your Doctor of Business Administration degree.