What is a Doctor Business Administration?
While at one time an M.B.A. made you a member of an elite, executive club, they are becoming more and more commonplace in today’s job market. As a result, executives who really want to stand out from the crowd are beginning to consider Doctor Business Administration (D.B.A.) degrees.
Doctor Business Administration degrees were at one time almost purely focused on academics and research, like many Ph.D. programs, however, in today’s business world, these programs have become more practical and intended to provide executives with the advanced business tools needed to stay competitive in a fast-paced and highly aggressive market.
A program at Oklahoma State University aims for a mix of the original academic degree and the practical degree. It is described as a “true research-based Ph.D.,” but it has been marketed to executives who wish to continue inhabiting the boardroom, rather than ascend the Ivory Tower of academia.
Ph.D. programs have a very different goal than M.B.A. programs. Graduate students gain in-depth knowledge that they can apply practically in their field, but it is tested theory. Ph.D. students, on the other hand, produce new insights and innovative research discoveries that haven’t been previously studied. The new program at Oklahoma State is about providing a venue for some of the top executives in their fields to explore new insights and face new challenges that might enervate the business world.
While the students of Oklahoma State’s innovative program are all in their mid-50s and above, with master’s degrees, and extremely successful careers, putting younger students out of the running for the program, their presence at the school can be a major benefit to the other business students. These Ph.D. students can share their experience and ideas with undergraduate and M.B.A. students, providing a substantial benefit to Oklahoma State’s Business program, over other schools. If this program proves to be successful, other Universities are sure to look into building similar programs.
Another benefit to a D.B.A. over an M.B.A. is it teaches students to build perspective and think critically about why situations occur the way they do in organizations. Rather than just learning to handle situations or learning what tools are needed to do things, students gain insight into how to prevent problems or steer the business in the direction they wish it to go. These skills are helpful in the top levels of organizations, and can be used to obtain board positions with nonprofits and local corporations.
A Doctor Business Administration degree helps students to stand out among the competition and build skills in analysis, critical thinking, and forward thinking that go above and beyond what an M.B.A. program teaches. An executive with a D.B.A. is not only more likely to be hired out of the plethora of M.B.A.-holding applicants but often at a higher level.
Chief Executive Officer General and Operations Managers Business Professor
Degree Required M.B.A M.B.A. M.B.A., D.B.A. preferred
Education Field of Study Business disciplines Business disciplines Business disciplines
Training Required Work experience Work experience None required
Job Growth (2012-2022) 5%* 12%* 19% (all postsecondary teachers)*
Median Salary (2014) $173,320* $97,270* $73,320*
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics