Completing a Doctor of Business Administration program is more possible if you cultivate a few important skills.

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Are you looking to advance your business career to the highest levels? If so, you may be considering earning a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). Designed for experienced professionals who desire the deeper knowledge they need to make a real difference, a DBA degree program can put you in the position to be an important leader in your industry.

The question is: Do you have what it takes to succeed in a top DBA program? Here are four essential skills you’ll need.

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Curiosity

Curiosity is often cited as one of the most important skills in modern business.1 It’s also one of the most important skills for anyone earning a doctorate. If you’re not curious, you’re likely to struggle in advanced courses that dive deep into complex ideas. These courses demand critical thinking, which is fueled by the impulse to ask “why?” and “what if?”

Intense curiosity is also needed for your capstone project. What is a capstone project? It’s the project you must complete to earn your doctorate in business. In some DBA degree programs, the capstone can either be a doctoral study (where you examine a problem in business and then develop and study an original solution) or a consulting capstone (where you study a real world organization and coach that organization to improve performance and/or overcome challenges). In both kinds of capstones, the more curious you are, the more you’ll be able to learn and the more original your thinking will be—which are keys to completing a successful capstone.

Focus

In business, it’s not uncommon to be pulled in multiple directions at once. And you’ve probably learned that, in order to get anything meaningful done, you have to be able to tune out the noise and focus on the most pressing task. It’s a key skill and, if you’ve mastered it, it will serve you well in a doctoral degree program.

When you’re taking advanced business courses you’ll have to be able to concentrate for significant periods of time in order to learn new knowledge and gain vital research skills. And when you start your capstone, you’ll have to be able to focus intently on each stage of the process in order to produce the kind of doctoral study or consulting capstone that will earn you a doctorate in business.

Dedication

According to the Council of Graduate Schools, only 57% of students nationwide who begin a doctoral program complete their program within 10 years.2 That fact doesn’t mean you can’t earn your DBA sooner, but it does highlight the need for dedication.

Earning a Doctor of Business Administration requires you to keep at it, day after day, month after month. If you’re trying to simultaneously work full time and/or handle family responsibilities, you have to be dedicated enough that you can balance your education with the rest of your obligations. Fortunately, with online learning, finding that balance is more possible than it once was.

When you choose an online DBA program, you won’t be required to move to be near a university campus. You can remain right where you are and complete your coursework via the internet. This can help you better manage your responsibilities—as can online education’s flexible scheduling. Instead of taking classes at fixed times during the day, an online DBA will allow you to choose when you attend class. This feature makes it possible to work an online DBA degree around your other responsibilities, which can, in turn, help you give your program the dedication it needs.

Flexibility

The path to earning a doctoral degree is rarely consistent, mostly due to the capstone project. There will be periods when you’ll need to devote a lot of time to research, writing, or preparing to defend your proposal or project. If you elect for the consulting capstone, there may be days when the organization you’re studying/helping has a lot of time for you and days when it doesn’t. To successfully complete the capstone, you have to be skilled at adapting to the situation at hand and able to change your schedule and focus to fit the needs of your DBA.

Remaining flexible can be a challenge for some, but online learning can help. The flexible scheduling of your coursework can prepare you to handle the ebbs and flows of your capstone project. Plus, at an online university, many of the resources—like the library and tutorials on research and writing—are available 24/7, giving you the ability to concentrate on your online DBA degree whenever you need to. If you want to take your business career further, a DBA can be a perfect choice. And online learning can make that choice possible.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Doctor of Business Administration degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

1 Source: https://hbr.org/2018/09/curiosity
2 Source: http://cgsnet.org/cgs occasional paper series/university georgia/chapter 1

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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