What is a DBA Degree?
Is a Doctor of Business Administration worth pursuing? What can you do with one? We go over the basics of earning a Doctor of Business Administration (commonly referred to as a DBA degree).
A doctorate in business sets you apart from the crowd, signifying to employers that you possess not only business proficiency but also a commitment to personal and organizational growth. A DBA degree goes one step further by demonstrating a desire to apply high-level business education to solve problems and seek solutions in the workplace.
Perhaps you’ve heard of a Doctor of Business Administration but you’re not quite sure what it is. Perhaps you know what it is but you’re not sure if it’s for you. We’ve addressed some common questions below about this very practical, but lesser known, degree.
What is a DBA degree?
A Doctor of Business Administration or DBA degree is a terminal, business-focused degree that provides practical knowledge that can be directly applied in the workplace.
What’s taught in a DBA program?
A doctorate of business administration program will teach you about business theory and practice and will explore problems that are common in any business and in all management roles. DBA programs typically include courses on contemporary business challenges, business management, organizational leadership, business innovation, and strategic business decisions. Doctoral degree programs also include courses in research methods so that students learn to conduct and evaluate research. DBA programs teach you qualitative and quantitative methodologies for business research and quantitative business data analysis, which you’ll be able to apply to any organization.
Many DBA degree programs offer specializations that enable students to focus on a particular field of study:
- A specialization in Entrepreneurship includes courses on business-to-business marketing, innovation management, and entrepreneurial finance.
- You can take courses in ethics and law, managing healthcare delivery, and managerial decision-making with a Healthcare Management specialization.
- Study strategic partnerships, succession planning, and organizational agility in a Human Resource Management specialization.
- Prepare for a chief business role with a Leadership specialization. In this area of study, you can learn about multicultural management, sustainability, and change management.
- You could also create your own learning path with a Self-Designed specialization. When designing your own specialization, you could choose from courses in subjects ranging from HR management to healthcare management and from leadership to entrepreneurship.
What is taught in a DBA program are courses that educate and empower business professionals to design innovative solutions to the complex contemporary challenges that all businesses encounter.
Is a DBA equivalent to a PhD in Business Administration?
Although both are focused on business and both are doctoral degrees that enable graduates to use the title “doctor,” a DBA degree and a PhD in Business Administration are quite different. A PhD in Business Administration is a research-oriented doctoral degree ideal for those interested in pursuing a career in academia and contributing to business scholarship. A DBA degree focuses on theoretical knowledge that can be applied to the practice of business and business management.
“I quickly realized that Walden’s DBA program would have a major impact on how I work in both my government and nonprofit leadership positions. I’ve been able to apply the knowledge in my global-supply course and implement forecasting in the government’s budget process. I also intend to develop our nonprofit’s business plan using the knowledge from my market research course.”
—Steven M. Brown
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Why get a DBA degree?
Whether you pursue a DBA degree on campus or online, DBA programs focus on providing students with real-world, business-oriented critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Earning a doctorate in business administration will equip you with working knowledge based on the latest business research, theories, and trends. This education not only identifies you as an expert in your field, but results in a tangible set of management and decision-making skills that may qualify you for senior-level leadership positions and new career opportunities. It also prepares you with advanced skills that are necessary for conducting real-world quantitative and qualitative research and publishing in research publications.
Is a DBA worth it?
Seeking any kind of doctorate, in business or otherwise, is a personal decision. It requires a significant commitment of time, effort, and money. While this commitment can be great, the professional and financial payoff can be great as well. If you have a passion for business—and the ambition to pursue a rigorous education—a DBA degree may be for you.
What can I do with a doctorate in business administration?
From senior management positions to consulting to running your own successful business, a DBA degree can open up a wide range of professional opportunities in a variety of settings. Here’s just a sampling of jobs you can pursue with a Doctor of Business Administration:*
- Private and nonprofit sectors
- Management/chief executive officer
- Entrepreneur/business owner
- Director of human resources
- Organizational development manager
- Nonprofit executive director
- Strategic planner
- Research analyst
- Healthcare executive
- Executive administrator
- Government program manager
The careers you can pursue with a DBA degree are as diverse as the people who hold the degree itself.
On campus or online? DBA programs that meet your needs.
Like the decision to pursue the degree itself, choosing how you’ll earn your DBA degree is personal. Many busy professionals choose online DBA programs due to work and family commitments that make it difficult to attend traditional campus-based programs.
While some students prefer the in-person communication that comes with brick-and-mortar institutions, online DBA programs provide the freedom to earn your degree on your own schedule and at your own pace. If you’re interested in pursuing your DBA online, explore how Walden University’s Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)-accredited online DBA degree program can help you meet your personal and professional goals.
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.
*Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
Walden’s BS in Business Administration, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), and PhD in Management programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
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