What’s a DBA degree? Is it worth pursuing? And what can you do with one? We go over the basics of earning a Doctor of Business Administration.

Business man and women in a meetingA doctorate in business sets you apart from the crowd, signifying to employers 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 degree (commonly referred to as a DBA degree) 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 the 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.

How does a DBA degree differ from a PhD in Business Administration?

Although both are focused on business, 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
Walden University
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Student

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.

With a Doctor of Business Administration, you are also set apart from those that concluded their graduate-level business education with a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

“Once an exclusive credential that signified C-suite executive material, MBAs are becoming increasingly ubiquitous,” states US News & World Report, diluting what was once a rare and highly prized degree.

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, 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 Doctor of Business Administration:*

  • Private and nonprofit sectors
    • Consultant
    • Management
    • Entrepreneur/business owner
  • Education
    • Administration
    • Faculty
  • Government
    • Consultant

The careers you can pursue with a DBA degree are as diverse as the people who hold the degree itself. (See an array of careers held by graduates of Walden University’s online DBA program.)

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.

Interested in pursuing your DBA online? Explore how Walden University’s Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)-accredited online DBA program can help you meet your personal and professional goals.


*Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Walden’s BS in Business Administration, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Executive MBA, Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), and PhD in Management programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The MS in Accounting and BS in Accounting programs are also accredited by the ACBSP and have earned the organization’s Specialized Accounting Accreditation.

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