Is Getting Your Doctorate in Business Administration Worth it?

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The DBA or doctorate of business administration is the next level up from the MBA or master of business administration degree. This is a notable credential and one that only a handful can boast about. But should you pursue your DBA? After all, an advanced degree does not always equal a higher pay grade. And what can you do with one? We’ll answer both these questions and explain why the DBA is an increasingly popular option for business leaders.

Why Should I Get a DBA?

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A doctorate in business administration teaches you how to do original research. Depending on the program, you may be required to work as a teaching assistant. This is excellent preparation for becoming a professor one day. Or you could attend an online program that doesn’t come with these demands. A DBA teaches you more about leadership and teasing out the intricate relationships in business that are invaluable to market researchers and business analysts. Furthermore, these programs prepare you to work in management at any level.

This means that earning a DBA is a good choice if you want to work in advanced business analytics, academia or the C-suite.

You’ll Stand Out from MBAs

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The MBA degree is so common that it is hardly better than a bachelor’s degree in business when you’re applying for various positions. A DBA shows that you’ve done that much more to prepare for a role in management. Then there’s the fact that Human Resources tend to prefer candidates with an advanced degree. If you earned an MBA from a run of the mill school, you could complete the DBA program via Aston University Online. Aston University’s online DBA is one of the most respected in the world. Then you’ll have a world-class credential on your resume and can get to the top of the stack.

It Is the Ultimate in Networking

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A DBA gives you the expertise that allows you to fill a wide number of roles. It also gives you the professional network to make the change. For example, if you’re sitting in class or attending online classes with healthcare managers earning a DBA, you will be able to connect with peers who could help you find your first job after graduation.

That’s aside from the job placement services offered by schools themselves and the network of alumni eager to help you. You’ll gain access to a new network while refreshing what you learned in your MBA program years ago. This ensures that you’ll be able to move into a better job, even if your current employer doesn’t promote you after you receive your new degree.

When asked what makes DBA programs so special, Vice Dean Bryan Booth stated that the diversity the program offers is one of its biggest advantages.

“If we have a class about leadership, for instance, one student can give an idea of what happens in finance while another student might give their opinion about what it means in the public sector,” he said. “This allows the for-profit people to learn from people in the non-profit sector.”

You Have Many More Career Opportunities

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An MBA and DBA can both lead to the C-suite, whether you work as CEO, chief financial officer, chief marketing officer or in some other capacity. However, a doctorate in business administration allows you to work in academia, too. You could teach future MBAs. You could also move into management at the university. A DBA is almost better than a Ph.D. in this regard because a Ph.D. in business can only work in academia.

A side benefit of earning a DBA is that you could move into management in a totally different area, especially if your degree involved research-related to that field.

For example, if your capstone project is on the best ways the healthcare industry could adapt to change, you could become a medical and health services manager. Write about the impact of specific regulation on an industry and you could be asked to work as an administrator in that field. Or you could become a business consultant based on your expertise alone. Alternatively, a capstone project related to your current job could be what you need to earn that promotion.

A DBA Is an Excellent Way to Change Industries

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Doctorates in business administration like MBAs offer concentrations. Common concentrations in DBA programs include:

  • Supply chain management
  • Human resources
  • International business
  • Information systems
  • Healthcare administration

If you’ve worked as an MBA in business, a DBA in healthcare administration allows you to become a healthcare manager. If you were working as a financial analyst in the insurance industry, a DBA in human resources may let you move into the HR department. You could move from the accounting department to sales or logistics. Get out of payroll and into supply chain management.

What Can You Do with a DBA?

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We’ve mentioned the academic career path that opens up with a doctorate in business administration. However, the DBA is valuable for those who want to work in the business world as well. A DBA degree prepares you for roles such as:

  • Controller
  • Treasurer
  • Chief Technology Officer
  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Head of Human Resources
  • Administrative services management

Let’s take a closer look at some of these careers and what will be expected of you.


A financial controller’s main duty will be to oversee and prepare financial statements and gather insightful data from reports. They are also responsible for making sure that the data is accurate and ensure regulatory compliance as well. Financial controllers will need to report to CFOs.

Some of the duties of a financial controller include:

  • Business budgeting
  • Auditing
  • Payroll
  • Act as a chief financial head for smaller companies
  • Attend business events

Financial controllers need to stay abreast of the recent changes in the regulatory landscape. This is why they will often be asked to attend conferences and seminars. Financial controllers also have to consider more than just financials; they make sure that the company’s processes are cost-efficient and abide by regulations.

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Treasurers are another type of financial officer but are often involved with non-profit organisations. Some of the duties of a treasurer include:

  • Taking care of budgets for the organisation
  • Financial oversight and management
  • Reporting
  • Working as a financial liaison

An organisation’s financial management will be a treasurer’s main responsibility. As such, everything the treasurer does will have a direct impact on the public’s perception of the organisation.

The treasurer will be asked to do things like finding a bank or banks for the organisation and building a relationship with them. They will need to be able to reconcile bank statements, as well as managing cash flow.

It is also their job to make sure that the monitor can have access to funds to avoid misappropriation. In addition, a treasurer might be asked to prepare annual budgets and check revenues against expenses.

Chief Technology Officer

If you have a background in IT, then getting a DBA will make you an unstoppable force and allow you to be a prime candidate for chief technology officer positions.

The goal of a chief technology officer is to oversee the development and implementation of various technologies in an organisation and also check compliance. They will also be responsible for creating policies regarding these technologies. A CFO needs to be able to reconcile the technology needs of a business with the organisation’s goals.

You will not only need to be able to fix IT issues and come up with prevention, emergency, and contingency plans but will also be responsible for evaluating and managing a company’s technological assets.

Chief Marketing Officer

Chief marketing officers are responsible for looking after the execution, planning, and development of a company or organisation’s advertising and marketing initiatives. As a CMO, you will report directly to the CEO and will be responsible for making sure that advertising campaigns are efficient and meet ROI targets.

You will be responsible for monitoring KPIs and making sure that you follow through with the proper adjustments. You’ll need to have a solid grasp of data analytics and a thorough understanding of new platforms as well.

In some cases, your role will extend to sales management. You might also be in charge of things like new business development, distribution channel management, product development, and customer service. This means that you’ll often need to know how to inform sales executives, compile, interpret, and analyse sales data, and work on customer relationships. This is a great option if you want to have an impact on multiple levels and affect all parts of the business.

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The DBA is a long-respected degree. It offers a number of benefits that go well beyond what an MBA provides. So, if you were still on the fence about taking the course, we strongly suggest you look more into it. Make sure that you speak with a counsellor today and see if it could be the credential that takes your career to new heights.