Doctor of Business Administration vs PhD


The gross worldwide product of the planet can reach well over USD 87 trillion in a single year, as per the report of the World Bank. That accounts for a lot of business. It also implies that having a thorough understanding of corporate management and administration is quite valuable. A Doctor of Business Administration degree has recently surged to a new significance. So what exactly is this Doctor of Business Administration, and how is it different from the conventional Ph.D. degree? And from a career perspective, which of the two degrees- a doctor of business administration (DBA) or a Ph.D. in business administration would be more useful if you wanted to learn everything there is to know about something in-depth?

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) can be simply explained as a demanding research-based degree that will equip seasoned business professionals with the skills they need to become more innovative, proficient, and customer-focused leaders. DBA is typically a combination of classes and Applied Research work. 

Let us find out how a doctor of business administration differs from a Ph.D. in business administration.

What is Ph.D. in Business Administration?

The highest qualification you may obtain in business administration is a Ph.D. Most universities will hire you for teaching employment if you have a Ph.D. A doctoral degree in science normally takes three to five years to complete. A Ph.D. can be earned in practically all fields, unlike a DBA, which is only conferred in business management. A Business Administration is specifically concerned with the history, development, and social impact of business administration.

What is a Doctor of Business Administration?

This is the highest degree available in management education, the DBA, recognizes a student's extensive business knowledge and talents. The degree is a continuation of an MBA, and admittance to many DBA programs requires several years of managerial experience. These classes aid in learning about the most recent business theories and research.

Doctor of Business Administration vs PhD

Typically, a program for a Doctor of Business Administration lasts three to six years. A DBA focuses on empirical research as opposed to theoretical research, unlike a Ph.D. in Business Administration.


Highlighting the core differences between a Ph.D. and a Doctor of Business Administration

Now, the decision of whether you should pursue a Ph.D. in Business Administration or a Doctor of Business Administration is entirely based on your interest and professional objectives. Both degrees are highly regarded in the academic and corporate communities and represent the pinnacle of academic performance. But there are variations. The Ph.D. is an academic doctorate, but the DBA is regarded as a professional doctorate. Both degrees require conducting original research, interpreting data, and delivering significant conclusions. They are advanced research degrees.

The development of theories, bridging the gap between theories, or filling in knowledge gaps are the main goals of Ph.D. research. If your professional goals are to become a professor in higher education or a researcher in a research facility, a Ph.D. might be a better choice.

A Doctor of Business Administration, on the other hand, concentrates on actual organizational and business issues and uses primary and secondary research to explore, analyze, and resolve such issues. The DBA is mainly intended for people who want to pursue careers in business and consulting. But many DBAs do work as instructors in colleges and universities.

Points of Variation between Ph.D. and Doctor of Business Administration

Research Scope

For their thesis to be published, Ph.D. candidates must create innovative hypotheses and fresh perspectives on preexisting ideas. Their research must be founded on flaws or significant problems in the accepted theories. As a DBA student, however, you must contribute to the study by using it to solve actual business issues. The problem chosen may come from your place of employment or another company. You must address the business issue and provide a case study on it.

Career Possibilities

People who desire to further their academic careers typically get PhDs. Ph.D. holders are capable of conducting research that will advance management theory and understanding. Professionals who want to advance into senior managerial positions or find consulting positions across a range of industries are more likely to choose a DBA. However, if these graduates want to work as guest instructors, they can also decide to conduct more research.

Availability of Courses

Both management degrees can be pursued full-time. However, also exist part-time DBA programs available because many people with full-time employment enroll in Doctor of Business Administration programs.

Course Duration

The duration of both degree programs can range from three to six years. The degree program and its enrollment requirements determine the course's length. A Ph.D. program often requires full-time enrollment. Thus, it takes less time to finish than a DBA. If a professional is seeking a degree of Doctor of Business Administration while still holding down a full-time job, the degree typically takes longer to complete. 

You will be required to complete a dissertation for the Ph.D. in which you perform academic and original research to fill a knowledge gap in the area of business management. While in a Doctor of Business Administration program, you will ideally be required to complete a doctoral study as part of the program, conducting scholarly and original research with the goal of creating a workable solution to a business challenge.

Job Opportunities

Both degrees have comparable career and pay prospects. The only distinction is that a Ph.D. opens doors to academic or research positions like business professors, management analysts, or authors of scientific works, whereas a DBA opens doors to more practical positions like CEO, COO, and CMO.

Careers with a Ph.D. in Business Administration 

  • University teaching
  • Professional researcher
  • Consulting
  • Upper-level public policymaking
  • Leadership
  • Policy advocate 

Careers with a Doctor of Business Administration Degree

  • Organizational leadership
  • Upper-level corporate policymaking
  • Consulting
  • Entrepreneur/business owner
  • College and university teaching

Choosing between a Doctor of Business Administration and a Ph.D. in Business Administration

You should choose a Ph.D. degree if you are just beginning your Business Administration career path and are interested in undertaking research. If you wish to transition to a profession in academia, picking this option is the right deal. 

On the other hand, you can opt to pursue a DBA if you wish to advance to the top tiers of the managerial system. Most DBA grads are typically older than Ph.D. students since a required number of years of work experience is needed for a DBA degree.

Both degrees have the same standing and level of recognition around the world; they just have different objectives in mind. If you wish to teach aspiring company executives or use your research to advance the sector, you can pursue a Ph.D. in business management. You should pursue a degree in Doctor of Business Administration if you want to use your knowledge and abilities to have an impact on the corporate world.

Related Blog:

Benefits of having a doctorate in business administration

Post a Comment