4 Reasons Why Earning a DBA Is Worth It

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Category: Value of Education

By Brittany Fillmore
Posted on

For many, returning to college is such an important decision, especially if you have already earned your graduate or undergraduate degree. For business leaders looking to expand their professional outlook, the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is one of the highest levels of education that you can achieve for the industry.

In this article, we will define a DBA and explore four reasons why earning a DBA is worth it.

What Is a DBA?

For many people, an MBA is their terminal degree, marking the end of their formal business education. However, others may wonder "Can I get a Ph.D in business?" The short answer is yes, but there are two different options: a traditional Ph.D or a Doctor of Business Administration.

The primary difference between these programs is the focus. A Ph.D student typically wishes to work within academia, contributing to the theoretical foundations of business and developing new scholarship and ideas to improve the study of business. A DBA, on the other hand, is typically sought by someone with experience in the field who wants to focus on a specific problem and apply their research to that issue to benefit their company. Ultimately, both require expanding on existing knowledge, but the applications of that new knowledge differ. 

Why Should I Earn a DBA?

So why should you consider earning a DBA? Here are four good reasons that this degree is worth the investment.

1. Bolstered Credibility

Earning a doctoral degree gives students a new perspective on the business world, earning them more credibility in their field among their peers, potential employers and the business industry.

“For students who have earned their DBA, they have learned a new way to communicate,” said Dr. Elwin Jones, dean of the College of Business at Columbia Southern University. “It impacts the way they think, the way they write and how they talk. It’s those new learned ways of absorbing information that give students the competitive advantage within a career opportunity.” 

Although some MBA candidates opt for a specific concentration such as finance or accounting, many MBA programs are deliberately designed to be broad in scope, preparing candidates for the range of challenges they will face in today’s business environment. A DBA, on the other hand, is laser-focused and designed to make graduates an authority on their chosen subject. Not only do you hone your skills in research, writing and presentation, but the specialized research you conduct gives you in-depth knowledge that simply cannot be developed in a typical MBA program. This focus expands your credibility and positions you as a thought leader.

2. Expanded Career Opportunities

DBA programs teach valuable business management, leadership and organizational effectiveness, empowering graduates to put their skills to good use in a variety of industries and job titles. Where an MBA boosts your management skills, a DBA focuses on research and problem-solving skills. In short, earning a DBA doesn’t teach you theories and best practices, it positions you to create the principles of business that others will learn and put into practice. For example, when you earn your MBA you work with case studies to extrapolate information and develop solutions to problems. As a DBA student, you essentially create case studies by analyzing business models and processes to solve problems and develop new ideas.

One of the benefits of having a doctorate in business administration is you are an innovative problem-solver capable of generating new knowledge and ideas. It also opens the doors to opportunities within academia and academic research. Here are just a few new opportunities that DBA graduates might pursue upon earning their degree:

  • Business consultant.
  • Business owner.
  • Business strategist, chief operating officer or senior managerial consultant.
  • Education leader in faculty and administration.
  • Entrepreneur.
  • Government contractor.
  • Private and public business associate at administration, management and executive levels.

Note that most of these career options are advanced and senior level, but there’s another significant distinction between the MBA and the DBA: market saturation. There’s no denying that earning an MBA is beneficial to your career, but a DBA helps you stand out, as they are less common. Modern business is moving fast and evolving more than ever before, and employers are attracted to individuals who have taken the time to stay ahead of new theories, concepts and tools and gain a better understanding of the complexities of modern business. A DBA gives you the tools to move a business forward, and that’s appealing to employers.

3. Greater Opportunities for Promotion

A doctoral degree could be the tipping point in your favor when considered for your next promotion. In an interview with Glassdoor.com, Ayodeji Onibalusi of Effective Inbound Marketing said, "An advanced degree can help you secure that elusive promotion you’ve always desired. A doctorate or master’s degree would also boost your confidence and help you secure better job opportunities when you start looking for a new job."

Earning your DBA requires advanced research skills and sharpened business acumen, and it taps into superior decision-making skills. These newly acquired proficiencies make you a better candidate for promotions and job openings. Many companies require senior management professionals to hold advanced degrees, and an increasing number of entry-level positions are requiring candidates to hold a master’s degree. If you must have an advanced degree to get your foot in the door, a terminal degree like the DBA is likely to be a necessity if you want to advance in that company.

4. Better Potential for Higher Salaries

Earning a DBA can make a significant difference in your earnings potential. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees with doctoral degrees in 2018 made on average $1,825 a week compared to $1,434 for master’s graduates. In total, the difference was approximately $20,332 more per year.

Next Steps

For more information about pursuing your doctor of business administration at Columbia Southern University, visit ColumbiaSouthern.edu/DBA.

Columbia Southern University does not guarantee that students or those who pursue these careers will earn the specific salaries listed.

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