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DBA Programs Online

Students considering working towards a doctorate degree in business might choose between online DBA programs and online PhD business programs. While both degrees are considered terminal degrees in business administration and management, each program tends to have a different focus. This means that the DBA – which stands for Doctor of Business Administration and the PhD - Doctor of Philosophy in Business may be designed with a specific student in mind.

Online DBA Programs

Online DBA Programs vs. Online PhD Business Programs

Both online DBA programs and PhD business management programs are considered academically equivalent degrees. Prospective candidates need to commit to rigorous study and research. Doctoral programs culminate in a thesis or dissertation that may be tested orally in front of peer groups.

Earning either of these advanced degrees online may offer some scheduling flexibility to offset the challenge of the program. In addition, working professionals, especially those who have busy travel schedules may find it appealing to log into courses from a laptop or have a video conference with an advisor. Certainly, each university may have unique features that may make distance-learning a viable and rewarding alternative to traditional on-campus programs.

Are there any differences between a DBA and a PhD?

Online DBA programs and online PhD in business management programs offer students the opportunity to pursue advanced study, but aside from that, there are some important differences. These are broadly centered around:

  • Who the Online DBA and PhD business degree programs are typically targeted for;
  • Potential program requirements;
  • Potential degree outcomes;

FACT: Per DATA USA, 1,798 Research doctorates, 127 ‘other’ doctorates, and 24 Professional doctorates were awarded in 2014[i]

About Online DBA Programs

Online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programs are typically designed for current business executives or those who have experience (perhaps in running their own businesses) who are seeking out that next intellectual challenge. Some prospective applicants to DBA online programs may have earned their MBA and are interested in distinguishing themselves from their colleagues by pursuing a next degree.

Since earning a DBA generally requires management research, prospective students may come to a program with a specific research question in mind. The dissertation might prove to be a valuable tool to bring back to their enterprise.

Online Doctor of Business Administration: Potential Requirements

Prospective online Doctor of Business Administration candidates might be able to earn their degree in approximately three to six years, although this may vary. Some programs may offer full-time or part-time learning options.

Admission requirements to Doctor of Business Administration online programs may also vary. Online DBA programs do tend to build upon skills and knowledge learned through masters-level studies (such as the MBA). Additionally, programs may stipulate a certain amount of work experience (years). Always refer to individual online business schools to learn about their procedures.

Online DBA Program: Potential Curriculum

Curriculum for an online DBA program may involve 3 components:

  1. Coursework, class participation
  2. Applied research, writing papers
  3. Dissertation/Doctoral final project

DBA coursework might include topics such as: research methodology, analytical techniques, current management issues and core management topics, strategic business planning, and change management.

DBA Research might include a specialization that is being pursued such as international business or data analytics. Research typically involves case studies rather than the empirical research model of a PhD program.

DBA dissertation and comprehensive examinations may be required for a candidate to successfully earn their degree

Online Doctor of Business Administration: Potential Career Paths

Earning a Doctor of Business Administration may equip professionals with a certain level of expertise in leadership and management principles. DBA graduates might pursue potential career paths in management and consulting, or upper level executive positions.[ii]

About Online PhD Business Programs

Online PhD business and management programs are typically designed for students who aspire to pursue potential careers in business and eventually teach as fulltime professors in business schools. These may be students whose goals slant towards academics and research.  

Online PHD Business: Potential Requirements

Some online PhD programs in business may take around four to five years to complete, although there may be differences between universities and whether you are a full or part-time student.

Prospective online PhD business management students may be graduates of undergraduate business administration programs such as the BBA. Their goals may be to develop a new theory, publish research in a management journal or expand on the knowledge base of their other degree programs.  

Online PhD Business: Potential Curriculum

Curriculum for PhD in management online programs may involve 3 components:

  1. Coursework, exams
  2. Research, teaching
  3. Assignment, Dissertation

PhD Coursework during the first two years may be dedicated to a specific concentration area such as business management, organizational behavior or technology. Once the courses are completed, candidates must take comprehensive exams.

PhD Research, unlike in a DBA, is empirical. Whereas the DBA research might take an existing practical problem and try to address it, PhD research is scholarly; the goal usually to advance existing theories. Also, a PhD student may assist a faculty in his or her ongoing research, and, may have a (possibly paid) teaching assignment.

PhD Dissertation is typically researched, defended and submitted to a supervisory committee.

Online PhD Business Management: Potential Career Paths

Earning an online PhD in business may prepare graduates to seek more academic and research oriented career paths such as business administration professors or marketing professors.[iii]

Find Accredited Online DBA Programs & PhD Business Programs

Accreditation in education falls under two categories – institutional and programmatic. Look for online business schools that have been nationally and regionally accredited. Look for online DBA programs and online PhD programs in business that have been accredited by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the ACBSP (Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs) or the IACBE (International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education).

Take the Next Step

Review sponsored program listings to find either a doctor of philosophy in business or a doctor of business administration online program that aligns with your interests. Then request more information from prospective schools using our on-page navigation. Take the next step in your business management education today!

sources: [i] datausa.io/profile/cip/5202/[ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm |[iii] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-1011.00 | www.bsn.eu/online-executive-dba/bsn/news/similarities-and-differences-between-a-phd-and-dba-degree.html

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