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Online Doctorate Programs in Business

Online doctorate business degrees are a complex field that spans the globe. It impacts nearly everything, and communities depend on businesses to exchange and access a ...

Online doctorate business degrees are a complex field that spans the globe. It impacts nearly everything, and communities depend on businesses to exchange and access a breadth of resources. Because of this, business professionals strive to make businesses as effective, efficient, and, influential as possible.

Given their importance and reach, most businesses depend on intelligent, well-trained people to run them. They command the talents of critical thinkers and strategic planners, and they thrive when infused with dedicated action. Professionals well-trained in the field of business often play active roles in making businesses thrive.

Earning an online doctorate business degree may prepare you with the skills and education that businesses demand. Upon completion of your program, you may be ready to lead or educate others in the business world. If you want to learn more about what it takes to pursue an online doctorate in business, read on!

Types of Online Doctorate Business Degrees

There are two primary types of online doctorate business degrees: a Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Administration or Business Management (Ph.D.). DBA programs typically emphasize practical application while Ph.D. programs typically emphasize research.

The Doctorate of Business Administration (sometimes called an Executive Doctorate of Business Administration) is designed to prepare students to pursue careers in upper management, executive positions, and other senior-leadership roles. To earn a DBA, students usually do fulltime coursework for three to four years. Program lengths will vary by institution. In many cases, DBA students must have a certain number of years’ experience in the field to gain admittance to the program. Many students in DBA programs already have earned a Master’s of Business Administration, or MBA (or Executive MBA).

The Doctorate of Philosophy in Business may prepare students to jumpstart careers as researchers and educators in academia, especially in the disciplines of business administration and economics. To earn a Ph.D., students may or may not need prior business experience. Also depending on the program, students may or may not earn an MBA prior to applying. Some students earn their MBAs on route to their Ph.Ds. Check with the school you’re interested in to hear about their specific requirements.

Essential Curricula in Online Business Doctoral Programs

In online doctorate business degrees, DBA and Ph.D. programs, students commonly take core and elective courses. Core courses typically fulfill the requirements of the degree, and elective courses typically fulfill the requirements of a concentration. Core courses are often offered in subjects like:
• Research methodology (especially in Ph.D. programs)
• Business theories and principles
• Business psychology
• Economics, math, and statistics
• Computer science and technology
• Engineering
• Political science and public policy
• Communication and public relations

To focus their studies in a particular area, many students in DBA and Ph.D. programs concentrate their studies. Following are some of the many concentrations that online doctorate business programs may offer:
• Advanced accounting or financial management
• Applied computer science or computer and information security
• Criminal justice
• Healthcare administration
• Homeland security
• Human resources management
• Organizational psychology or leadership
• International business
• Management and leadership
• Management of engineering and technology
• Marketing
• Project management
• Public administration and public policy

Toward the end of their programs, students in DBA and business Ph.D. programs usually do comprehensive examinations and a dissertation or equivalent research and writing work.

Earning an Online Doctorate in Business: How It Looks

According to a report published by the Learning House and Aslanian Research, the majority of students enrolled in online graduate programs in 2014 and 2015 pursued degrees in business. Of those students, three percent pursued doctorate degrees.iii

While the structure of an online program varies by institution, we can give you a sense of how an online program might work.
• First, the majority of online programs offer asynchronous learning which enables students to access materials and learning opportunities at times convenient to them. The minority of online programs offer synchronous learning which requires students to access courses at specific times. Some programs also let students move through curricula at their own pace.
• Second, students typically learn through a variety of e-learning methods. Many of these methods are highly interactive and utilize a breadth of media to facilitate student learning.
• Third, many universities support online students with resources such as online writing centers, libraries, and academic assistance. These help online students access the programming they need to succeed.
• Finally, many online programs have regional or national accreditation. This may help ensure that institutions and programs deliver an acceptable level of quality.

Should you choose to join the ranks of students studying business online, here are some potential benefits:
• Flexibility and convenience: For busy professionals, people with families, and students living in remote areas, online programs may allow a degree of flexibility typically not offered through on-campus programs. Time once spent commuting to class can be devoted to studying, and students may be able to design their programs to fit their work and personal schedules.
• Applicability: People who earn an online doctorate business degree may work fulltime and be able to apply what they learn to their work.
• Networking: Online programs sometimes attract people from around the world. Students in online doctorate in business programs may therefore expand their networks nationally and internationally.

Potential Salaries with an Online Doctorate in Business?

This depends, of course, on your field, occupation, and prior experience, training, and certification. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015, people who held a doctoral degree earned a median weekly salary of $1,623. People with a master’s or bachelor’s degree, meanwhile, earned $1,341 and $1,137 per week respectively. The unemployment rate for professionals with doctorate degrees was 1.7% compared to 2.4 and 2.8% for professionals with master’s or bachelor’s degrees. v

What Do Professionals with an Online Doctoral Degree in Business Do?

Many people with DBAs or Ph.D.s in business administration pursue careers as post-secondary teachers,vi economists,vii or executives.viii

Postsecondary teachers, or professors, predominately teach, research, and publish. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary teachers earned a median annual salary of $72,470 in 2015. The BLS predicts that this occupation will grow by 13 percent between 2014 and 2024. This is faster than average for all professions. ix

Economists may work as educators, researchers, or economists for public or private organizations. According to the BLS, economists earned a median annual salary of $99,180 in 2015. The BLS predicts that this occupation will grow by 6 percent between 2014 and 2024. This is as fast as average for all professions. x

Top executives and managers typically help organizations meet their goals by devising strategies and enacting policies.xi In 2015, they earned a median annual salary of $102,690. The BLS projects that this occupation will grow by 6 percent between 2014 and 2024. This is as fast as average for all professions. xii

Take the Next Step Toward Your Online Doctorate Business Degree!

If you’re interested in earning an online doctorate in business, you can begin your search here. Through eLearners, you can peruse a variety of online business programs. Our sponsored listings give you information such as a program’s accreditation status, an outline of its curricula, and detailed contact information for colleges and universities. As you find programs you like, contact the school directly to determine if the program is a great fit for you. Good luck!


[iii] aslanianmarketresearch.com/resources/white-papers | [iv] nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009044.pdf | [v] bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-4 | [vii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/economists.htm#tab-4 | [viii] bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm#tab-4 | [ix] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-1 | [x] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/economists.htm | [xi] bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm#tab-2 | [xii] bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm