C-Suite Positions and the DBA


A Doctor of Business Administration degree (DBA) is an important qualification for most executive positions in the private sector. DBA graduates lead and spearhead change with a thorough knowledge of business and management. The most well-known positions associated with the DBA are in the c-suite.

C-Suite Positions

C-suite refers to the leading corporate positions that usually start with “chief.” There is a wide variety of these positions handling the different responsibilities in a company. Some organizations put more responsibility into fewer positions, while others have a larger pool of executives.

CEO (Chief Executive Officer)

CEOs have major management and financial responsibility. They coordinate other executives and act as the public face of the company. CEOs also channel communication between board members and the executive team. Serving as a CEO requires excellent leadership, communication and financial skills.

COO (Chief Operating Officer)

COOs usually carry out the strategies set out by the CEO and oversee everyday operations in the company. The COO’s responsibilities and decision-making authority depend on the company’s size and structure.

CFO (Chief Financial Officer)

CFOs usually come from a career track in financial analysis and accounting. The CFO manages the financial decisions in a company, including portfolio management, accounting, investment research and financial analysis.

CTO (Chief Technology Officer)

CTOs handle a company’s technological and research needs in a strategic focus. Traditionally this role has been performed the CIO (Chief Information Officer), but large companies have had growing demand to create a separate role, placing CIOs in a position to oversee IT operations.

CKO (Chief Knowledge Officer)

CKOs are a somewhat new position. The prime responsibility of the CKO is to coordinate and increase the knowledge of teams and individuals in the company to increase creative value in the company.

CSO (Chief Security Officer)

The CSO is responsible for security of people physical property and information in a company. This position is increasingly important due to the need to protect digital information.

CMO (Chief Marketing Officer)

CMOs have an important role in shaping a company’s brand, advertisement, market research, pricing, customer service and other important aspects in a company’s presence in a public marketplace.

What Is so Important About Earning a DBA?

With a high level of expertise, Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduates can reach some c-suite positions, but there are major differences between an MBA and a DBA. An MBA will give you a working knowledge of management, communication and other components of leadership.

DBA programs leave graduates with a thorough understanding of organizations and interact the material that MBA graduates learn at a more practical level. MBA graduates can find opportunities in respectable positions like Marketing or Operations Directors, who carry out the strategies formed at the c-suite level of an organization.

Earning a Doctor of Business Administration is an important step to achieving high-level corporate positions. Consider enrolling in one of the DBA programs at Grand Canyon University’s College of Doctoral Studies. Our emphases in Data Analytics, Management and Marketing are designed to prepare you for leadership in your industry with a rigorous, writing-based curriculum. To learn more, visit our website or click on the Request More Information button on this page.

Written by Samuel Sprague, a public policy major at Grand Canyon University.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.