What You Need to Know About a DBA Degree

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A Masters of Business Administration (MBA) is a well-known doctoral degree that is highly regarded among business professionals. However, people who are looking for even greater expertise in business may decide to earn a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). This advanced degree program allows graduates to set themselves apart from other business professionals. DBA graduates are equipped with skills that can increase their career trajectory, leading them into senior leadership roles.

Since DBA programs usually require the learner to conduct practical research, DBA graduates have strong portfolios that make them more competitive when searching for new jobs or opportunities. They are able to show tangible results of the work that they have done. In addition, they are well-versed in current business practice and theory. This means that they can bring many new ideas and innovations to companies and businesses that are looking to reconsider and modernize their business plans.

What You Learn in a DBA Degree Program

An MBA degree (or graduate level business classes) is considered a pre-requisite for enrolling in most DBA programs, as it builds upon the foundational skills learned in an MBA. The DBA then expands further upon that knowledge. People who enroll in the DBA are generally already business professionals. They enroll in the DBA in order to become even better business leaders with a deep understanding in the practice of problem solving.

The DBA includes advanced coursework in business topics. Graduates go through qualitative and quantitative research methods courses in order to complete their dissertation or research projects. They also learn modern business theory in areas like risk assessment, finance, managerial skills and decision-making. DBA programs usually include a global perspective that allows students to learn more about the interconnectedness of business across the world today.

Students in the DBA program then combine this research and theory with practical experience. The research they do can immediately impact their work and their businesses. Throughout the DBA program, they complete research, write and then defend a dissertation. These dissertations at the end of a DBA degree program focus on solutions to complex organizational problems. Usually the DBA student conducts research that is immediately applicable to their line of work; however, some learners conduct research for a field they desire to step into.

How to Get Into a DBA Degree Program

Some universities offer online DBA degree programs, others are fully in-person and others offer a hybrid approach with some in-person classwork and some online coursework. An online doctorate can be challenging for some while ideal for others. You know how you learn best, so as you are deciding to apply to a DBA program do your research and make sure that the structure fits your needs. In addition, talk with alumni and current students in the DBA programs that you are interested in. Find out about their curriculum and see if that type of program suits your needs.

Then it is a matter of applying to your DBA degree program of choice. You will need to fill out the school's application and you may need to write an essay or a letter explaining your experience and why you are seeking the advanced degree. The admissions process may include an interview or additional fact-finding phone calls.

Once you are admitted to a DBA degree program, you will enroll in your classes and begin to consider your research project or dissertation. The program will help you learn how to decide on your dissertation topic, but ultimately what you research will be up to you. You will want to think about the needs of your business and your professional development in determining a topic that seems most applicable and practical to your experience and position.

How Do DBA Degrees Compare to Other Advanced Degrees?

Furthermore, more traditional doctoral programs like a PhD usually lead to an academic career. PhD dissertations add to the theory and body of knowledge in the field. While on the other hand, a DBA degree program is more focused on working professionals who plan to stay in their field. They wish to find solutions to the current business problems that they face.

The DBA degree is about learning the theory of business and then practicing it. The research project involves applying possible solutions to real world business problems. Most DBA students are already working in the business world and intend to keep doing so. However, some who are interested in teaching the skills they’ve learned to other can find jobs in higher education, especially at the community college or undergraduate level.

A DBA degree is intended to be a more rigorous program than an MBA degree. One way to think about this is that an MBA degree student learns about the practices of management and leadership, but a DBA degree graduate is the one who creates those practices. A DBA degree requires students to create and seek original research and ideas. DBA graduates are equipped to pass along new practice and theory to other business professionals post-graduation. A DBA degree is highly regarded and a great way to continue your education as a business professional.

If you desire to be a leader in business or you are wondering how to level up in your practice, consider earning a Doctor of Business Administration degree from Grand Canyon University. Throughout the program, you will be tasked with learning theory and applying practical research to your work.

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.

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