Doctorates in BusinessDecember 10, 2019

Doctorates are the most prestigious academic degree available in America, but many face confusion about the additional benefits it can provide. Many understand that those holding a doctorate earn marginally higher than those holding a bachelor’s degree (about 26% higher), but which positions become available to you? Is every doctorate equal?

This article aims to clarify some of the confusion surrounding obtaining a doctorate for use in the business sector. Hopefully it allows you to make a more informed decision when planning your career path.

What Types of Doctorates are there?

One can secure a doctorate degree in four different classes, each of which provide slightly different benefits to the holder.

  1. Research Doctorate – these are also known as Ph.Ds and are awarded for research that contributes to the field’s body of knowledge. Those who qualify with this degree typically have to write a thesis documenting their research and the conclusions they reach, which undergoes scrutiny by professors before the degree is awarded.
  2. Professional Doctorate – these degrees are doctorates that focus research on the practical application of knowledge and theory. These doctorates tend to be preferred by those planning to work in the business sector. This differs to those with a Ph.D, who tend to have more academic ambitions.
  3. Higher Doctorate – these degrees are tiered and awarded mostly in Europe (the UK and France have Higher Doctorate systems).
  4. Honorary Doctorate – these are awarded by universities that want to recognize an individual for their contributions to the business world and field. These are typically reserved for those who have already achieved success.

If you are seeking to get a doctorate to aid you in your career in business, a professional doctorate might be the preferred choice.

Which Professional Doctorate options are there?

When some people think of a doctor in a business field they think of the DBA, which is essentially a step up from the more recognized MBA. It stands for Doctor of Business Administration and emphasizes the business applications of research into administration techniques. Many people opt to take a DBA part-time, which allows them to work in business alongside the degree and enrich their learning with the ability to potentially put some theory into practice, et vice versa. DBA candidates also submit a thesis or dissertation, and need to defend their conclusions before a committee of experts. A DBA or DMgt (as well as a Ph. D) allows the holder to become a faculty member at a university or college if that is what they choose to do.

The most prevalent alternative to a DBA, which is becoming more and more popular, is the DMgt. The doctor of management degree is a specialized degree that focuses on providing the tools needed to work in the top management positions. The DMgt degree combines relevant real world issues in management with rigorous scholarly methods to produce evidence-based theories that explain good and bad management. The Doctor of Management can be completed online alongside a busy work life and has the same opportunity to be completed part-time like a DBA.

A doctorate in a business field qualifies the holder to apply for a C-Level executive job. These jobs are the top corporate positions in a company and come with great responsibilities as well as higher paychecks. They are called C-Level jobs as they represent a Chief position, e.g. CEO, CTO, CFO etc. These jobs often rely on headhunting, so if you complete a doctorate and have a thesis published in a journal, the position of your name in the public domain can greatly help your job-searching efforts.

How to Prepare for a Doctorate

Both DBAs and DMgts build on existing academic experience, so you can’t just jump into it. In order to fully comprehend the executive business skills, you are going to be taught that you need to have a solid foundation of knowledge. They typically need a good GPA too (Touro University, for example, requires a cumulative GPA of 3.4 in a Master’s program for their Doctor of Management degree – you can calculate yours here).

The Master’s degree typically needs to have provided the student with a framework for business operations and management, but an MBA is not a crucial degree to have before the doctorate program is joined.

Final Words

A doctorate in business is a lot of work, as a preceding Master’s is necessary, but can offer career advancement opportunities to C-Level jobs that can provide tremendous value to the graduate. Business Doctors are in high demand and the pay is often cited to be higher than other doctorate graduates. The job opportunities available to a doctorate graduate are vast, with many companies across the world looking for those holding a DMgt or DBA. If you decide to go for a doctorate, the flexibility you will find upon graduating will assure you that it was worth it.

Doctorates in Business
James Daniels

James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.