Online DBA programs arm business leaders with a critically needed skill set for operating in a technology-driven global economy. Students who pursue a DBA degree - Doctor of Business Administration - online learn how to conduct and apply research as a means to develop strategies and tactics for solving organizational problems.
written by Rana Waxman
Post-graduate students and current professionals who want further guidance in business and management could turn to online DBA programs as well as PhDs in Management or Business Administration, and Doctor in Management (DM).
Academically equal – all are doctorate degrees - each program comes with its own objectives and requirements. However, within these programs, students might reasonably expect to find highly focused courses, exams, seminars, and independent research projects for a final thesis or dissertation.
A Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree is a practitioner doctorate, and online DBA programs enable busy executives and managers to conveniently pursue their degree through web-based courses.
Most DBA degree online programs are planned-out to facilitate the continuing development of professionals as senior managers or innovative leaders who want to build upon master’s-level core skills and knowledge.
Participants in online DBA programs could learn how to strategically frame a question, research prevailing theories as they relate to an issue, apply findings in a practical way to solve a problem, and present the problem and solution in a clear and concise fashion.
Courses in online DBA programs could enable students to gain an in-depth grasp of the functional business areas. In tandem, a curriculum may help participants build practical skills for leading within an organization and methods that may shape them into responsible leaders who are able to make sustainable decisions.
On average, students may be required to complete from 54 to 60 credits of required courses – core topics, research methods, doctoral writing and dissertation seminars. Get a taste for potential topics of study below, then check out online DBA schools’ course lists.
Regionally and nationally accredited universities may also have online DBA degrees accredited by professional agencies. For instance, ACBSP and AACSB accredited online DBA programs have met standards set by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business respectively. These agencies usually set professional standards that might infuse a university’s course list with relevant content.
Akin to the DBA, an online Doctor of Management (DM) degree is a practice-focused doctorate. The aim of many programs is to ready students with the skills to creatively and strategically navigate complex situations within organizations and the competitive global marketplace.
Apart from executive education, students could be exposed to research, applied projects and consulting. Together, the course plan could enable those who pursue a Doctor of Management online to apply a holistic mindset to solve problems and improve overall organizational performance. As a result, leadership courses may play a main role in a syllabus. See below for some sample topics.
Students might also work on independent projects that could address things such as consulting problems. Often, the topic for any final project is developed with a faculty supervisor and/or mentor.
DID YOU KNOW?
Business Analysts need to be critical thinkers who could evaluate systems in order to improve overall performance relative to an organization. ii
Students with a zest for research might pursue a PhD in Business Administration online. An online PhD in management or business is a research-focused doctorate. Students who pursue this path may have a curious mind and might strive to contribute a new way of thinking or doing to the business community or academia.
A course of study in an online PhD in business programs could include the research and scrutiny of business systems, leadership, financial management, accounting, economics, strategy, and social responsibility.
Importantly, students might learn how to create management theory, a skill that could be useful in their dissertation. To accomplish this level of research, a course plan might include the following requirements.
A PhD dissertation is a doctoral-level thesis, the culmination of a PhD candidate’s research into a topic, and typically the major requirement of earning the doctorate. With a dissertation, doctoral students are looking to delve deeply into their field and offer some new insight and scholarly input.
Anchor PhD Research with a Concentration
While these main elements could cultivate breadth of knowledge, PhD students typically anchor their research with a specific topic. Leadership, Project or Business Management, Accounting, Human Resources and IT Management are some examples.
Admission requirements are set by individual schools and may vary between programs. Commonly, applicants need to have earned an undergraduate and graduate degree (E.g. MBA or Masters). There may be prerequisite coursework in areas such as accounting, economics and finance, as well as a minimum GPA attached to prior academic background.
Personal essay(s), letters of reference, updated CV or resume, transcripts and (virtual) interview with faculty may be on the list of necessary material. Some online DBA schools may also look for candidates with several years of management experience.
Are you a busy career professional? Do you resist a next degree because the traditional campus programs have set schedules? An online Doctorate degree in business administration may require some type of in-person sessions. These might be hosted at the university or its corporate partners.
These meetings could be thought of as professional obligations and may be useful to meet other participants and faculty, collaborate or attend workshops. However, classes may be delivered asynchronously – no set log ins.
Or, as with some online DBA programs students might learn via webinars. Webinars might include short lectures, discussions, debates, and student presentations and may require compulsory participation.
In addition, various online learning experiences may be used, including discussion boards and videos. These are often mobile friendly and could suit the business student who is on the go – for work, travel and other duties.
What Is the Difference Between a DBA and PhD?
Both the PhD in Management and Doctor of Business Administration have something to offer those in pursuit of a doctoral degree but may have other differences. Below are a few guidelines, make sure to refer to the objectives of individual programs or speak with an advisor to gain the clarity needed to make the perfect decision for you.
PhD students may strive to pursue a full-time career in academia and business research. They may come to a PhD program with strong undergraduate grades and some work experience.
By comparison, DBA students may want to distinguish themselves from others by completing a terminal degree. At the same time, they may be drawn to management research and may have a practical research question in mind. For instance, a specific problem from their work environment, that they could approach in their dissertation and that offers benefits to their companies at the same time.
PhD students might be motivated by a drive to come up with a new theory, publish and teach from their experience and expertise. They might enjoy experimentation and in-depth inquiry as much of their program is given to research. Furthermore, PhD students generally research areas where there are gaps that could be filled through new theory.
DBA students may have invested in their career and may seek the challenge of business research and its applications for consulting, teaching or leadership. In contrast to PhD students, DBA or DM degree students may start with a practical problem from their workplace. Then, conduct literary reviews, case study analysis and other research to learn how to apply management science or a specific model to explain it and perhaps improve the situation.
Although DBA programs vary, most are designed to assist students in their ability to communicate clearly and make sustainable and smart decisions at the corporate levels. Graduates may be prepared to climb the ladder, transition into something new or have sharper abilities to devote to a current role.
Executives: C-suite executives, such as the CEO, CIO, CTO, CFO and CMO, are responsible for oversight of an organization and may be the minds behind policies, strategies and implementation of initiatives to ensure goals are met.
Consultant: Consultants are paid to assess a problem, challenge or opportunity and provide tactical action plans and initiatives to align business goals and outcomes.
Management Analyst: Analysts assess strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in order to suggest improvements and solutions that could help organizations enhance performance and gain competitive advantage.
Business and Operations Managers: These professionals need to understand organizational goals and plan how human and capital resources could be used optimally to influence behavior and achieve results.
Business Administration Professor: Postsecondary faculty members plan curriculum, teach and evaluate students in order to help them expand their skill set and knowledge in a particular subject matter or discipline within business and management.
To find online DBA programs, a DM degree or PhD in Business and Management, check out programs from partner schools right away. We make it easy to contact DBA online schools through the on-page form so go ahead and choose the perfect doctorate degree for you.