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DBA vs. PhD

The Doctor of Business Administration degree program is a wise choice for executives wishing to advance their companies and their careers, but it is not the only option for a terminal degree in the academic field of business.


Both the DBA and the PhD require academic rigor, advanced research abilities, and writing skills, as each ultimately conclude with a dissertation, but the background and experience of degree candidates is considerably different, as are their ultimate career goals.


DBA

The Doctor of Business Administration is a practitioner’s degree, and is the optimal degree choice for executives with significant high-level managerial experience, seeking to advance their careers and their organizations. Recent academic experience is not expected, and standardized test scores are not required. The program focus is on problem-solving and rigorous research to achieve that aim. Career goals are to advance existing positions in the private sector. Some who possess the DBA teach in an academic setting, but this is not the usual career path for these degree holders.


PhD

The PhD in Business Administration is considered the optimal degree choice for those whose primary goal is a career in an academic setting. Significant work experience in a position of responsibility and leadership is rarely required, and instead the quality of recent academic achievement and standardized test scores matter greatly. The program focus is on academic research at an advanced level, with the primary goal of a career in academic publication and instruction. Some who possess the PhD in Business Administration work in the private sector, but this is not the usual career path for these degree holders.