The Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is a research doctorate, much like a PhD. There is also a PhD in Business Administration available, but the focus of this program is much more theoretical in nature. The PhD in Business Administration will prepare you for a teaching or research role. While a DBA also focuses on theory, it is designed to prepare the successful candidate for work in a managerial setting.
Pursuit of the Doctorate in Business Administration follows completion of a bachelor’s in business and master’s in business program. It may or may not require coursework, but a major thesis (70,000 to 100,000 words) is required along with a formal defense. One of the interesting aspects of this particular doctorate is the fact that many business schools now offer the program with emphasis on particular areas or study, such as technology management or the science of growth management.
The curriculum for a doctorate in business administration will often focus on the practical applications that lay beyond the field of study. One program, for example, offers a DBA in Management with focus on organizational behavior, human resource management, strategic management and organizational theory. A person that has completed this level of study could turn to the business world and function as a consultant.
Businesses that have experienced rapid growth or businesses that have become moribund with old and ingrown operational methods are prime candidates for professional consulting. The DBA, with an intimate understanding of both the behavioral and structural theories underlying business functions, can be of valuable service in dysfunctional corporate environments.
Globalization has added a new area of focus for many DBA programs. The growing integration of capital, trade and business ownership across borders has provided for some rich new academic orientations. Politics of necessity enter into the picture as entire labor markets and industries are shifted from one continent to another, profoundly affecting the economic balance of trade that nations have traditionally enjoyed.
A doctorate in business administration today will include some study of cross-cultural relations, as a precursor to cross-border economic accomplishments. Beyond the cultural issues are international business and trade law, along with offshore labor practices that vary widely and are rapidly being integrated into American companies. India and China are emerging as world economic powers and with this sea change there are great opportunities for those who have a grasp of global economic functionality.
There are distance learning programs for both of these degrees. University of Phoenix Online offers a Doctor of Business Administration as well as a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership. Capella University has a Doctorate in Business Administration available. Clearly, achieving all of the requirements for these degrees through distance learning would be a formidable task.
If you have college credits, however, it is definitely worth looking into the coursework required to achieve admission to the doctoral program. The Doctorate in Business Administration is at the end of a long road. Although, unlike most non-medical doctorates, there are many opportunities beyond the academic world.