DBA or PhD: What is your choice?

As an aspiring research scholar, pursuing a doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) or in Philosophy (PhD) can be your most critical decision. It is important to understand the differences between the two, as both programs require your committed dedication and perseverance.

Listed below are the differences between the DBA and PhD program that can help you make the right decision:

  • Professional versus Academic goals

The PhD program can be pursued if you are interested in an academic career, while the DBA program can help you advance your aspirations in your current professional field. For example, if you are into marketing, a DBA program that explores the future trends of digital marketing can be your area of interest.

  • Target groups

Both these programs are aimed at different target groups.  Typically, university graduates, who wish to pursue a career in academics or research enrol for a PhD program immediately after graduation. The DBA program is aimed at working professionals, interested in management research, aimed at solving a research question from the line of their work.

Compared to PhD student, DBA students are older and more experienced in their professional career.

  • Nature of study

A DBA program, especially in UK universities, involves both taught knowledge modules as well as research work. A DBA student is expected to develop existing knowledge theories that can contribute towards solving a problem in their current professional field.

The PhD program, on the other hand, is purely based on research-based knowledge. A PhD student is expected to contribute to the knowledge base in theory.

  • Type of research

For the PhD program, the research is more scholarly in merit and is aimed at addressing a gap in an existing research subject. The research material or final dissertation generally does not relate to what happens in the real business world.

In the DBA program, the research is more practical in nature and is aimed at solving an acknowledged problem in the business workplace.

  • Program financing

PhD students, especially in top universities, do get full or partial financing from their universities in the form of a scholarship or a stipend. DBA students, on the other hand, have to pay for their own education, or may receive funding from their companies.

  • Recognition

Though both programs confer you with a doctorate, the PhD program is more recognized and accepted around the world. The DBA program is a relatively new program and is not yet accepted across the world.

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