Should you get a DBA or a PhD? Read more to find out which degree option is right for you.

Should I Get a DBA or a PhD?


Congratulations on deciding to pursue a graduate degree! Making that decision is a big one that requires time, commitment, and money. Now, deciding which program is right for you is another big decision that should not be taken lightly. There are so many universities and even more grad programs to choose from. Here, we are going to take a look at both a DBA as well as a PhD. Below are generalities, as there will always be exceptions as to an individual’s desired outcomes.


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Usually, DBA students are looking for a way to further distinguish themselves from their co-workers and peers. DBA students usually stay working professionals in their companies and want to stay in the business world after graduation. They may teach as guest professors, teach at smaller schools, and publish in more practitioner focused journals.

Other characteristics of DBA students include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Typically, people who do a DBA are already successful in business.
  • They are looking for a new intellectual challenge.
  • Interested in management research and may have a practical research question in mind.
  • Choose dissertations that provides benefits to their companies and industries for practical, real-world application.
  • Often have better access to data in their own businesses due to their connections and networks.
  • Typically courses are taught in a hybrid learning approach.
  • Education is more practitioner-based.


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Typically, those who choose to earn a PhD want to become a full-time professor at a research-based institution. Their motivating goal is usually to become an academic and do research. Many times, students who pursue a PhD move directly from an undergraduate degree to a PhD program. They usually have minimal work experience, as their focus has been on academics. Often students have less access to research data since they usually do not have access to organizations.

Other characteristics of PhD students include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Key academic focus is doing research, publishing in academic journals or books, and teaching.
  • Typically courses are taught entirely in-person.
  • Education is more theory-based.


Do you want to know more?

If you want to learn more about Concordia University’s DBA program, you can click this link. No matter where you are in your graduate education journey, we’d love to help you find out if Concordia is the right fit for you.


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