Have you found yourself wondering if a DBA is worth it?


Is a DBA worth it?

Earning your Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is a big decision. The time and money costs are one thing, but then the workload and schedule are other aspects to think about. There are so many different options available to you as a student, and there’s so much information out there.

How do you actually know if a DBA is a worthwhile pursuit?

The truth is that nobody can answer this question better than you can. But, in order to guide you, here are a few tips to consider when determining whether or not a DBA is worth it.

The topic: curriculum

Our tip: When looking at DBA programs, be sure to understand the curriculum.

Most programs have their curriculum information readily available online. You need to know what you’re signing up for and what’s required of you before you get started. Additionally, looking through the curriculum can give you insight into the rigor of a program, as well as what concentrations or specializations are available to you.

DBAs are perfect for individuals who want to grow in their leadership and analytical skills, but who also want to remain in the industry. You should be able to see this reflected in a program’s curriculum. A solid program balances theory and research with practical applications. Ideally, you should be able to apply what you learn in class to your current context.

The dissertation process

Finally, when it comes to curriculum, find out about the dissertation process and what this could look like for you. What are the expectations and benchmarks? Is there strong faculty support? How do I begin the research process? These are all questions that incoming students frequently have.

Dr. Jennifer Knowles, Assistant Professor in the Department of Qualitative Business at Concordia University, offers some great advice when it comes to choosing a dissertation topic. She advises students to choose a topic that will hold their interest long-term, and she also addresses key roadblocks, such as data accessibility. Knowles notes: “In the Concordia University Wisconsin DBA Program, faculty and staff will be there to support you every step of the way.”

The topic: networking

Our tip: Use your DBA program experience as a way to build mutually beneficial professional relationships.

Many universities offer cohort models. A cohort, at the very least, is a group of people whom you can connect with to discuss your coursework. But, your cohort experience can be so much more than that. For example, Concordia’s cohort model encourages students to build lifelong relationships.

Making connections

These DBA connections will undoubtedly make your learning experience better. When it comes time to collaborate on a project, approaching a task with teammates can be a really enriching experience. You’ll get to see the different ways people problem-solve.

Also, you’ll get better at finding ways to use your skills and strengths to bring the most to the group, which is a great skill to bring to the workplace. Throughout the course of your time in the program, you’ll grow not only as an individual, but interpersonally. When you’re working through the complexities of a project or editing your dissertation, you’ll feel a sense of community with your cohort. There’s something special about overcoming challenges together that will create a unique bond within your cohort.

Connections aren’t just peer-to-peer.

But, the cohort support and networking doesn’t just happen between students. You’ll get the chance to build professional relationships with your professors as well. One of the most direct ways this happens for Concordia’s DBA students is during the capstone research process. Students receive one-on-one guidance from their assigned mentor while they’re researching their dissertation topic. Professors love mentoring their students and watching them grow as critical thinkers. As a student, you’ll feel challenged and supported throughout your time in the program.

The topic: ROI

Our tip: Plan for your DBA with return on investment (ROI) in mind.

Earning a doctorate is a financial commitment, so it’s important to understand what this means for you personally. Contact your university’s financial aid office to get a clear picture of what aid is available to you. Also, be sure to research scholarship opportunities as well so that you can feel confident about your ROI going into your coursework.

There is more to ROI than the cost of the degree, though. Earning a DBA can give you more opportunities because of your experience, expertise, and research. These opportunities would certainly include higher-paying jobs. Set yourself up for success by getting to know your program director, professors, and peers. Look for opportunities to apply what you’re learning in the classroom to the workplace.

Finally, learn to have a growth mindset. If you’re unfamiliar with the term growth mindset, it’s based on Dr. Carol Dweck’s 30-year-long research. Coming into your DBA experience with a growth mindset will allow you to embrace failures and successes as opportunities for learning. If you treat every day as an opportunity to learn, apply your knowledge, and network, your ROI will be limitless.

Earning a DBA at Concordia University

Concordia University offers a world-class Doctor of Business Administration program. Your professors are well aware that the obstacles you’re facing in the industry continue to grow in complexity. They’re aware because they’re scholarly practitioners, and they’re passionate about their content and their students.

During and after your time in Concordia’s DBA program, you’ll be able to apply your coursework and research to the workplace. By combining quantitative and qualitative business concepts, you’ll learn how to facilitate actual change that translates to long-term growth and profitability.

Want to know more?

If you’re curious about some of the topics we mentioned, such as financial aid, curriculum, and overall experience, we’d love to answer your questions. You can book a call with one of our Inquiry Support Specialists. They’re equipped to answer your questions and connect you with the information you need. No matter where you are in your journey, we wish you all the best as you take your next step.

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