Age & Experience

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by lowtrader, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. lowtrader

    lowtrader New Member

    Did some research and the info is hard to come by.

    Does age or experience make a difference when pursuing a DBA?

    I was told prior to my MSc that experience is very important and should have around 5 years work experience under my belt prior to pursuing a Masters programme. As a stubborn person I started with just 2.5 years experience in low positions (i.e. no real decision making). Fast forward 2 years, I got all 8 modules A- to A+ ..... so I'm not in favor of the age thing. Since then I've moved to middle management and make some decisions, although I still do not manage people but am slowly getting into that as a mentor at this stage.

    I always believe that if a person really wants to achieve something s/he will. It's human nature.

    So the million dollar question is; what is the right age / combination of work experience needed to start a DBA?

    I would definitely start asap, targeting age 25/26 with 5/5.5 years work experience (8 -12 months from now).
  2. distancedoc2007

    distancedoc2007 New Member

    Very interesting question! I did mine in midlife and have no regrets. I had, by that time, come up with some areas of business that I was very passionate about exploring, and was getting near the end of my then-career. I wasn't really using the degree to move up; it was more just icing on the cake.

    I figure there's no bad time to a DBA - the utility of the degree will be different (not higher or lower, just different) depending on your life and career stages. Early on, it can establish you as a subject matter expert, and later on it can show you are still current and driven to keep learning.

    One thing I would observe is it's easier to get through when you are older and more experienced. It's just another big project in a long line of ones you have already tackled - generally more routine and predictable than some of the others!
  3. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Of course it is different for everyone but I was 37 and was a manager with about 10 people under me covering 5 states.
  4. lowtrader

    lowtrader New Member

    Very interesting to get to know the experiences you went through prior to attempting your doctorate. I guess experience does help. But to what extent? Will it be so crucial to make or break?
  5. distancedoc2007

    distancedoc2007 New Member

    Experience isn't make or break. But when you've built departments, organizations and managed people, you have greater insight into what management is and what the issues are. This is probably more relevant for someone wanting to do their research on a general management or leadership topic.

    The only make or break thing I can see is caring enough about your research area (and I am speaking about research-only or research-intensive doctorates) that you will sustain yourself through the many tempations to give up and quit. That really is independent of age and experience in my view. It's easier to keep pushing through the many setbacks and frustrations if you and a bunch of other people are excited about, and eagerly awaiting, your research findings.

    LOL - In the end, stubbornness, resilience and refusal to give up may be the most important success factors!
  6. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    I think this is an interesting topic.

    I feel like I got a late start professionally. College in general was postponed due to time spent in the military and two wars abroad which made it difficult to go to school. Then I transitioned into a career field just to leave that field a few years later looking for greener pastures. Now I've been in management for 5 years and I support over 40 employees as a mid level manager.

    So moving forward I'm looking at graduate level education at 33 years old. I have a very diverse background given my personal and professional experiences, but I do feel like I'm getting a late start compared to my peers.
  7. lowtrader

    lowtrader New Member

    Thanks for the replies. It's nice to hear & learn from other people's experience.

    I guess we can extend this to MBA's and Masters degress in buusiness as well.

    NorCal, in my country the faster you get qualifications the better position you'll be in for securing top jobs. However the salaries between Masters jobs and Dctorate jobs is very slim. Also the salaries between Degree jobs and Masters jobs is also very slim. But to be honest I've seen managers at age 30 be super good ones, and others aged 50+ be very horrible ones, and vice versa.
  8. Ganooch

    Ganooch New Member

    I am confused. How are you middle management, but have never managed people?
  9. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    I went from supervising personnel, to managing seven regulatory programs (no employees), and then I transitioned into my current position where I manage two programs with 40 personnel that report to me.

    Clear as mud, lol.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2013
  10. lowtrader

    lowtrader New Member

    Management is not always about people. Some managers manage systems, accounts, customers etc., which may be a challenging task, especially if a lot of money is involved.

    I suggest going through this HBR blog post by John Kotter (one of the best in business & management): Management Is (Still) Not Leadership - John Kotter - Harvard Business Review
  11. priyanka741

    priyanka741 member

    if you are currently doing work then you also done mba
  12. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    Wait . . . what!?
  13. BMWGuinness

    BMWGuinness New Member

    What is the benefit/ROI of a DBA if you are not pursuing it for Academic reasons? ie not planning to teach. I feel my age and experience are suitable to look into a DBA program, but not sure about the benefit for Executive Management beyond the MBA preference.
  14. distancedoc2007

    distancedoc2007 New Member

    For me, part of it was flexing some brain muscles in a fairly public way. It's pretty easy to get pigeonholed when your most recent degree is more than 10 years old. I was also genuinely interested in the research topic which happened to involve a leading-edge area. There's a "whomp" factor that comes with dropping a recent thesis on the table. It removes the "Yeah but is s/he still current and with it?" question. And what the heck, it was another mountain that hadn't been climbed yet, and it was there. :)

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