DBA Online. Which school and is it even worth it?

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Steven V Cornacchia, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. Steven V Cornacchia

    Steven V Cornacchia New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I'll be finishing up my MBA in November of this year. I was dreading going back to school for it but surprisingly ended up enjoying it. I'm considering continuing my education for three reasons:

    1) Personal Achievement
    2) Professional/Career Development
    3) Tuition Reimbursement - My company will pay 90% of the cost of the doctorate, perhaps 100%

    I can't take time off of work so quitting and doing a full PHD program isn't an option. So my questions are:

    1) Is a DBA even worth it? I'd be far more willing to do it if it wasn't three plus years. I can commit to it now but who knows what my life will be like in two years
    2) Is a second Master degree an option? Perhaps a masters of leadership or project management? Or would that look strange or be worthless since I have the MBA?
    3) Any idea what the time commitment would be for one DBA class compared to the MBA classes I took?

    Additionally, the schools I am looking at are:

    Liberty - I see their program is accredited. They have more specialization options. Not a huge fan of the religion or political aspects though. Not sure what employers would think about this university.

    Bellevue - I've never heard of it but I like how the DBA is structured (No final project, it is worked throughout the course). I've seen some "diploma mill" reviews. Again, not sure how an employer would look at this school.

    Franklin - Nothing good or bad to say really. Looks like a standard DBA program.

    I'm open to other schools if suggested.

    If anyone has experience with getting a DBA or any of these schools please let me know. I have months to decide but I like to start planning far in advance. Thanks.
  2. Steven V Cornacchia

    Steven V Cornacchia New Member

    I'm also looking at Texas Wayland University's Doctor of Management. I prefer writing papers to exams as well.
  3. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Unless the school has AACSB accreditation, the others are all in the same "boat" in my eyes. So, whether you choose Liberty, Bellevue, or Franklin, I don't think one will be favored more than the other. I could be wrong. If you're looking for a bit of "prestige," UNC Greensboro has an online Ph.D. in Business Administration (three campus visits required). The program is offered by an AACSB accredited school.

    Also, employers' perceptions will vary. Some might embrace a Christian, conservative education, while others may not. Liberty is controversial because of its inept president.

    You could also consider these DBA programs:

    St. Thomas University (Florida)
    University of the Cumberlands
    Trevecca Nazarene University
    University of the Southwest
    Grand Canyon University
    Saint Leo University
    Felician University
  4. Steven V Cornacchia

    Steven V Cornacchia New Member

    Thanks chrisjm. I'll check those other schools out. I will also mention that I am open to other ideas, such as getting a CPA instead. Frankly, I want to continue education in some form as I will have quite a bit of free time on my hands after the MBA is finished.
    chrisjm18 likes this.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Have you looked into the international school on research-based? For DBA, I would recommend Grenoble Ecole de Management with option limited residency in New York City, Los Angeles or France. Also, research Ph.D. in Management at the University of Leicester... I am considering this program, and I am currently taking its FREE research proposal writing at FutureLearn.

    TTS likes this.
  6. Steven V Cornacchia

    Steven V Cornacchia New Member

    I will check those out Tekman.

    For those that have started or completed a DBA program, could you explain how the course work is different from a Masters? I believe PhDs are more researched based, but from reading some of the DBA programs, they look very similar to MBA work.
  7. Courcelles

    Courcelles Member

    If you live in Chicago or Milwaukee, Wisconsin-Whitewater has an AACSB DBA with monthly residencies for two years. Not cheap, but few AACSB doctorates are. https://www.uww.edu/cobe/doctorate/dba-admissions

    Georgia State has a similarly residency-heavy DBA if Atlanta is closer.

    Oklahoma State awards the Ph. D. instead, but, still, lots of time in Stillwater. https://business.okstate.edu/phdexec/index.html. Looking at 120k for that one!

    Temple is an option if Philly is closer

    I think South Florida has one in Tampa and U Dallas in, well, Dallas. But I don’t know of any AACSB options East of the I-35, and all of these require a lot of commuting.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I really like Liberty University's DBA program because it has a focus on Finance. However, I was trying to stalk some graduates what they are doing now after completed their DBA. Most of them just teaching for Liberty, and some of them do not have an impressive LinkedIn profile.
  9. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    The DBA is geared towards senior business executives, and to a lesser extent, college instructors/adjuncts. Unless someone already is working in an executive role, I don't see how the DBA will suddenly take them to that level. The problem is that everyone and their friends want a doctorate and think it will work wonders for them. Experience and personal qualities are what will take you where you need to go. I don't even see the value of pursuing a DBA solely for a professional career. I'm yet to see an executive job post the even lists a DBA as a preferred qualification.
    JoshD likes this.
  10. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I completed a DBA from an Australian school in 2009. It helped to land an administration and teaching job back then but things have changed drastically since then. As people have stated, a DBA from a non AACSB accredited school with no ranking might be a hard sell in a world saturated with online credentials. My guess is that a DBA from any of the mentioned schools might work well for someone already working in an academic setting and needs a doctorate just to get an administration job. It might help to get some adjunct work but at similar schools.

    As for a second Master's degree, I would think it is cheaper and more effective to get a certification such as an PMP, CPA, CMA, etc. It won't look worthless as it is common to see people with a more technical degree (e.g. MS Finance) and an MBA.

    DBAs nowadays are really like an Advanced MBA with mainly course work and dissertations based on the work place. Most DBAs are not preparing you for an academic career so it is like doing another MBA as for time is concerned.

    I see nothing wrong with doing a DBA from a little known school but the expectation should be realistic, it can give you an edge for some jobs but don't expect it to be a game changer.
  11. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Most people that take DBAs are mainly adjuncts or at a lesser extent people with non management Masters that work in management and take the DBA as an MBA. It might lead to an executive role if it comes from a top school and the graduate has good work experience but most of the schools mentioned by the OP are low ranked schools that might not attract the attention of a top 500 fortune firm. If the OP is really aiming at a 200K plus job, I believe he or she needs to look at a top school.

    These programs have their niche market but not a game changer for someone already working in management making a decent salary.
  12. Steven V Cornacchia

    Steven V Cornacchia New Member

    As far as career expectation, I'm currently working for a top 500 fortune company and not planning on leaving. The DBA would be more for ten to fifteen years down the road. I'd rather get it done now when I have some momentum from my MBA than take a long break and started back up. The hardest part of the MBA was just starting back up in school after years out of it.
  13. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    The world is changing so fast and it is hard to tell what would happen ten to fifteen years down the road. The main trend now is for low ranked schools to offer DBAs online as a survival strategy, in 10 years from now you might have top schools offering online DBAs and then these DBAs will become almost obsolete just like DBAs from for online profit schools are now (e.g. DBA from Jones International University). Given the current environment, I would not get a DBA to be used in 15 years from now, by then things would have changed so much that your DBA might need to be upgraded to adjust to the new environment (Maybe a new degree would emerge such as a Post DBA).
    As I holder of a DBA, I can tell you that if I did not use it right away, I would have a hard time getting a full time job now with it as things are now so different and demand of skills is different.
  14. Steven V Cornacchia

    Steven V Cornacchia New Member

    Thanks. I was thinking exactly what you said could be an issue.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It's hard to answer the question of whether going after a DBA is "worth it." That's in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps a more concrete outcome--as opposed to the ones the OP offered--would help answer that question. But "Professional/Career Development" is pretty vague. Develop what kind of career? What does "develop" mean in this context?
  16. felderga

    felderga Active Member

    One more DBA program worth taking a look is University of Maryland Global Campus. Do note there is a requirement for 2 weekend on campus residency visits. Otherwise if you're looking for a general curriculum it might not be a bad choice. https://www.umgc.edu/academic-programs/doctoral-degrees/doctor-of-business-administration.cfm

    Also since the DBA is really less about the coursework and more with respect to the dissertation or doctoral project have you determine what your research interest are yet? You have at least a rough idea of topics of interest especially as you reach out and talk with faculty. If you're someone looking for faculty support that may be important driver in your ultimate choice of schools.
  17. Steven V Cornacchia

    Steven V Cornacchia New Member

    Thanks for the responses everyone. I have some time to think about it so I'll keep researching in the meantime. Have to make sure which programs my company will offer Tuition Reimbursement for as well.
  18. Steven V Cornacchia

    Steven V Cornacchia New Member

    So I've been doing research and am deciding between two options:

    1) Obtaining a DBA from a regionally accredited, non-profit school. No other accreditations. This would take approximately four years.
    2) Obtaining a Master of Science in Data Analytics to compliment my MBA from a regionally accredited. AACSB accredited tier 1 school This would take maximum two years.

    My short term goal is to become a senior financial analyst, then transition into a Finance Manager role, and possibly finish up my career as a director of finance. I'm leaning toward getting the master of science in data analytics. It would be cheaper, less time, a hard skill, and a better (name) school. The DBA I'm just not sure would make much of a difference than a MBA would on a resume as long as skills and experience are there.

    JoshD likes this.
  19. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    Data Analytics is a hot field. I was admitted to Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business to pursue a Master of Science in Quantitative Management: Business Analytics. If you are looking to learn how to apply analytics to business, then business analytics may be better. If you want to learn in depth coding skills, machine learning, data engineering, etc. then data science is certainly the way to go. I feel data science programs do not really teach you how to interpret data and make effective data-driven business decisions.
  20. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    Also, a MS Data Analytics degree will not be offered in a business school. You’ll typically see it offered through an interdisciplinary approach through the Graduate School.

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