DBA/PhD question.....

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by dst10spr97, May 31, 2005.

  1. dst10spr97

    dst10spr97 New Member

    This may seem like a rather silly question and I know the Phd and DBA is similiar in nature somewhat, but is it unethical to let people think you are getting a PhD when you are getting a DBA? I don't mean putting it on your resume or anything. Let me explain. Most of my friends and family know that I am getting ready to start the DBA program at Argosy, starting this summer. And of course they are all excited and happy for me (I'm excited too). So they are spreading the word so to speak. So when one of my friends, or relatives calls me or emails me to say congratulations on going back to grad school for your Phd in Accounting, I will usually say thank you but actually I am going for a DBA. But it's getting to the point where I am like why keep correcting everybody. Most people are familiar with Phd's and not DBA's. At least my circle of people.

    Also how many of you put it on your resume that you are pursuing a doctorate? Do you list it as Phd/DBA (In progress). Or should I leave it off until I actually receive it or what? Opinions?

    Hope everyone had an excellent Holiday!
  2. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Most people is familiar with the PhD and not the DBA, I don't see nothing wrong by saying that you are pursuing a PhD as this is what people know. As for your resume, I normally put the full name (Doctor of Business Administration) as few people know that DBA stands for a Doctoral degree. For business cards, I don't see nothing wrong by using PhD or Dr as few people would know what is a DBA. At the end, is about semantics as both are equivalent but the DBA more applied in nature than the PhD.
  3. dst10spr97

    dst10spr97 New Member


    Like I said I am just going to tell people that aren't familiar with the DBA that I am getting a Phd or just say I am working on my doctorate. But I never thought about putting PhD on business cards since I am not getting a Phd. It'll be interesting to see what others think as well. Thanks for your input.
  4. Dr Rene

    Dr Rene Member

    I had this same thing happen to me when I was pursuing the DBA. I would just respond by saying I am working on a "doctorate in business administration", or just a "doctorate". It was only a couple of times did I specify DBA and not PhD, but that was in response to a specific question about my program. In my opinion, the majority of society thinks all doctorates = PhDs, and most people use "PhD" as a generic term for doctorate.

    While I was pursuing the DBA, my CV/resume would reflect "Doctoral work in business administration", up to the point where I had passed my comprehensive exams, and had my research proposal approved, then it would be DBA Candidate. My CV now only has DBA--I have never and will never use PhD--since I did not earn a PhD, but a DBA. Just like I will never use BS or MS, since I did not earn those degrees--but a BBA and MBA instead.

    My business cards reflect Dr. upfront, not DBA at the end, simply because I have more alphabet soup at the end--CPCM, C.P.M., PMP.
  5. dst10spr97

    dst10spr97 New Member

    Alphabet Soup

    I have always loved that term. Dr. Rene I take my first course starting June 30th at Sarasota. Business Research Writing. I just met with my advisor via conference call. Dr. Rabidoux is my advisor. I will be on campus July 22-24th. Can't wait.
  6. Scott Henley

    Scott Henley New Member

    This is an interesting topic. My advice would be just to say "I'm pursuing a doctorate..." since everyone knows what that is. I don't think it would be quite correct, and perhaps misleading, to say that one holds a PhD if the course of study leads to a DBA. Especially if the DBA was granted in the country of residence.

    HOWEVER, there are many foreign doctoral degree-holders that earned a "Doctorat" or "Dottore" or something similar that come to an English-speaking country and naturally adopt the "PhD" acronym after their name, especially when they get their qualification assessed and determined as "equivalent".

    I would say then, in general, if someone obtained a foreign degree from the UK, France, Germany, Australia, etc., that was determined equivalent to a PhD, even if it was a DBA, that it would be OK to use the PhD if some educational body said was the same.

    I have met many European engineers with five-year Diplom-Ingenier degrees that come to Canada and have no problem using MSc after their name since the local educational evaluating body said it was "equivalent".
  7. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    The same for the DBA in Canada. DBAs are almost non existing in this country (except Sherbrooke University). I got my DBA from Australia as equivalent to the "doctorate de troisieme cycle en administration" in Quebec so therefore I could use the term PhD. In the case of the US, DBA is more appropiate as this program is available.
  8. Scott Henley

    Scott Henley New Member

    RFValve, I would agree with your position on this topic. It's all about equivalency, and if your foreign DBA is assessed as being a PhD, then, by all means, use the designation if it suits your needs.
  9. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    I know some of those foreign DBAs are equivalent to U.S. PhDs as they're heavily research-oriented, but I'd be careful about calling them a "PhD", especially to a prospective academic employer. You might end up blacklisted for being disingenuous.

    There's no reason anyway to blush and stammer your way through the explanation that you have a DBA. It's a respected degree--Harvard, for example, offers one--and there are many tenured faculty out there in solid B-schools who have a DBA and I doubt seriously that they're held in lower regard by colleagues.
  10. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    HAVAHD offahs one? Then how respectable cahn it really BE?
  11. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Sometimes people end with degrees that are not so popular like M. Bus (Master of Business) or M.Admin (Master of Administration) and they need to change the acronyms in the CV for a MBA so a prospect employer can undertand the level of education. I have a M.Eng (Master of Engineering) that is not so popular in some countries and need to tell to some prospect employers that is equivalent to a M.S.E.E (Master of Science in Electrical Engineering) so they understand.

    If you live in a country where DBAs are almost non existing (like Canada), it would be hard to market your degree as a DBA because it can be confused with other qualifications like Data base administrator.
  12. Scott Henley

    Scott Henley New Member

    It's hard to believe that an M.Eng. is less recognized than a M.S.E.E. M.Eng. is almost universal.
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Come correct. Come accurate.

    I realize it's easier to just say "Ph.D." with novices, but not everyone within earshot is a novice.

    When I was working for UoP, I had a faculty member enrolled in UoP's DM program. He kept telling students he was working on his Ph.D. at UoP. (Readers: UoP doesn't offer the Ph.D.) I finally told him to be specific--it made him sound like he didn't know what he was talking about.
  14. jtaee1920

    jtaee1920 New Member

    I am an executive at a publishing company with a medium sized department (210 employees). From a hiring perspective, degrees in progress should not be listed on a resume. Mention on a cover letter is perfectly acceptable and mention only during an interview is best. In many cases, a degree in progress is worthless to an employer because there is no guarantee the degree will ever be finished. I hired one employee in specific that was working on a graduate degree when I hired him and he never finished.

    While we are talking about resumes, leave out degree designations from your name. In my opinion, letters after your name are only a sign of insecurity. Using "John Smith, XXX" says nothing more than "my overall qualifications cannot stand on their own so I'm hoping my education will get me this job"

    I met a guy on an airplane once and we talked about business and exchanged cards. His card listed his name as "John Smith, MBA". Poor taste in my opinion. Degree designations should be left to those in professions where a particular degree is required to practice (i.e. law, medicine, etc...). No profession requires an MBA or Ph.D. so it should be left off business cards (unless you are employed in academia).
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Oh, I so much disagree. I don't work in academia. My Ph.D. is utterly relevant professionally. It affects which clients I meet, which business I draw, even my billing rates. It's on by business card.
  16. jtaee1920

    jtaee1920 New Member

    I stand corrected. I would agree that in cases where a degree is relevant, it could be used on a business card. In a consultant type environment or when people rely on your expertise in a certain field, academic qualifications are sometimes relevant.

    I was referring more to those that do not work in consulting or have people external to the company that rely on advice. For example... the guy I met on the airplane listed MBA after his name on his business card and he was a manager at an internet based service company. Clearly a sign of insecurity...
  17. Scott Henley

    Scott Henley New Member

    I don't think it's a sign of insecurity at all. I would think an MBA is strongly related to management within an internet-based service company. An MBA is as much a professional designation as it is an academic one.
  18. dst10spr97

    dst10spr97 New Member

    I disagree as well....

    I also disagree. I have MBA after my name on my resume as well as on my business cards. I work in the accounting/finance field. I don't think its a sign of my insecurity at all. Not to mention I am dayum proud of it and worked hard for it. Just ask the student loan folks!! :D
  19. jtaee1920

    jtaee1920 New Member

    I would strongly agree that an MBA is a great asset for any manager. My post was referring to external communications such as business cards. Since the person I was referring to did not normally consult or make recommendations to people external to the company, the MBA designation on his card was is irrelevant to anyone receiving his business card.

    Having an advanced degree and/or applying that knowledge is not a sign of insecurity - more so a sign of intellegence. On the other hand, telling others that would not care about the degree through a business card is a sign of insecurity.
  20. jtaee1920

    jtaee1920 New Member

    Re: I disagree as well....

    There are lots of work related things, and all relevant to a future employer, I am very proud of...none of which I would put after my name on a resume.

    As far as resumes go, the point of a resume is to convey qualifications to a hiring manager. Degrees earned should be listed in the education section of a resume. I rarely see resumes that list "John Smith, BA" but for some reason, I have run across a handful in the past year where people have listed "John Smith, MBA". Maybe it was a coincidence, but the people I interviewed that had MBA after their name were all relatively young - perhaps they hoped the degree would make up for experience deficiencies. Most resume writers will tell you to leave the degree off your name and if your education is your best asset, just list that first on the resume. That way, your degree will be at the top of the page.

Share This Page