DBA v. PhD in business?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by me again, Aug 30, 2007.

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For business majors only: Do you prefer a DBA or a PhD in business?

  1. DBA

    29 vote(s)
    54.7%
  2. PhD in business

    24 vote(s)
    45.3%
  1. me again

    me again Active Member

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    I had no idea that the DBA was so wildly popular amongst people, but apparently it is! :eek:

    Has the popularity of the DBA always been there or is this a new doctoral trend? The reason I ask is because over the last two years, there seems to have been an increase in the number of inquiries about the DBA at this forum. What are your thoughts about the DBA verses a PhD in business?
     
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    I said DBA because my perception is that one has more leeway to do a project that's suitable for practitioners to complete a DBA, as opposed to a more theory based dissertation one would expect for a PhD.

    Of course, with a Master's in Educational Technology, I'm unlikely to do either, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. :)

    -=Steve=-
     
  3. RFValve

    RFValve Active Member

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    I think that the degree name does not matter much as the school and program. I rather a DBA from NSU than a PhD from NCU. There is nothing wrong with NCU but NSU is just a better school. The same for a DBA from a school like Manchester in the UK against a PhD from a school like Capella. I wouldn't worry much about the degree name but the reputation and credibility of the school.
     
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    I agree with the thrust of your argument, and have considered a variety of doctoral programs with non-PhD nomenclature for this reason. I think, however, that the way I would put it is that Nova Southeastern has a longer track record than Northcentral does, especially when it comes to alumni finding faculty positions.

    -=Steve=-
     
  5. me again

    me again Active Member

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    There was a time when NSU was laughed at and scorned by those in the traditional university system -- I remember it distinctly and it seems like yesterday. People had never heard of NSU and people always questioned whether it was accredited. It was. However, people are no longer laughing at degrees from NSU.
     
  6. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

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    I spoke a woman in my Reserve Unit in 1997 and she just completed her masters degree from USF. I told her I was thinking of returning to school. She said, "What ever you do, stay away from Nova. They are not accreditied."
     
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    Reminds me of the urban legend that Harvard is unaccredited. There's not much you can do about people who are seemingly willfully uninformed.

    -=Steve=-
     
  8. me again

    me again Active Member

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    LOL-- I remember those days well!!! In the 1980s and 90s, NSU seems to have that sort of negative stigma attached to it. Go figure. :rolleyes: However, in the 21st Century people have a much greater understanding of what "regional accreditation" is. I don't know the history behind the negative stigma that followed NSU. Maybe it had something to do with their non-traditional format, to include "weekend classes."
     
  9. eric.brown

    eric.brown New Member

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    I actually heard this recently from an associate.

    His exact words were 'I don't understand why people pay all that money to go to Harvard' and then in a whispered tone he continued 'you know they aren't even accredited?'
     
  10. PhD2B

    PhD2B Dazed and Confused

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    That's hilarious. :D

    I have a feeling that an unaccredited Harvard degree would still be worth more than a degree from most of the accredited universities out there.
     
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    While Harvard is accredited, of course, there is the famous example of Rockefeller University in New York, which is extremely prestigious in the biomedical and physical science areas yet is unaccredited. To me, though, it's the exception that proves the rule.

    -=Steve=-
     
  12. me again

    me again Active Member

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    I didn't even know what a DBA was until I began visiting this forum a few years ago. Conversely, everyone knows what an MBA is! An MBA has as much (or more) name recognition as a PhD.
     
  13. RobbCD

    RobbCD New Member

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    Rockefeller University is accredited by the New York State Board of Regents, which is recognized by the US DoE as a specialized accreditor. So, technically it's institutionally accredited.

    Just FWIW

    http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/InstDetail.asp
     
  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    Good point, I stand corrected.

    -=Steve=-
     
  15. cumpa

    cumpa New Member

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    I'm in public adminstration as opposed to business administration but I think the trend towards DBA's has to do with the number of MBA programs out there. The MBA is quickly becoming almost irrelevant because of the number of people that now have them. Yes an MBA from a top B-School may still land you a big job at a large investment banking firm but I don't think the degree from other schools has the same utility as it once did. I'm not dismissing the MBA but for people that want to set themselves apart from the crowd the DBA seems like a logical step. A Phd has one purpose which is to prepare the holder for academia and research. The DBA seems more flexible with it's focus on applied research rather than theoretical. I'm pursuing a DPA for the same reasons and like the DBA it's a degree designed for practitioners which I intend to be until retirement. Teaching may be something I do on the side but to be honest I couldn't afford the pay cut of becoming a faculty member at a teaching focused school which is what my degree would yield me in the best case scenerio. It's value in my current job though I'm hoping will be much greater by giving me an edge in future promotional processes and perhaps in doing consulting work down the road.
     
  16. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

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    I am starting to look at the DBA more seriously now. I plan to use my advanced degree to land traching jobs so I guess the PhD would best fit my future needs. Decisions - decisions.

    To those who choose a DBA over a PhD, why did you do it?
     
  17. RFValve

    RFValve Active Member

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    In my case, since I went for Australian school, the only option available was the DBA as the PhD requires a research master's for admission. This would have required an extra year of work so the DBA was more attractive.

    In the UK and Australia, the DBA seems to be the only option available for MBA holders.

    If I had a choice, I would choose the PhD over the DBA mainly because name recognition. There is a very thin line between a DBA and PhD dissertation as some supervisors might accept a more applied dissertation for a PhD or a more theoretical one for the DBA. The amount of work is about the same but the PhD has better recognition.
     
  18. PhD2B

    PhD2B Dazed and Confused

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    Same here. Even though I am not working on a DBA, I wish DSU's DSc program was a PhD program. The rigor and the requirements are the same as a PhD program, but the name recognition is just not there. To echo what RFValve wrote, "There is a very thin line between a DBA [or a DSc] and a PhD dissertation as some supervisors might accept a more applied dissertation for a PhD or a more theoretical one for the DBA [or the DSc]."
     
  19. macattack

    macattack New Member

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    I respectfully disagree with this assessment of the MBA. In the corporate world an MBA is still king and I suspect that will be true for the foreseeable future. It is a terminal degree for business people, not a DBA. As far as your assessment of the MBA being "almost irrelevant", it is simply far from the truth. Companies are sending their employees to obtain MBAs in record numbers, so there is clearly a market for them. Strangely, I only hear this assessment from people that are in a non-MBA graduate business programs or people that don't work in corporate America.

    If I had either a DBA or PhD, I would most likely leave it off my professional resume...too many "deer in the headlights" looks. Followed by "why did you do that?". Things would be different for consulting or teaching of course.

    Thanks for listening :)
     
  20. cumpa

    cumpa New Member

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    I probably should have worded it differently. My point was that it is not the guarantee of a six figure income and a big corporate job that it once was. I think that the degrees value has been diluted a bit with the number of MBA programs that are popping up. I think you could say that about many masters programs today with the increase in distance learning options. If you're established in your career and it helps you get to where you want to go that's terrific and makes it worth the expense. I think the reason MBA's are so popular is because they are big money makers for universities.Heck the MPA that I have hasn't been the golden ticket either but it's helped me thus far and I'm hoping the DPA will also have some practical value. I definitely don't plan on leaving it off my resume but I'm a mid career person and I think it will help. I'm in the public sector now but did work for a Fortune 50 company at one point. My wife is also in the corporate world so I'm pretty familiar with the value on education in the private sector. It definitely helps more if your already employed and trying to move up.

    Mike
     

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