DBA versus the Ed.D as a viable consulting credential

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by simon, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. simon

    simon New Member

    Is there any advantage in obtaining a DBA with a specialization in Organizational Leadership/ Management rather then an Ed.D with the same specializations for purposes of marketing one's professional image and services in the profession of organizational and business consultation and career developmental consultation/coaching?
  2. Kirkland

    Kirkland Member

    In order to be an effective business coach you need to have significant understanding and experience within specific industries. So, the answer to your question depends on the industries you are interested in. The DBA exposes you to a variety of industries, specifically profit-based corporate enterprise. The EdD is focused on education including both profit and not-for-profit systems. In other words, if you are going into financial, manufacturing, information technology, transportation, pharmaceuticals, etc. an EdD will not be as relevant. If you are going to focus on educational administration, the EdD is right on.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2005
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    What Dr. Kirkland says.

    I work for a consulting company as a senior consultant. I don't know if the exact degree title would matter a lot, but what you're trained in will. In other words, the degree designation isn't as important as what you studied. But....

    One situation where it might matter (all other things being equal) is the subject matter in which you do your consulting. For example, if you're providing OD consulting (or human development, human capital, training, etc.), the EdD might be a better designation. But if you're consulting on business processes, marketing, or something like that, the DBA might be stronger. But I'd be much more concerned about the area of study and less so regarding the degree designation.

    One of my peers consults in process improvement while holding a Ph.D. in psychology. (From NCU; her master's is in counseling from Amberton and her bachelor's is in engineering from Texas A&M). None of her degrees directly relates to what she's doing currently, but she's built a body of experience that does. So even having non-fitting degrees doesn't have to be a limiter.
  4. obecve

    obecve New Member

    Actually I would disagree with Kirkland. An Ed.D. is not just about education. A number of major universities offer Ed.D.'s in subjects like human resource development, organizational leadership and technology. As a result, these degrees may have substantial use in consulting. I agree with Rich, you personal experience and personal development may matter as much as the degree. The degree helps give the perception of a measure of credibility. I have an Ed.D. and I have done a great deal of consulting in leadership development, succession planning, strategic planning and related subjects. I have also done a lot of consulting in diversity. They like that I had a doc and that I had the experience to back up the degree. I have had the opporutnity to consult in both business and government situtations. So the ultimate answer is what to you bring to the table and how do you plan to use the doc when you get it?
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I've seen the same thing as obecve, that the territory covered by Ed.D. programs includes not only counseling but also organizational studies, where it overlaps with business programs. I've also seen Ed.D. programs in Educational Leadership and in Education Management, which I can't imagone don't overlap a great deal with Management in general.

    Given that, I see an Ed.D. as a perfectly fine credential for consulting even in the business world, and expect that things like good word-of-mouth from your clients is more important than which three letters trail your name.

  6. Kirkland

    Kirkland Member

    The point is the EdD is not optimal for general business applications since it is not designed for that purpose. Therefore, I would have to disagree that it is "perfectly fine" for business utility. The EdD is most definitely about education. On the other hand I'm sure there are many folks who have successfully leveraged these degrees along with relevant experience into the business environment e.g. instructional technology etc.

    Nevertheless, here are a few descriptions of the EdD...

    According to the Univ of Minnesota:
    "...The Ed.D. is a professional degree program especially suitable for individuals who will provide leadership in the operation of educational institutions and are interested in applying scholarly research within the school setting..."

    According to Oregon State University:
    "the EdD...prepares professionals for leadership roles in a variety of positions in community college, public school or related educational settings..."

    According to Florida State University:
    "EdD...Upon completion of the doctorate, the graduate will have mastered a comprehensive body of knowledge related to the subject matter field of higher education. The graduate will have demonstrated knowledge and competence in utilizing the analytic skills of disciplined inquiry and the leadership skills associated with the management and administration of postsecondary institutions..."

    Finally from Stanford:
    "Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degrees are earned by educational practitioners. The difference in these programs has to do with the practical application of theoretical ideas. While some Ed.D's teach, these doctorates are more likely to be used by workers in the field--school administrators, district superintendents, state officials, to name a few..."
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2005
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Kirkland's post reveals the difference between citing some schools' websites and actually working in the field, which I do.

    Many of my colleagues have used their EdD degrees in private industry. One is the CLO where I work. Another ran a prison education progam. A third was a training developer in a corporation. And so it goes.
  8. Kirkland

    Kirkland Member

    ???? As I've said, there are no doubt many examples of folks using these degrees in a business setting, such as education and training as in your examples. Nevertheless, the intent of the degree and the purpose of the instruction that is provided to attain that degree is clear from the descriptions I cited.
  9. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member


    The difficulty here is the same one that Arthur Levine has caused with his comments about the Ed.D. Levine was highly critical of programs in educational administration that prepared principals and superintendents, which award both Ph.D. and Ed.D. degrees. The programs that you cite are also educational administration programs. An Ed.D. in, say, organizational development, instructional technology could have a very different "intent of the degree" and a different "purpose of the instruction that is provided to attain that degree".

    While it is certainly true that educational administration is the most popular field for the Ed.D. degree and that the descriptions are a popular way of comparing the Ed.D. to the Ph.D., the fact is that the Ed.D. degree, by and large, is no more a "professional" degree than is the Ph.D. University catalogue/website decriptions notwithstanding, every study that has been done on this subject since the 1980s has found little difference between the two degrees.

    When it comes to consulting, the title "doctor" carries more weight than the actual nomenclature of the degree (e.g. Ph.D., Ed.D., D.B.A., D.M., D.P.A.)

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