Does a DBA matter?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by blahetka, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The key to utlizing one's newly minted doctoral degree is to seek positions where such a credential is valued.

    I realize there are job opportunities where such a degree would be a negative--don't pursue them!
  2. Kirkland

    Kirkland Member

    If the employer already has a program in place to recognize educational achievement, sometimes a monetary award is given. You should ensure that the accomplishment is written into your annual performance evaluation. This helps as leverage for future opportunities and also underscores your initiative for the record. But don't expect the company or your supervisor to be in the stands applauding as you walk down the aisle to receive your diploma. A shrug is a likely response. Sales get more recognition. Much depends on how you present the effort while you're a student in order for others to relate to the achievement. While many can relate to a trip you might take, many seem put off by those going for more education (tends to be viewed as a personal journey of discovery...and sometimes a paper chase).

    The MBA is well understood but the DBA is not (Database Administrator is the more common apparition). Although when visualized as part of your credentials the DBA makes perfect sense as the follow-on to the MBA. If discussed, take the time to explain the practical differences between the DBA and the PhD. I've worked with a number of PhDs and they all underplayed their doctorates since the degree is not a prerequisite for management and to make airs would disrupt the social order. Somewhat like politicians. Better to leave it low key. It has sufficient import without hanging a neon sign on it.

    Consulting and training are likely channels for business doctorates. If the doctorate is balanced with practical experience, techical and social skills, and appropriate professional certifications, this is an asset which is marketed to clients in the professional services (consulting) industry.

    ...edowave mentions that this discrimination may not affect PhDs in Chemistry or Microbiology. Does this opinion span engineering and other hard sciences as well? [/QUOTE]

    There are always exceptions, but a doctorate in the hard sciences is a stock in trade and generally expected as a credential. You can work into the science field in a support function with even a bachelors but if you wish to grow in professional and economic stature as a principal and/or teach, a doctorate will be in your future. The PE is the stock in trade for engineers, who often also bolster that with graduate degrees.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2005
  3. blahetka

    blahetka New Member

    I had a couple employers while I went through the DBA coursework. Each provided tuition reimbursement. They also seemed to appreciate that I had skills sorely lacking in the departments I ran.

    In one company I was director of support operations. I worked with the managers to develop analysis of statistics to determine our workload, effectiveness, and to start inferring workloads based on new version releases, new customers, etc. With the exception of 9/11, we were typically within 1% of our projected workloads. That made our VP look good, and it made it easier to determine headcount needs based on sales forecasts/actuals. It also gave us the ability to sell the need for automation based on unchecked headcount growth (pay me now or pay me later). Finance put in new requirements for project management (had to use a 35% cost of capital). When we had our first steering committee meeting, 4 projects went in, and the only winner was ours as we had the numbers. It set the standard.

    These were benefits the company received as a result of the additional education. Were these the things they originally looked to achieve? Nope! They just wanted someone to run the call center.
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    What Rod Kirkland said.
  5. dl_mba

    dl_mba Member

    Which school did you go for DBA? I am sorry if yiu have mentioned abour it already. I am just curious.

  6. blahetka

    blahetka New Member

    Not a prob...

    I went to Argosy. When I started, it was University of Sarasota. I was one of the first students at the Orange County campus. It took me 4 years to complete.
  7. blahetka

    blahetka New Member

    OK, I did the last part of the experiment mentioned above to see what would happen. I removed the doctorate from my resume, as well as the publications. Here are the results:

    On HotJobs, from Monday morning to now (about 36 hourts- about the same as the other runs), I had my resume viewed 8 times and found ion a search 35 times.

    On Monster, I had 31 viewings. I also received 6 e-mails from headhunters. I know these came from Monster because my resume on HotJobs was supposedly viewable by only direct employers. I received 1 email from a direct employer and he mentioned Monster. I received one other (for a total of 8) from a direct employer, but there was no mention as to which board.

    So, it seems there is a bias against doctorates in the non-academic and possibly in the non-consulting fields. This could be an interesting bit of research (possibly it has been done before) to see how US companies view the added value of doctorally trained people on their staffs. My understanding, and from non-scientific observation, doctorates have more value outside the US in the commercial world.
  8. carlosb

    carlosb New Member

    I would be interested to know if changing the DBA to a PhD yields a different result. At the Northcentral U messageboard there is a debate on the value of a DBA vs a PhD.
  9. blahetka

    blahetka New Member


    That's an interesting suggestion. I wonder if it would yield different results.

    I think, though, with the little bit of info and small observations, it might be worth a research paper. Maybe someone with an interest in HR may find it an interesting study. IF done properly, it could be publishable (the lit review may find other studies in the area that may help guide a new study).

    Anyone on the NCU board interested in doing such a study?
  10. carlosb

    carlosb New Member

    Someone at NCU mentioned in the student forums that she changed to the DBA from the PhD since her employer is much more supportive of a DBA than the PhD as a means for fast-tracking into upper management.

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