Looking to study a DBA? Three signs you’re ready, and three benefits of the degree

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Is it the right time for you to start your DBA journey? Discover three signs the qualification could be a match for you, and three ways in which it could benefit your future career

Many business professionals are familiar with the Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme. Still, many of those who hold an MBA or equivalent qualification are still looking for new pathways to gain credibility, hands-on experience, and mentorship opportunities.

Professionals who want to further their education and pursue one of the highest levels of education in the business industry can choose to complete either a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) or a PhD in a relevant field. You may ask, ‘what is a DBA?’ or ‘what’s the difference between a DBA and a PhD?’ 

A DBA degree is considered a professional doctorate in business, whereas a PhD is typically seen as an academic doctorate. As a result, the DBA programme is well-suited for business leaders who want to explore real-world business challenges and partner with a mentor and research professional to investigate a specific business application.  

Three signs you’re ready to start a DBA programme

Is it the right time for you to explore the benefits of a DBA programme? If you have completed an MBA or similar educational pathway to expand your knowledge and career opportunities, or have tonnes of business experience, the DBA degree could be the next step in your journey. There are three tell-tale signs that it’s an excellent time to start a DBA programme.

1. You want to pursue a new professional goal

Professionals who enrol in a DBA programme are highly driven, motivated, and curious individuals with a desire to accomplish new goals. Many of these professionals are looking for new avenues to learn practical business skills.

If you have a specific professional plan and you want to go beyond reading business books or completing certificates, undertaking an intensive research project will help you work on your professional goal with a mentor and expert in a related field.  

2. You want to become an expert in a specialised area

If you have ambitions to become a thought leader in a particular business area, the DBA format is well-suited to help you get there. In the Aston DBA programme, for example, students are matched with a personalised business expert based on their unique objectives and selected research project.

The DBA is focused on specialisation and allows students to build on existing work experiences and academic knowledge acquired from previous education to become thought leaders in a particular area or discipline, including accounting, law, economics, marketing, and others.  

3. You feel stagnant in your professional development

If you’re feeling stuck in your role, or unable to find the right resources or education to further your career, a DBA programme could be the ideal solution. The DBA was created to advance professional development.

Although a PhD allows students to flourish in an academic environment, a DBA degree provides the same recognised credentials with an added focus on relevant business applications. Your DBA research project may offer fresh perspectives and inspire new approaches to existing organisational challenges.  

Three benefits of having a DBA

Just like a traditional MBA programme, obtaining a DBA degree requires an investment of time and money. Established business professionals may question, ‘is a DBA worth it?’ and weigh up the benefits and potential drawbacks associated with undertaking a DBA programme. Discover three significant benefits that may come after the completion of a DBA degree.  

1. Expanded career opportunities

DBA programmes teach advanced business management skills, including applied research methods, professional development, leadership, and organisational effectiveness.

While an MBA is helpful for bolstering foundational business skills, a DBA focuses on practical problem-solving. For example, John Blakey is a thought leader, keynote speaker, and coach to CEOs. Blakey followed a fairly typical corporate path before enrolling in Aston University’s DBA programme; he worked at an international consultancy, obtained the title of International Managing Director, and guided CEOs through personalised coaching.

The DBA programme allowed Blakey to select a business case he was passionate about and explore this topic with a hand-picked mentor and research partner. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, Blakey investigated the concept of trust in leadership.

As a result of his DBA work, he was able to publish a best-selling book, The Trusted Executive and founded a non-profit organisation called The Trusted Executive Foundation. Evidently, a DBA programme allows professionals to focus on a particular business issue and expand career opportunities in their desired direction. A few examples of post-DBA careers include:

  • Author
  • Business Coach
  • Business Consultant
  • Business Strategist
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Private and Public Business Associate

2. International business connections

Enrolling in a DBA programme opens doors for establishing international connections and growing your career alongside like-minded business professionals. Business professionals hoping to break into global marketplaces and connect with clients, stakeholders and customers from around the world can benefit from a highly recognised institution. Aston University, for example, has an international reputation as a leading research university with top-tier faculty, teaching scholars, and experienced professionals. 

3. Potential for higher salaries

Completing a DBA can make a significant difference in your earning potential. With a DBA degree, you can move into c-suite roles and earn high salaries to match.

The average chief executive salary in the UK is £350,024 GBP per year. Graduates from a DBA programme are usually experienced in their business background and can earn more than £250,000 per year. A few other top roles and salaries include the following (figures correct at time of writing):

COO salary: £212,748 per year

Development manager salary: £82,598 per year

Business development manager salary: £92,959 per year

Marketing manager salary: £78,999 per year

Managing director salary: £93,171 per year

Start your DBA degree at Aston University

Aston University is a recognised as a leading DBA provider and the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) awarded Aston University recognition as GOLD due to faculty support and personalised learning experience. 

Aston University offers flexibility, professional distinction and teaching excellence. Graduates can benefit from an online format that allows busy professionals to complete their DBA part time while growing their businesses and career. Grow your business with the mentorship of thousands of skilled business educators and alumni.

Explore how to advance your business goals with an executive DBA degree from Aston University.

This article is sponsored by Aston University.

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