What should I do after my MBA?

Leaders are needed now more than ever. Make a difference with an Online DBA from Aston University

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Business professionals who have earned their MBA degree and have a desire to become impactful leaders often pursue a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree to further develop their skills. 

A Doctor of Business Administration degree allows working professionals to participate in actionable research projects that are designed to transform their career, the organisation they work for and their capacity to approach leadership roles.

Professionals interested in applying for an executive DBA programme must consider the focus of their research project and ask themselves a series of questions:

  • What topic consistently interests me in my field?
  • What area of business would I love to learn more about? 
  • How could my research impact business leadership on a global scale? 

A DBA student is then able to work with a skilled supervisor and embark on an enlightening research project that goes beyond theory and allows professionals to learn new insights about a topic they’re passionate about.

Is a Doctor of Business Administration degree worth it?

After completing an MBA programme, professionals considering furthering their education with a DBA degree sometimes question if a Doctor of Business Administration Degree is worth the time investment. 

One of the appealing benefits of a DBA programme that makes the endeavour worthwhile is the flexibility and personalisation of the programme. 

The DBA allows professionals to focus on a specialist niche of business education and become a thought leader in a topic of their choice. 

Professionals are then able to continue working their day jobs and pursue a research project as a part-time distance learning programme over the course of 4-6 years.

DBA Case Study: Dr John Blakey

Dr John Blakey is an Executive Coach to CEOs, Keynote Speaker, Author and graduate from Aston Business School’s DBA UK programme. 

John developed a keen interest in the importance of trust in business relationships. He was motivated to investigate how powerful executives could cultivate trust and decided to transform this latent interest into the active pursuit of a DBA UK degree. 

Aston Business School matched John with Dr Ann Davis, who worked one-on-one with him on his DBA UK research project. It wasn’t long before John was approached by publishers and turned his DBA study into the successful book The Trusted Executive: Nine leadership habits that inspire results, relationships and reputation.

John reflects on the value of his experience undertaking a Doctor of Business Administration degree and says: ‘Seven years ago I wasn’t delivering keynote speaker sessions at leadership conferences. I didn’t have two best selling leadership books to my name. I wasn’t working with the calibre of clients I’m working with now and none of that would have been possible without doing my DBA.’

Although completing a Doctor of Business Administration degree requires dedication and hard work, John is a testament to the value the programme can reap long-term. He goes on to say: ‘It has been the passport for me into the next stage of my career.’

DBA Degrees vs. PhD Degrees

The core difference between the DBA degree and a PhD is the application of the research in either a business setting or an academic setting. 

A DBA programme is well-suited to professionals who are currently working in a business setting and interested in solving real-world business problems with a combination of research, theory and applicable skills. 

A PhD in business dives deeper into theoretical knowledge and how business research can be further developed for the use of other business leaders. PhD candidates often become university professors and educators that translate their findings into insights for individuals in a business setting. 

Both business degrees contribute to the knowledge available to business professionals, however, if you are a professional interested in applying research insights to an organisation a DBA degree is preferable. 

Susan Davis, a programme director of a DBA programme interviewed by US News said the following: ‘Traditionally, a PhD leads to an academic career and is seen as adding to the body of knowledge while a DBA is more focused for working professionals who have practical experience in their field and wish to apply existing theories and knowledge to current business problems.’

What’s taught in a DBA programme?

A DBA programme does an effective job coalescing applied research methods, business theory, global impact and individual skill-building to transform professionals into experts in their field.

Traditionally, DBA programmes accept accomplished executives with Masters Degrees and focus on broadening existing skill sets by teaching the following:

  • Business and management research skills
  • Applied research methods
  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Professional development
  • Research impact

A DBA student is able to work with advanced research professionals and undertake a project specifically related to their area of interest. The chosen topic can relate to a number of diverse areas of business, including the following:

  • Accounting 
  • Law
  • Economics, Finance and Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing and Strategy
  • Operations and Information Management
  • Work and Organisational Psychology

The global impact of a Doctor of Business Administration programme

Joining a DBA programme also means joining a cohort of inspirational peers and world-renowned educators. According to Dr Blakey: ‘The DBA is suited for self-motivated, driven, experienced business leaders who want to challenge themselves to go to the next level.’

As a result, DBA programmes produce a highly skilled group of world-class business leaders who influence the international business community.

In addition to joining a diverse community of professionals, a DBA UK is especially valuable since the United Kingdom is a major hub for business innovation. 

Daniel Saunders, a contributor at Entrepreneur, says: ‘With London boasting over 660,000 startups, and an all-time high of £2.99 billion in investment last year, the city has earned its mark as one of most innovative places to set up a startup in Europe.’

Starting a lucrative degree in one of the world’s greatest business centres is an excellent segue into a career with promising salary and job opportunities.

Doctor of Business Administration degree salaries

After completing a Doctor of Business Administration, graduates in a top executive position can expect a median salary of approximately £151,160, with projected job growth of 6% between 2018-2028. 

DBA graduates occupy diverse fields of work and as a result, the salary earned after completing a DBA degree varies based on seniority, job title and industry. 

Best jobs after a Doctor of Business Administration degree

Professionals pursuing the DBA degree are usually working professionals like accountants, entrepreneurs, business leaders and the like, looking to expedite career mobility or even transition into a different industry.

The following roles are only a few of the best jobs a DBA degree can open doors to and top-performing salaries. 

  • Chief Executive Officer – average salary: £171,000 /yr
  • Management Analyst – average salary: £63,000 /yr
  • Market Research Analyst – average salary: £48,000 /yr
  • Operations Research Analyst – average salary: £52,000 /yr
  • Operations Manager – average salary: £55,000  /yr

Top Executive Doctor of Business Administration programmes

If you decide that the Doctor of Business Administration programme sounds like the natural next step for your career, it’s essential to find a school with the reputation, accreditations and a well-suited DBA programme. 

When conducting research, pay attention to trusted sources such as AMBA, which focuses primarily on international business school accreditations. 

According to CEO Magazine, The Aston Business School offers one of the best executive DBA programmes in the world. CEO Magazine even regarded that Aston Business School offers a DBA on par with premier schools such as Harvard and Pepperdine. 

Not only does Aston have a globally-recognised reputation, Aston’s executive DBA programme is triple-accredited by AACSB, AMBA, and Equis. 

Before you determine if Aston Business School is the right fit for you, consider connecting with an enrolment advisor to discuss the details around your personal circumstances. 

Leaders are needed now more than ever. Make a difference with an Online DBA from Aston University


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