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What is the DBA ?

How can a DBA elevate your professional career?

Even though the MBA remains as the entry degree to executive careers in most organizations, the DBA is increasingly the degree of choice for senior managers and experienced consultants who want to bring an impact to their organization or to the society by leveraging academic research to solve real, not theoretical, and relevant organizational problems. The DBA also provides managers a qualifying lever for a delayed transition into academia. Combining management with teaching in graduate schools of business can be exceptionally rewarding as the years accumulate.

The DBA is certainly not about money nor about influence. Going for a DBA is ultimately a decision made by professionals with passion for their profession, continuous learning, and self-development.

The DBA is a Doctoral degree, equal in academic status with a PhD in Business while being vastly different from it.  The DBA is a part-time program which emphasizes managerial experience as an admission criterion. A typical DBA student has at least 5 years of work experience as an executive, is above 35 years of age and has a keen interest in conducting applied research in management.  A master’s degree in business, management or closely related area is a must for admission.

The DBA program typically takes 3 -4 years to complete. The first two years are dedicated to learning academic research methodology, conducting literature review, preparation of a conceptual framework for the proposed research model and conducting a pilot study. At the end of this first stage, each DBA student must pass a qualifying evaluation process. Those who succeed become DBA candidates. The subsequent 1-2 years are spent on data collection and analysis, writing the research thesis and then defending it in a viva voce. Some candidates prefer publishing articles in academic journals during the second stage to writing a formal thesis. This option is another unique characteristic of the DBA.


Given the COVID-19 restrictions, DBA programs have largely migrated to online.  But, for experienced managers, working and communicating from a distance is nothing new.


Connect with Me!

 I’ve been there and done it! I have a DBA and I know the trials and tribulations of this program firsthand. I am also familiar with the doubts and the fears in the applicants’ minds! Let’s chat. May be, you are the next candidate for this extremely rewarding and ultimate management degree.

Susanne Hansen Saral, DBA
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