A doctor of business administration is ideal for those wishing to pursue a career in leadership or teaching. Including two years of classes and an additional year for the dissertation, this degree will open up job opportunities at the executive and post-secondary level for most graduates.
D.B.A. programs are intended for business experts wishing to utilize their experience and training to advance their careers or take on teaching, research or leadership roles. Many areas of specialization are available, including business operations, economics, finance, strategic business planning and human resource management.
Most programs consist of two years of classes and a year to research and complete a dissertation. Programs are designed to accommodate the schedules of working students, with brief on-campus residencies or weekend classes. Applicants need a master's degree in business and significant business experience.
|Career||Top Executive||Postsecondary Instructor|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||6%*||13%*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$175,110*||$63,000*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
D.B.A. graduates are equipped to hold several high-level positions, based on their field of specialization and career interests. Roles may include executive and leadership positions in corporations, non-profit organizations and government institutions. Another career path may include teaching advanced courses in finance, business administration, marketing and economics for universities, professional business schools and community colleges. Professionals with a D.B.A. may also perform financial analytics, conduct business research or write for business publications, educational textbooks and online business media. Below are descriptions of two career options for D.B.A. graduates.
The role of a top executive depends on the size of the organization. In a small company, the chief executive may be responsible for all phases of operation, such as hiring, training, developing budgets and purchasing. In a larger organization, each division has its own chief who answers to one overall leader. Government and schools work in the same fashion. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that employment for top executives would increase by 6% from 2014-24.
According to the BLS, the median salary for a chief executive was $175,110 in May 2015. The BLS reports that salaries vary greatly depending on many factors, such as the size and type of firm that chief executives work for, its location, their responsibilities and the length of their service to the company or agency. The BLS found that the most highly-paid executives worked for taxi and limousine service, with a mean wage of $253,570 in 2015. Chief executives in local government agencies, by contrast, made a mean salary of $110,230 at that time.
Instructors in colleges, universities and other postsecondary institutions teach classes, advise students, conduct scholarly research and publish their findings. They can work in a variety of schools, but individuals with a D.B.A. could be qualified for high-level university positions. The BLS forecasts that jobs for postsecondary teachers will increase by 13% from 2014-24.
The BLS reported that the median wage for a postsecondary teacher was $63,000 in 2015, with instructors in colleges, universities and professional schools making an annual mean wage of $70,110. Instructors in technical and trade schools reported a mean wage of $59,850 in 2015, the BLS noted.
These two job opportunities are what make having a D.B.A. appealing to most graduates. While both positions' salaries are dependent on the size of the business or university, these professionals have a chance to pursue higher-level positions that wouldn't have been possible with a bachelor's or master's degree.