Is IT Worth Getting a PhD in Business?

Jul 15, 2018

Prospective doctoral students can decide upon many areas of concentration on their way to a degree in business. They gain extensive knowledge about business and economics, paving the way to securing a wide range of jobs from top executives to management analysts.

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No matter the area of concentration, students who pursue a PhD in business will have a deeper understanding of how businesses and markets operate on a daily basis. Further, they will have gained the skills necessary through their coursework in economics and mathematics to excel within any area of business. You'll find five careers below that those with a PhD choose to go into upon graduation.

PhD in Business Jobs/Salary

PhD programs in business focus on the research and help foster a student's ability to develop new theories in management, economics, and related fields. This, in turn, allows them to alter current systems that are in place to make them more efficient and profitable overtime. They are able to make accurate predictions about the current economic climate thanks to their coursework in economic theory, qualitative methods, quantitative analysis and quantitative methods. They will be able to collect and analyze economic data of a given area and its people to help their employers make sound financial decisions. Located below is a table detailing five careers that are filled by those with a PhD, along with their median salary and job growth information.

Job Title Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Top Executives $104,700 8%
Financial Managers $125,080 19%
Budget Analysts $75,240 7%
Loan Officers $64,660 11%
Management Analysts $82,450 14%

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

PhD in Business Jobs

Top Executives

Top executives help create the procedures, polices and goals for an organization and actively work to carry them out. They aid in the establishment of good relationships with stockholders and business leaders and engage in negotiations over contracts. Through attending seminars on sales and marketing on their way to a PhD, recent graduates will have a deeper understanding of how to analyze sales reports and improve earning within their organization. They engage in conversations with departmental managers to get a better idea of their expenses and work with them to ensure that established budgets are being followed.

Financial Managers

Financial managers spend the majority of their time generating financial forecasts for their employer and monitoring departmental budgets. In addition, they work with staff and managers to reduce cost and improve profits. Oftentimes, these same individuals will head their own projects and delegate duties to various staff, as well as observe them to ensure that all tasks are being completed on time. Through coursework in business management, those with a PhD will have the knowledge necessary to effectively assign tasks and manage their time and resources to ensure that a project is completed within pre-established guidelines.

Budget analysts

Budget analysts aid their employers by giving them assistance and analysis during the process of establishing the company budget. These same individuals help keep accurate accounting and use quantitative methods to properly assess the status of the company budget, something that those with a PhD will have done extensive coursework in. Further coursework in corporate laws and regulations will better prepare graduates for aiding their employers in ensuring that they are in compliance with both state, and federal laws. Additionally, these individuals work directly with executives and managers to generate alternative plans when those that are first proposed do not meet expectations.

Loan Officers

Loan officers actively seek out potential clients and ask them if they are in need of loan assistance. They gather data related to prospective loan applicants and analyze it to determine if they are suitable for a loan, as well as, meet with them and answer any questions or concerns they have. Furthermore, they work directly with clients to explain the different loan options available and negotiate with them to establish terms for the loan that they can both agree on. Once they've established that a loan can be given, they either approve it or send it on to management so that they can make a decision.

Management Analysts

Management analysts are active in the creation and preparation of operation and procedure manuals and aiding managers in improve operational efficiency. They conduct interviews with employees and observe them on the job to determine which new training methods, equipment changes, or personnel changes need to be made. If such a decision is made, they will present their findings to management and offer solutions to a given problem. These same individuals analyze employee evaluations and financial reports related to both the revenue and expenditure of the companies they work for.

PhD in Business Admission and Graduation Requirements

In order for prospective students to be admitted into a doctoral program they typically need to have a bachelor's or master's degree in business and have maintained a 3.0 GPA. Students will also be required to take the GMAT exam and will need a total score of 680 or better, on average, to gain admission into their respective graduate program. Once admitted, students won't have to worry about tuition cost as graduate programs typically provide a five-year tuition assistance package complete with tuition coverage, healthcare, and a stipend. If cost goes above this package, students can gain access to fellowships, supplemental grants, and teaching/research assistantships. The first two years of the program are spent doing coursework in subjects like ethics and corporate social responsibility, microeconomic theory, and qualitative methods. After that, students will need to pass a comprehension exam, after which, they will engage in two years of teaching and an additional year or more on dissertation writing and research. Students can have their PhD concentration in accounting, finance, marketing, operations management, organizational behavior, finance, and strategy/international business.

The different areas of degree concentration within a PhD in business program allow students to tailor their learning experience and guide themselves into the careers that they want most. It gives them the tools and the skills necessary to garner higher positions in an ever changing field and the teaching experience needed to work as an educator, if they so choose.

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