The Difference Between DBA and PhD Explained

Posted on: 22nd November, 2022

When it comes to the world of academia, the end goal for many is to study a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in their chosen subject matter and be awarded a Doctorate. A PhD is generally pursued by those who wish to embark as an academic researcher or lecturer.

But what if you’re a corporate professional who wants to enhance your knowledge and/or solve real-world business-related issues? If that’s the case, a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) would be a better fit. Both the DBA and the PhD are the highest achievable postgraduate qualifications.

Types of Doctorate Degrees

Academic Doctorate Degree

Academic Doctorates, such as the PhD, are awarded by institutes of higher learning to candidates who have presented original research as a thesis or dissertation in their field of choice. Pursuing a PhD usually takes around three or four years of full-time studies. Some PhD programmes also accept published papers, although they may require a dissertation/thesis.

Professional Doctorate Degree

In comparison, professional Doctorates Degrees such as DBAs are business-orientated professional Doctorates that focus on providing business management knowledge that can be applied to a corporate environment. DBAs are best suited for people already in senior management positions or business owners and entrepreneurs who want to elevate their expertise into a higher position of credibility, leadership, and influence in their profession.

Which Doctorate Degree is Best for Me?

The PhD route, however, is for those who want to bring a significant contribution to knowledge; for example, the research on business sustainability transitions by a Business Management PhD candidate. PhD candidates think more of the theoretical value of their research interest.

Unlike the PhD, DBA candidates are driven by the professional value of their research and how they can best apply what they learned to their practice in the field of business or industry they specialise. DBA candidates, when selecting a degree, will think of the business environment and how they can contribute to the thought leadership of the operating sector they are in, as they strive to be the leader in the industry space.

Benefits of a DBA at PSB Academy

Here are the benefits of pursuing a DBA:

  • The part-time nature of a DBA allows working professionals to juggle their professional, study, and personal commitments.
  • A DBA enhances career growth as it improves the credentials of a graduate especially in his or her domain of expertise.
  • A DBA graduate contributes new knowledge to the corporate world.
  • Despite the differences, both DBA and PhD are highly prestigious and respected.
  • There is a demand in certain industries for people with a DBA, as DBA graduates are better equipped to provide practical insights and solutions well grounded in academic research.
Explore PSB Academy DBA Course

With rigorous curriculums created by our university partners, our DBA courses aim to equip candidates with practical knowledge and relevant research skills to tackle real-world problems in a corporate setting.

Our DBA awarded by the University of Canberra, provides students with opportunities for advanced study and reflection on practice across a range of professional fields, including accountancy, business management, economics, human resource development, international management, organisational behaviour, and more.