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Online PhD in Management Education

A doctoral degree in Management represents the highest level of education in the field possible, and is pursued almost solely by those who wish to teach management at the post secondary level. PhD Management students gain knowledge of learning theories, instructional development, and emerging business and management practices. In addition, to studying management education philosophy, students become top experts in the field so that they can lead the next generation of business managers, directors, and administrators.

The structure of PhD Management programs is similar to other doctoral degree programs, starting with heavily interdisciplinary instruction the first two years, and followed by a comprehensive General Exam, and finally by the doctoral dissertation—an extended, two to three year project that involves conducting original research in the management education field, and synthesizing that research into a cohesive paper, usually between 250 and 300 pages. Altogether, students pursuing a PhD in Management Education can expect to commit at least four years to completing it; and with the in-depth knowledge required to teach professorially, it may take some students longer. At the end of the program, however, students will be qualified and ready to teach the business leaders of the future.

About Online PhD Programs in Management Education

Other than the instructional format, method of communication with professors and other students, and assignment platform, there is no difference between an online Management Education PhD, and one earned from a conventional campus-based program. Qualitatively, the substance of online doctoral programs in Management Education retains the spirit and rigor of traditional programs, but allows students to approach it at the pace they can manage; and quantitatively, the online PhD programs in Management education require the same amount of time and effort.

Four to six years is the standard duration of an online PhD Management Education programs, and the learning objectives, requirements and projects are the same as campus programs. The first two to three years of Management Education doctoral degrees online are dedicated to “classroom” instruction—though for an online doctorate in Management Education there is no literal classroom—where students will study behavioral and normative theories of management, teaching strategies, theories, ethical considerations, and course design, among other crucial subjects. At regular intervals throughout instruction, students will also be required to attend residencies at one of their universities’ many physical locations, to augment the theoretical information from class with hands-on experience. Common courses taken toward an online doctorate in Management Education are (from Capella University’s course catalog):

Year One:

  • Managing and Organizing People. Introduces students to theories of organizational behavior, and the issues and challenges associated with managing and leading.
  • Marketing Strategy and Practice. Primarily theoretical presentation of the factors that influence marketing strategy and how to systematically identify them. Students will use marketing theory to evaluate opportunities, identify market segments, and formulate appropriate strategies.
  • Accounting and Financial Management. Gives students a framework within which to view, analyze, and make financial decisions in organizations, based on the application of financial and accounting theory.

Year Two:

  • Quantitative Research Techniques. Exploration of fundamental concepts of quantitative research methods, including dependencies among research design, measurement, and analysis; variable types and levels of measurement; and descriptive and inferential statistics.
  • Principles of Organization Theory and Practice. An overview of organization with an emphasis on integrating research into evaluations and diagnoses of organizational effectiveness.
  • Management Theory Creation. Examination of the scientific, philosophical, methodological, and psychological dimensions of management research and theory, and the ways in which all these approaches work together to formulate a theory. Students will analyze and report on the elements of a scientific study and evaluate the ontological, axiological, and epistemological assumptions underlying qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods studies.

Year Three:

  • Advanced Qualitative Research. Investigation of qualitative inquiry and various qualitative research designs based on social constructivist, interpretive, and critical-theory/transformative traditions appropriate for research in organization and management. Course topics include strategies for data collection and bounding, data analysis and coding, visual mapping and portrayal, drawing and verification of conclusions from data, and qualitative research presentation.
  • Applied Multivariate Modeling. Introduction to and later application of sophisticated research modeling techniques in designs where there are many variables. Topics include exploratory data analysis, multiple regression, logistic regression, correlation, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA), factor analysis and principal components, discriminant analysis, structural equation modeling, and emerging data analysis techniques. Learners also examine nonparametric alternatives.
  • Survey Research Methodology. More instruction in the competencies, skills, and techniques required to conduct successful data gathering and analysis. Students will learn strategies for developing questionnaires, surveys, interview questions and schedules, and the appropriate and most effective way of delivering and interpreting these results from these items.

Year Four:

  • Theory and Methods of Educating Adults. Study of pedagogical theories of adult education, adult instruction teaching styles, sociological and psychological influence in adult classrooms, as well as course design for adults.
  • Teaching Adults. A more practical engagement with teaching adults at the higher education level reviewing several models and strategies of adult education, as well as their underlying theoretical and research bases.
  • International and Multicultural Perspectives in Post secondary Adult Education . An analysis of the systems of power, privilege, and inequality in post secondary and adult education, focusing on the role of students and teachers, as well as on accommodating diverse adult student bodies.

Once the instructional phase of the Management Education PhD online is completed, students will be required to take a General Exam—a comprehensive test that assesses students’ understanding and retention of the principles, theories, and practices the course material presented. Subsequent to satisfactory performance on the General Exam, students will submit dissertation proposals to their committees and, pending approval, will begin conducting the research that will make up the majority of their dissertation. Because the dissertation is such a lengthy and demanding requirement it commonly takes two or three years to complete.

Value and Criticisms of a PhD in Management Education

Online doctorate programs in Management Education lead almost exclusively to teaching positions at the post secondary level. The content of these programs is tailored to those students seeking to develop their teaching styles, expand their knowledge of managerial and pedagogical theory, psychological systems of learning, and general business practices, as well as how all these concepts work together to create an educational environment. As such, Management Education PhD programs online are perfect preparatory or continuing study work for established business professionals and teachers who want to teach the next generation of business students.

However, online PhD degrees in Management Education, even with 12 or 16 hours of residency, cannot stand in for the experience gained from actually teaching. It may be difficult to secure a teaching position with only an online PhD in Management Education, as employers and other teachers will most likely not trust the extent of a graduate’s experience working with people if her only credentials are based on performance in an online setting. This does not mean that finding a teaching job will be impossible, just that students pursuing an online Management Education PhD should try to get professional experience in addition to the degree.

Application & Admission Requirements

The application process to online doctoral programs in Management Education is comparable to other programs. Students will fill out an application document submit it, along with several other supporting materials, including transcripts from previous universities, a resume, up to three letters of recommendation (if any are required), test scores (many programs require either the GRE or the GMAT), and a statement of purpose that outlines the their reasons for applying to the program and what they wish to accomplish with the degree.

In general, an online PhD management education program leads to a faculty position; therefore, many students earning their online doctorate degree have business and/or management experience or a business education background. A Masters degree from an accredited college or university is required before admission into a doctoral level program. The following are common Masters Degree program areas that lead to a PhD in management education.

  • Business Administration
  • Human Resources
  • Organizational Development
  • Business Education
  • Leadership

Typical careers that pave the way for a post-secondary teaching position in management education include compliance officer, financial examiner, high school business instructor, or some other organizational leadership role.

Career Options & Job Market

Students earning an online PhD in management education from top colleges and universities have a variety of career paths ahead of them. The following is an abbreviated list of professions graduates may desire.

  • College or University Professor – Tenured university professors make up to $120,000 annually. The need for qualified, post-secondary faculty members with a PhD will continue to grow faster than average. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts a 15% growth in this profession over the next 8 years.
  • Researcher – A sizable portion of the best online doctorate in management education coursework is dedicated to research in the field. Researchers work to advance the body of existing knowledge in their area of expertise.
  • Business Executive – Business executives devise policies and strategic plans for organizations. An executive at a large company may make hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, with some earning in the millions. Smaller companies typically pay less, approximately $100,000 – $130,000 annually.
  • Author or Writer – Writing is a competitive career. Graduates of an accredited doctoral program definitely have a head start over others. The majority of writers are self-employed and earn from $28,000 – $106,000 a year, depending on experience, writing style, and communication skills.
  • Management Analysis – A management analyst studies an organization and then develops a written plan for improvement. They may be self-employed or work for a company. Management analysts earn approximately $75,000 per year, depending on their area of expertise and geographic location.

Where to Find Information

  • BYU Management Society The BYU Management Society is a global group of professionals in the business and management fields whose goal is to improve the education and quality of future business and management leaders by providing a reliable, knowledgeable network of mentors to them.
  • AACSB The International Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is a worldwide organization that promotes and implements changes that strengthen management education.
  • EQUIS The European Quality Improvement System is an accrediting institution that seeks to assess and improve the quality of business education programs worldwide.
  • IEDP International Executive Development Programs is an independent organization that assists senior executives in their search for and development of leaders.

How to Get Funding

Generally there are two types of funding available to students pursuing online doctoral degrees in Management Education: scholarships and grants. Scholarships are usually need- or merit-based, and can be highly competitive. Grants can take a number of forms depending on the source of the funds—the two most common are government grants, given to students with demonstrated financial need and outstanding educational history, and research grants, awarded after a proposal has been submitted to a government department, a corporation, a business, or sometimes an individual, promising to research a submitted topic and return with data and conclusions about it.

Tuition rates for one semester or quarter vary from school to school, but to give a preliminary picture of what total expenses for online doctorate degrees in Management Education will be, here are the rates of two online universities: 1) Capella University—$4,485 per quarter, with a limit of three course per quarter (except dissertation quarter, which are $3,945), and 2) Northcentral University—$2,200 per course. That puts total cost for Capella University somewhere between $43,644 and $51,768, and around $22,000 for Northcentral University.

The following websites will be instrumental in a search for funds for online PhD degrees in Management Education:

  • Rainbow Business and Professional Association Scholarship. The Rainbow Business and Professional Association offers a scholarship to future leaders in the business world who have a demonstrated history of leadership and community service in the GLBT community.
  • Cappex Business Scholarship. Cappex is a scholarship matching site that searches for student scholarships based on interest, volunteer engagement, and plans for future study. The Business Scholarship is for well-rounded students pursuing a degree in management.
  • AMA PhD Grants. The American Marketing Association sponsors many grant programs for students pursuing doctoral studies in business—this pages lists the grants and their requirements.

Essential Advice

  • Get practical experience as a teacher or organizational leader to strengthen your online Management Education PhD. The degree will present educational and psychological theories of learning, sociological data, business and management trends and theories, pedagogical codes, ethical standards, and much more to students—but without actual teaching experience to reinforce the theories, much of the educational material in online PhD programs in Management Education will be only half effective.
  • Examine your motivations for pursuing a Management Education PhD online. Remember that, while online doctoral programs can lead to management positions, they most often do not—it is far more common for online doctorate degrees in Management Education to lead to teaching positions. If your goal is to become CEO, an online Management Education doctorate may not be right for you; if, however, you wish to teach at a post secondary level, the effort and time required for online doctoral degrees in Management Education will be rewarding, and personally and professionally productive.
  • When applying to Management Education PhD programs online, fully investigate each school’s curriculum—the best programs will include residency requirements. Without a residency requirement, you might sacrifice very vital interpersonal interaction without your peers, which could severely cripple your performance in the professional world.

Featured Programs

Click for course information:

  1. Capella University

    PhD - Management Education
  2. Capella University

    EdD - Educational Leadership and Management

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