Online PhD in Management

The world’s best CEOs did not rise to the top of the ladder by merely dreaming up innovative business ideas in the shower—although that doesn’t hurt. A common theme among many successful managers and executives is that they share a thorough understanding of the ins and outs of business. An online PhD in management, sometimes referred to as the business doctorate, is designed to help students develop a strong foundation in management theory and application. The online doctorate in management is an intensely challenging but highly rewarding program that requires time and dedication. It typically takes about three to seven years to complete an online PhD in management. Students pursuing doctoral studies in management not only gain useful business skills, but they also become prepared to teach business professionals who may go on to become senior managers, top executives, and CEOs. Online doctoral programs in management applicants must first obtain a Masters degree in a field closely related to management, or complete course requirements to be eligible. Obtaining an online management doctorate allows students to concurrently attend school while upholding their current employment. This combination of top-notch education and work experience will give students a competitive edge in the job market upon graduation.

About Online PhD Programs in Management

Online doctorate management degrees are typically offered by a school’s business program. In most cases, the online curriculum is designed by the same professors that teach offline classes. The main difference between the two learning methods is that online students and instructors are separated by time and space. Regardless of means of delivery, the main objective of the management doctorate program is to deepen the students’ understanding of issues and challenges facing employee care. This is illustrated in the course catalogue for Capella University’s organization and management PhD program, examples from which are below.

Year One:

  • Managing and Organizing People. When managing people, a multitude of organizational behavior challenges can arise. This course coaches students in the theories behind why such challenges arise and methods for handling them.
  • Marketing Strategy and Practice. As an overview of effective strategies for increasing sales in a competitive market, this course coaches students in translating strategy from theory into practice.
  • Accounting and Financial Management. This course provides a deep study of the management of budgets, assets, and investments.

Year Two:

  • Ethics and Social Responsibility. One of the most important aspects of management is being sensitive to the ethical and cultural atmosphere of one’s business, and how that atmosphere blends with the cultural of the global marketplace. This course examines the impact of cultural dynamics on management.
  • Quantitative Research Techniques. This course prepares students for the advanced research that pursuing a doctoral degree entails.
  • Principles of Organization Theory and Practice. This course studies the theories and ethics that drive organizations, and how they are – or are not – implemented into practice.

Year Three:

  • Management Theory Creation. Every manager has his or her own style of management, and theories as to why that style is effective. This course coaches students in the development of their own theory, while examining how other theories have arisen over time.
  • Consulting Practice Seminar. A course designed for students that are interested in a career in management consulting, this seminar explores methods for the successful evaluation of organizations, as well as the methods behind recommending change.
  • Strategy. Every manager needs a strategy for managing his or her business. This course explores everything having to do with strategy – creating it, changing it, implementing it, and discarding it.

Year Four:

  • Research Sequence. Students will take coursework that prepares them for the sophisticated research that their dissertations will require.

During the course of their education, online PhD management students are generally required to produce doctoral papers, excel in their comprehensive exams, and submit a lengthy dissertation based on original research. Students take comprehensive examinations once all coursework has been completed. These exams review everything that the students have learned – from organization systems theory to multicultural management. Once students have passed their exams, they begin their dissertation research over a topic contemporary topic relevant to management. Past dissertations in the field of management include Sensitivity to Workrole-Related Expectations and Perceived Promotability by Kenneth Abel and A New Approach to Project Management Models by Leiv Bjorn Aasen. As business is rapidly evolving into a more global setting, and as technological innovations are continuously impacting businesses, there are always new potential topics for dissertation research.

Value and Criticisms of a PhD in Business

A PhD in management is for people who enjoy leadership roles. You must be comfortable communicating with a large group of individuals. You must also be able to look at the big picture and think steps ahead. Strong communication and problem-solving skills are a plus in this field. An online PhD in management will fine-tune those skills and prepare you for a complex business world. On the flip side, management may not be for everyone. If you were too shy to ask questions in class, then a long-term career in management may not be for you. Students who are pressed for time may not be able to find any room in their schedule for a PhD in management. The program takes anywhere from four to seven years to complete. It requires time, financial resources, and commitment. Another drawback of a PhD in management is that the field is very competitive. Job opportunities outnumber qualified candidates. Still, those with specialized expertise and a talent for entrepreneurship will find value in an online PhD in management. If that sounds like you, then you may be ready for a career in management. A quality management program will teach you how to identify a bottleneck in the production process, command strong personnel loyalty, and resist the temptation to apply quick fixes to long-term problems.

Application & Admission Requirements

Most online doctoral programs in management require PhD applicants to first secure a Bachelor or Masters degree in management, human resource management, or related field. Previous work experience as a project manager, IT manager, or human resource manager is an added bonus. A typical application consists of 1) the application form specifying on the program to which the application is being made, 2) two professional letters of recommendation, 3) official transcripts of all college-level work, and 4) an official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score report. Information on the GMAT can usually be obtained online at MBA.com. Application deadlines are typically posted on the school’s website. International candidates must have strong written and spoken English language communication skills, and may be required to submit TOEFL test scores. According to Emory University’s business school, a minimum of 250 is required for the computer-based test, 600 for the paper-based, and 100 for the Internet-based. The application review process starts soon after receipt of a complete application package by the Graduate School.

Career Options & Job Market

Some popular career paths for doctorate graduates are academia, human resource management, and project management. PhD holders can also gain employment as consultants or management analysts. Employers look for professionals who can demonstrate a deep knowledge of the psychological and sociological of demands of management. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economic outlook for management analysts is promising and employment is expected to increase by approximately 24% by 2018. The national average earning for senior consultants is between $61,000 and $80,250, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Senior Executive Vice-Presidents are compensated higher, in the range of $107,000 and $235,135. High paying jobs tend to be concentrated in metropolitan areas with the top executives in these areas making well over $120,000 per year.

Where to Find Information

How to Get Funding

Even though most online degree programs are cheaper than their campus-based counterparts, education is still a costly venture. For instance, Capella University charges $4,485 for their management program, while Walden University charges $4,380, neither of which include fees for books and residency requirements. Online doctoral candidates concerned about the cost of college will therefore be delighted to learn about the myriad scholarships and grants devoted to them. Regardless of your background or residency, there are many organizations eager to help fund your college education. Below are some examples of the financial resources available to students pursuing a PhD in management.

  • United Negro College Fund. The UNCF offers a wide array of scholarships for African-Americans, including several scholarships for doctoral degree candidates.
  • The Hispanic Scholarship Fund. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is committed to helping Latinos overcome financial barriers that may keep them from obtaining an education. Many of the scholarships on their website are available to PhD students.
  • Tribal Business Management Scholarship. This program awards anywhere from $500 to $5000 to students majoring in management and related fields, such as business and marketing. Students must be Alaskan natives and at least one-quarter Native American to be considered.

Essential Advice

  • Seek guidance from other students and faculty. Generally, this academic level requires three to six years of schooling. Question students who have enrolled in previous doctorate programs. Talk to faculty and make sure you understand what the program entails.
  • Polish your communication skills. Strong communication skills, both written and oral, are required to excel in business. Also, proficiency in presentation are very important in the business field.
  • Evaluate your goals and responsibilities. The online PhD in management is very rigorous and demanding. Take stock of your personal responsibilities before committing to an online doctoral program.
  • Motivate yourself. An online doctoral degree in business is a very challenging academic endeavor that may take anywhere from three to six years to complete. You need to be well motivated and willing to stay the course regardless of obstacles.
  • Financial aid and scholarships are only available for qualifying students.