A Ph.D in business administration can prepare any student for high level careers with large companies. These programs generally focus on the practical application of theoretical concepts in the business world. Students who earn online doctorate degrees in business administration receive training to qualify them for positions of administrators, top executives and entrepreneurs. The coursework you can expect from an online business administration doctorate will depend upon the specialization you chose. Whether you are looking to study accounting or management information systems, you can anticipate composing and defending a dissertation, completing all required courses, and having to pass multiple tests. The number of course credits you will need to earn your Ph.D is also dependent upon another variable – the university you choose to attend. Many students are able to complete this program within four years of full-time studying. However, this number can be altered depending upon your previous education level. Students are required to take both written and oral examinations in business administration Ph.D programs online. There is the quantitative area qualifying examination, preliminary examinations, a comprehensive examination, followed by your proposal defense, and then the dissertation and final defense. At any point if you fail one of the major tests, you may be allowed to retake it – but this can delay the time it will take for you to earn your Ph.D.
About Online PhD Programs in Business Administration
With the online Ph.D business administration program, there are differences in the format of the program in comparison to a more traditional campus-based program. With almost all of the work and communication being conducted online, the software programs students use tends to vary. All the while campus programs continue to be held in a similar classroom lay out. With business administration doctorate degrees online in place, interviews do not take place in person, but rather face to face through webcams on such programs as Skype. Another difference is the heavy focus placed on course work as opposed to a dissertation – online Ph.D programs view dissertations as the culmination of four years of studying, whereas campus programs put more of an emphasis on your dissertation. Looking at the classes you might take, universities like Walden University offer courses such as those listen below:
- Foundations for Doctoral Business Administration Studies. This course looks at some of the major ethical issues related to business and management are covered in this course.
- Finance: Fiscal Leadership in a Global Environment – Creating Competitive Responses and Building Corporate Opportunities. The world within the basic principles of financial planning is applied to further discussion, and expanded upon.
- Business Operations: Systems Perspectives in Global Organizations. Here we have a course that sheds light on how business operates in a global environment.
- Leadership: Building Sustainable Organizations. the focus here is on leadership dimensions of business such as globalization, individual and group behaviors, organizational culture and change, systems thinking, social responsibility, and sustainability.
- Qualitative and Case Study Research for Business Analysis. Students have the opportunity to extend their research and general analysis skills as they further explore research methods and project types that they may incorporate into their own doctoral study.
- Information Systems: Global Management Strategies and Technologies. Covering information systems management concepts and trends underlying current and future developments, as well as principles for providing effective implementation of information systems management.”
- Quantitative Decision-Making for Business Analysis. This course progresses students’ skills in descriptive statistics, statistical inference, quantitative techniques including analysis of variance and covariance.
- Applied Research Methods—Qualitative and Quantitative. This is a seminar covering the philosophy of science, and introduces qualitative and quantitative frameworks for inquiry.
- Business Strategy and Innovation. This course concentrates on the development and implementation of business strategies that enable competitive advantage, while being able to forecast change.
As far as a student's dissertation, each topic has be within the realm of international business, and studiers must conduct original research, offer new information to the field/industry, as well as make reference to present business issues. Some students may have a subject matter that interests them, and they have always been looking to dig deeper to uncover more information. Others can be inspired by suggested additional research from previous dissertations or journal articles they have read. While some of the more popular topics cover finance, marketing, or management, students are not limited to what they can put together. In the online Ph.D program in business administration, students are challenged to chase their passion.
Value and Criticisms of a PhD in Business Administration
An online Ph.D in business administration is generally aimed at those who are working professionals and have previously earned a bachelor's degree and are looking to continue their educational path. The value of any online doctorate in business administration is the understanding you will grasp of organizational strategy as well as better witnessing human behavior in organizations. A real benefit of achieving your business administration Ph.D online is that you will be able to acquire a new set of skills – skills that you would not have had the chance to obtain through your current profession. There are some things you can learn on the job, but sometimes the more formal introduction offered by online Ph.d degrees in business administration can be of great assistance. With an accredited online Ph.D in business administration, you can become eligible for more of a managerial position – giving you the best chance to increase your responsibilities and financial benefits. The disadvantages of an online business administration Ph.D is the amount of time it can take for students to complete the program. Some students may find the assignments to be tedious if they have previously acquired the information being discussed. If you are already in a upper-management position, an online doctorate in business administration might not be very beneficial.
Application & Admission Requirements
Earning an online business administration Ph.D requires the perseverance to complete the extensive course of study. Candidates for online doctoral degrees in business administration should have master’s degrees in one of the following areas – Master’s Degree in Business Administration (M.B.A.), Master of Science degree in general management, Masters in economics, or Master’s in finance. Having a background in management or a business position that involves strategic thinking provides helpful preparation. Students in the online Ph.D business administration program may have supervisory experience in areas such as finance, technology or executive management. Students will be expected to have had a grade point average of at least a 3.0 to be eligible – 3.25 is the typical minimum. Further previous academic achievements that you will need to possess include a strong score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) – 600 or better. With many Ph.D programs being highly competitive, meeting only the minimum requirements will not guarantee admission into any school.
Career Options & Job Market
Graduates with Online Doctorate Degrees in Business Administration can qualify for some of highest paying administrative jobs. Some of the careers open to graduates include becoming an administrative services manager who supervise a specific area among a variety of organizational activities. The median annual wage for administrative services managers was $75,520 in May 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Another profession is becoming an educational administrator who develops academic programs, set polices and goals. The median annual wage for educational administrators at the college level was $82,800 in May 2009 – according to the BLS. Job prospects are expected to grow due to more educational programs for working adults, although competition could be stiff for the top positions. Graduates of online doctorate programs in business administration can also pursue a career as a management or business consultant, bringing your high level skills to improve a company’s operations or efficiency. In May 2008, the annual salary for this career was $81,660. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for management, technical and scientific consultants is expected to grow 83 percent through the decade ending in 2018.
Where to Find Information
- Duke's School of Business This link offers students a look at one of the top Ph.D programs in the country, and something to compare against all of your prospective programs.
- Business School Blog This blog offers you tips, tools, and ideas for choosing the right business school for you.
- BusinessWeek An article on the recent surge in business Ph.D applications, and the reasoning behind the move.
- Pacific States University Doctor of Business Administration This can offer you information about the curriculum for a doctorate program.
How to Get Funding
There is a wide range of options students can look to for assistance – from private education loans, to private scholarships. Some institutions have Ph.D fellowship programs, and there are usually additional benefits for those who are veterans. If you are looking to apply for any form of federal aid, you will need to first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online – also have your school's numerical code ready. The next step will be to complete the GSM Application for Federal Financial Aid. Before you begin filling out any application, be sure that you qualify by reading over the major requirements for both. Online Ph.D programs in business administration become much more accessible when you are able to acquire financial assistance.
- Federal Direct Stafford Loan. This program offers students low-interest loans as they work towards their Ph.D. The maximum loan available is $20,500 per academic year, and there is a fixed interest rate of 6.80%.
- Federal Perkins Loan. For the full-time students that possess the most need for financial assistance, this low-interest loan can be awarded, offering an average of $3,500 per academic year – with a fixed interest rate at 5.0%.
- Campus-Based Aid. campus-based programs are administered directly by the financial aid office of a college or university. It is important to note that not every school participates in each program the federal government has.
- Make Sure – Be certain this is the right move for you by reaching out to those who are currently enrolled in online doctoral programs in business administration working towards their Ph.D, as they could offer you some insight. There is going to be information that you will not be able to find without having conversations with those who are currently or have been through this degree program.
- Plan to start your application process as early as possible. Once you are certain that looking into online Ph.D programs in business administration is the right move for you, get going on your application as the process can take longer than many may believe.
- Avoid jumping into a doctorate program immediately after earning your bachelor's degree – attempt to gain some working experience first. Earing your Ph.D is a long road that you may not want to jump right on to coming out of a recent long haul earning your bachelors. Attempt to see if further education is what you will need.
- Financial Aid – Do not approach your quest for funding lightly, a small amount of effort can get you a considerable sum of aid if you are eligible. There are a series of application you will have to go through, so starting early is well advised. Online doctoral programs in business administration can be a worthwhile investment, but an investment none the less.