5 Concentrations for DBA Degrees

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Updated October 2, 2020

DBA Degree Concentrations

  • Business Management
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Customized Professional Concentration

DBA graduates have several pathways that they can pursue, including becoming an educator, an executive leader, a consultant or a thought leader in their chosen industry. While the emphasis of a DBA degree is on core business coursework, programs offer majors and minors that allow candidates to acquire in-depth knowledge in specific areas.

Resource: 10 Most Affordable Online DBA Programs - Online Ph.D. Business

While the studies are tailored for each candidate's goals and specific concentrations are highly specialized, DBA programs generally fall into one of these five categories:

1. Business Management

The majority of DBA candidates aim to apply their new skills to the world of business. The diversity of the industry is well represented under the business administration umbrella with specializations ranging from tourism and human resources to sports and international relations. Some candidates seek to enhance business processes by studying operations management while others study strategic management to understand the resources that make organizations successful. In the Organization Studies pathway, candidates gain deep insights into how gender, diversity and working conditions impact organizational change.

2. Finance

DBA candidates who specialize in finance generally pursue careers in accounting, economics or international banking. They are highly valued by government agencies, Fortune 500 companies and investment firms for their creative approach in applying research to solve contemporary financial issues. Doctoral financial executives maximize an organization's value through capital budgeting, asset pricing of equity, data analysis for investments and derivative securities. They also gain a thorough understanding of the theories behind markets for financial assets, mergers and acquisitions, economic growth and credit risk modeling.

3. Marketing

The DBA concentration in marketing serves professionals who want to fine-tune their skills in branding, consumer behavior, product development and public relations. During the course of the executive program, candidates uncover innovative ways to approach marketing research design, draft public policies, improve customer experiences, steer a company's social media presence and pitch products to a global market. Students receive hands-on training in project management so that they can fully understand how to apply marketing theories to real-world marketing challenges and opportunities. Whether they go on to work for luxury brands, heavily financed startups, government agencies or top-tier advertising firms, today's DBA marketing graduates will have a hand in shaping tomorrow's trends.

4. Computer Information Systems

A DBA concentration in computer information systems (CIS) can catapult an IT professional to the top of the bustling technology industry. Graduates are armed with detailed knowledge of how to effectively analyze systems, evaluate processes, program innovative systems, maximize databases and test and troubleshoot systems to help organizations run efficiently through the flow of information. Due to the constantly evolving nature of the fast-paced industry, the CIS curriculum not only varies by program but also by term as new technology emerges on the market.

5. Customized Professional Concentration

Many DBA programs allow a professional to declare their own concentration. This customized program meets the specific goals of the individual in their chosen field. This format works well since the majority of DBA coursework focuses on core business concepts in research, statistics and data analytics and candidates spend significant time developing original research to write their dissertation defense. Candidates work closely with an advisor to tailor an education pathway that utilizes elective credit hours to delve deeper into their academic discipline.

A DBA degree is the equivalent of a Ph.D. in Business Administration. Instead of developing theories, the executive program focuses on the application of business theory to solve problems in the modern business world notes the Executive DBA Council. Most DBA programs allow candidates to continue working while pursuing their research.

Additional Resources:

Top 10 Best Business Schools

Top 25 Doctoral Programs in Business

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