Core classwork is part of any DBA or Ph.D. program in business. Students start these classes in the beginning part of their program and then typically branch into their areas of focus further on in their degree program, making most programs composed of core classwork and classes in a specialization such as:
- Case studies
- Law in the global environment
- Leadership theory and practice
- Marketing and managing
- Transforming business
Once a student begins their program, they typically study independently as they grasp the finer details of economics, marketing and quantitative analysis as they relate to the business world. The second stage of an online DBA or Ph.D. in business involves in-depth research and preparation for a dissertation, or public argument discussing some aspect of the business world in relation to greater society.
Often, students continue to work in their career, applying their new business knowledge in a practical manner so that they can become more effective on the job and even move into top-level management positions.
Most jobs for those who graduate with this degree do not require special licensing or certification. However, online Ph.D. students who pursue a career in teaching may need to gain a teaching credential in order to work in their field.
DISSERTATIONS, CAPSTONE PROJECTS AND/OR RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS
Online Ph.D. programs in business or DBA degree programs may require you to complete a dissertation or capstone project. Your dissertation or project may apply to a real-life business issue or to your area of specialization and involve answering a question or coming up with a solution or solutions to a problem. A dissertation can require students to be on-campus to defend their research and findings. Although "defending" a dissertation sounds intimidating, it merely implies that you are able to intelligibly answer questions about you research or project in front of a panel of academic advisors and professors.
While some online DBA or Ph.D. in business programs can be completed entirely online, others require several visits to campus for intensive sessions. A residency may be a requirement in some online DBA programs. A residency can provide hands-on experiences during important parts of your academic program, tying into areas of knowledge you are building.
Residencies, which can include several short stays on-campus or regular visits to a place of business, can be a great opportunity to enrich your learning and enhance your business skills. Even if you complete a DBA online program, you may still be required to visit your school to complete a residency. For online learners, residencies may be several days or weeks in length, and often allow you to become acquainted with your professors and other students in an immersive environment.
DOCTORATE IN BUSINESS SPECIALIZATIONS
Online doctorate in business programs may give students the ability to hone their skills in a particular area of business. This is known as a specialization and typically includes several courses within the overall requirements that focus on the area of knowledge, expertise or practice. In some online DBA programs students may be required to choose a specialization.
Specializations in a DBA program can include:
- Healthcare administration
- Human resources management
- Innovations in healthcare management
- International business
- Nonprofit leadership and management
- Organizational leadership
- Project management
- Supply chain management and leadership
- Technology entrepreneurship
WHAT CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES ARE NEEDED FOR A CAREER IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION?
Certification can be useful when professionals are in competition for high-ranking jobs, advancement, career opportunities and respect. Although there are many different types of certification available, generally, enrolling in a certification program may require a specific level of education and experience as well as passing an exam to become certified. Exams can be rigorous and challenging and can build on previous experience and education.
The Certified Business Administrator (CBA) certification offered through the American Certification Institute is one certification that might be considered. Other helpful certifications could be related to the specialization you pursue in your DBA degree online. Example certifications are listed below. Many of these designations are well-known, highly respected and only attainable through education and experience.
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA) by the American Institute of CPAs
- Certified Financial Planner (CFP) by the Certified Financial Planner Board
- Project Management Certificate (PMP) by the Project Management Institute
- Professional in Human Resource (PHR) by the HR Certification Institute
- Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) by the Association for Supply Chain Management
- Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) by the American Purchasing Society
ASSOCIATIONS AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
- American Business Women's Association: Graduates who would like to launch their own business after completing a business program, such as a DBA degree online, can find educational, leadership and networking opportunities available through the ABWA, which has been in existence for 70 years.
- American Management Association: Professional development and management training programs are available to members of the AMA, which offers workshops in cities across the country. Certificate programs, professional credentials and a women's leadership center enhance member opportunities.
- DECA: Preparing college students to be leaders and entrepreneurs in business careers, DECA has more than 275 chapters and 215,000 members in the country. Competitive events, educational conferences and partnerships can help graduates of online doctorate in business programs or similar programs network and improve their skills.
- Future Business Leaders of America - Phi Beta Lambda: A national organization, the FBLA helps more than 230,000 students become equipped for careers in business through academic competitions, educational programs and leadership development.