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DBA - Ultimate Business Qualification?

#1 DBA - Ultimate Business Qualification?
20/03/2005 20:02


Does anyone know what kind of reputation (if any) a Doctor of Business Administration degree has in the consulting industry?

Is it valued/sought after by consulting firms?

Also, for those who do know about the DBA, how important do you think the uni is where you complete it. I am considering Durham, Henley, or Aston - as I like their course structures....can anyone suggest which uni would have the best job prospects after completion of the degree?

Many thanks,


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#2 Re: DBA - Ultimate Business Qualification?
22/03/2005 12:41

MBA Student

Good question. I am currently finalising my MBA at Henley Management College and have looked at the DBA there as well since I was impressed with the way they run their MBA course and as they are highly regarded for their DBA scheme.

Yet, I am not sure myself as it is another large chunk of money that you spent on studies while the value is questionable. The MBA has a practical focus and aims to train you as a better manager, while the DBA is purely academic and aims to train you as a researcher.

So, in a sense it depends really on your company, the industry that you work in and what you aim to achieve with your career. It'd say you'd get the most value if you can do your DBA while working for a company and use the DBA to analyse something critical or complex that company faces. Then you can use it to differentiate yourself within the company. If you're looking to use the DBA to get a new job, I'm not sure if it's going to work as employers may give you the stigmata of being to academic (unless you apply for a teaching position at an uni of course!).

Let me know if you find a more coherent and conclusive answer, I'd be interested to know!

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#3 Re: DBA - Ultimate Business Qualification?
22/03/2005 19:58

Henley MBA

I completed a full-time MBA at Henley last Autumn and was virtually offered a place on the DBA programme based on the quality of my disseratation. I spent a number of months trying to decide whether to take it on. It is certainly very attractive from a personal development perspective but it is a demanding programme which requires consistent application and commitment. The previous respondent is not entirely accurate when he/she states that the course is purely academic and trains you in research. The reality is that the DBA is a programme based in pragmatic application of techniques and founded in consultancy; the PhD is more in line with the previous respondent's issues re research. In terms of useful longevity and usp in the job market, I believe that it depends on where you wish to position yourself; if focussed on a large, international consultancy where 'standing up and pontificating' is your thing then YES, DBA is the way to go. If, however, you like to 'get your hands dirty' and help Clients resolve their issues then perhaps there is a risk that the DBA might position you too close to the 'academic' end of the market.

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#4 Re: DBA - Ultimate Business Qualification?
23/03/2005 14:14


Guys, thanks for your responses.

I agree that the DBA seems more a "practical" doctorate rather than purely academic. It is also regarded as a professional qualification - which I think is a USP in itself?

As for my rationale for considering the DBA: I have been working as a management consultant for 2.5 years now and already have a Masters - achieved distinction for dissertation. So what I would like your opinion on is: do you guys think doing a DBA would "train me" to be a better consultant, i.e. will I become better at critical analysis, being more objective, and being able to come up with more pragmatic recommendations for my clients. As for my career aspirations: I hope to be an independent consultant in around 10-12 yrs time - currently work for big consulting (IT) firm. I also would consider lecturing once a week at a business school. To do this, I would need to be an "Industry Figure" and I think the DBA may help achieve this credibility. The bad news is that I know some DBAs who aren't exactly minting money...but I think they just haven't positioned themselves properly. Do you guys know anyone who has actually completed the DBA?

As for business school: have also heard good things about Henley, but I don't want to spend that big (£8000/yr) as opposed to Durham (£5000/yr) or Strath/Aston (£2000/yr), unless it really makes a significant difference where you do it. I just wish more universities offered the course!!

Please let me know what you guys think...

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