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What is the Difference Between a PhD and DBA Accounting Degree Program?

Many people have questions about what the specific differences are between a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) accounting degree program. Though the two doctorates may have some occasional overlap, there are differences between a Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Business Administration that should be taken into account. The following are some of the most important things to keep in mind about what distinguishes the two degrees.

Understanding the Doctor of Business Administration

Compared to a Doctor of Philosophy, a Doctor of Business Administration is a relatively newer degree that many people don’t have a full scope of knowledge about. In the simplest terms, Doctor of Business Administration accounting degree program is based on the accomplishment of extended study in research in business administration. Though it is not identical to a Doctor of Philosophy degree program, it is considered equivalent to the former in terms business administration.

With a Doctor of Business Administration, the degree holder is recognized as having the highest academic recognition available in business administration. Gaining the degree is the requirement for being employed as a tenure-eligible postdoctoral researcher or professor in a full-time field position.

While it is common for Doctor Philosophy candidates to start their doctorate after graduating from a university, DBA candidates oftentimes begin their path towards the degree after being successful in business for a number of years.

The well-beaten Doctor of Philosophy path

Candidates for a PhD’s common aim to have a career that is rooted in the social sciences. With the completion of the Doctor of Philosophy program, it is common for the doctorate holder to go on to become a full-time professor in a business program.

Generally speaking, those who hold PhD’s are focused and having their body of work center around theoretical research. The common path is for a PhD candidate to begin their candidacy in an undergraduate program at a university before moving on to work toward their Doctor of Philosophy immediately upon graduating.

Resource: Top 10 Online Accounting Degree Programs

Theoretical versus applied research

Though the Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Business Administration are considered equivalent, there may occasionally be some distinctions based on the intended orientation of outcome from acquiring one or the other. One of the main distinctions between the degree is the fact that the Doctor of Business Administration is oftentimes applied for more directly applied research while a Doctor of Philosophy is more commonly geared toward developing theoretical knowledge.

Because the Doctor of Business Administration is often focused on more applied research rather than theoretical work, those who graduate from its programs commonly move on to occupy positions as either executives or applied researchers; meanwhile, while those who graduate from Doctor of Philosophy programs are more commonly seen moving into positions in academia.

Thesis statements and professor candidacy

In order to acquire either degree, candidates have to submit either a dissertation or thesis statement that is acknowledged as being worthy of publication in a peer-reviewed journal. In addition to submitting the thesis statement or dissertation, candidates have to successfully present their thesis/dissertation in front of a panel of credentialed examiners.

Aside from the differences in orientation in the typical outcome of either theoretical or applied research positions, both holders of Doctor of Business Administration degrees and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees are commonly seen occupying adjunct professor positions in both graduate-degree and undergraduate programs.