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Comparing the Advantages of a Ph.D. in Business Management to an MBA

Unlocking the Power of a Ph.D. in Business Management

In the ever-changing landscape of business education, the doctoral degree in business management has become a distinct and attractive field, offering students a unique opportunity to dive into areas of theory and research where a master of business administration (MBA) can only graze. So, what is the difference between the two degrees and what exactly are the benefits of earning a PhD in business management?

Why the MBA Falls Short

Unlocking the Power of a Phd
Unlocking the Power of a Ph.D.

As I’ve witnessed the historical evolution of business education, I’ve seen the MBA, the perennial leader among advanced business degrees, become the choice of many aspiring corporate leaders. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it is the most coveted degree for those seeking a management position, whether as a management analyst, department director, or even vice president. It is a golden ticket that often unlocks the door to career advancement and a higher rung on the corporate ladder.

However, as I traveled through the diverse world of business, I also encountered a fascinating dichotomy. While an MBA is undoubtedly a powerful tool, it does not have a monopoly on business success. Surprisingly, 26 percent of business management professionals do not follow the traditional path of an employee. They choose speech topics to become consultants.

And this is where the intrigue begins. Among these consultants, you will find a colorful spectrum of educational levels. Some can boast of an illustrious MBA degree on their resume, while others proudly hold only a bachelor’s degree or even a high school diploma. Yes, you read that right-several newcomers to the field have challenged conventional wisdom by navigating the complex landscape of entrepreneurship without the traditional crutch of academic degrees. They have proven that business success is not limited to the classroom; it’s about innovation, determination, and that special spark that turns an idea into a thriving corporation.

Against this background, you may wonder: Why, then, do some people seek a PhD in business management when an MBA reigns supreme as the usual ticket to corporate prominence and management consulting?

Let’s start a journey to unravel the mysteries and uncover the compelling benefits of a PhD in business management.

Exploring the Distinct Advantages of a Ph.D. in Business Management

As I immersed myself in the dynamic field of business education, I appreciated the intriguing differences between two different degrees: the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and the Doctor of Philosophy in Management. While an MBA provides future leaders and entrepreneurs with practical skills through hands-on training and case studies, a PhD in management plunges into the seas of business theory, research, cross-analysis, and the creation of a comprehensive management theory dissertation.

Both paths cover important topics such as finance, accounting, taxation, business law, management, human resources, and international business. You don’t have to buy essays on Reddit right now. After all, a doctorate takes you on a more intellectual journey, encouraging broad discussions, theoretical research, and deep dives into the intricacies of business practice.

One interesting aspect that distinguishes these degrees is their career trajectories. MBA graduates often choose careers as corporate managers or entrepreneurs, applying their practical skills in various business environments. In contrast, doctoral degree holders have the opportunity to combine academic and corporate careers. While they can pursue full-time professorships, MBA holders usually face difficulties in obtaining full-time academic positions.

Now, let’s delve into the realm of salaries. According to, the average salary for business professors hovers around $131,438. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median salary of $73,570 for all individuals in management roles. However, comparing these figures is like comparing apples to oranges.

PhD candidates in business management have a unique opportunity to combine the best of both worlds. They can enjoy the role of a full-time professor while also working as highly skilled part-time management consultants, gaining the benefits of both fields. On the other hand, MBA graduates who reach executive positions in large multinationals can earn seven-figure salaries along with attractive bonuses. So, when it comes to financial considerations, the decision between a PhD and an MBA should be driven by a passion for research and theory, not monetary aspirations.

In the End

Ultimately, the choice between these two paths depends on personal inclinations and career goals. This decision requires careful research, participation in academic fairs, conversations with experienced business professors, and exploration of various resources, including books, career development seminars, and online information. A doctoral degree in business management offers the allure of a slow, intellectually rewarding academic career or the bright, fast-paced life of the corporate world. There is no definitive right answer, but for the right person, the benefits of a doctorate can be immeasurable.


Brandon Galarita is a freelance writer and K-12 educator in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is passionate about technology in education, college and career readiness and school improvement through data-driven practices.

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