phd vs dba which is a better option for a doctorate degree
Home Doctorate PhD vs DBA: Which Is A Better Option of Doctorate Degree?

PhD vs DBA: Which Is A Better Option of Doctorate Degree?

Apr 23, 2024 1.4K Reads

Do you also get confused about what to choose between PhD and DBA? The answer to this question is simple. Students can choose any of these doctorates depending on certain factors like career goals, work experience, and educational background.

Latest News: 

UGC NET 2024 starts its registration for the entrance exam and shares the details of eligibility, fees, and other criteria related to the entrance exam of UGC NET 2024 in the latest notice of NTAclick here for the more detailes.

Now, graduates with four-year undergraduate degrees can apply for a PhD program directly via UGC-NET ( National Eligibility Test), click here to know more details.

3 Years Doctorate Programs In Online mode? || Is it a valid option

So read this blog to find out the key difference between a DBA (Doctorate of Business Administration) and a PhD. Are You Looking For? | Online Doctorate Degrees!

What is a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)?

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy is the highest academic degree that an individual can pursue to get advanced knowledge and mastery in a subject. PhD is usually pursued by candidates who want to make a career in the research field. Usually, an Individual with a PhD is allowed to teach in the universities. PhD requires a lot of reading and finding. They actively work in the direction of creating something unique in their subject field. PhD is a research doctorate study that is usually five years long. PhD can be pursued in any of the disciplines.

What is DBA (Doctorate of Business Administration)?

DBA also known as Doctorate in Business Administration is the highest academic degree awarded in the business and management field. It is pursued by working professionals. A doctorate in Business Administration is more about practical-based studies. It offers in-depth knowledge and understanding of the topics related to business and management. While a PhD in Business is more about the research-based study that focuses on creating unique work. Enroll Today | Doctorate In Business Administration Online!

Which is better: PhD in Business Vs a DBA?


PhD in Business


Main Feature

Research-based study program.

Applied-based study program.

Opted by

Pursued by the students with the knack for researching thoroughly about various business and management topics.

Pursued by working professionals who have prior knowledge about the business and management field. 

Focuses on

Thorough understanding of the existing work and theories to create a unique work.

More focused on using the existing theories in the practical business world. 


Research is an integral part of a PhD.

Research work is done with the real business issue and other related case studies.  


The syllabus is designed to offer in-depth knowledge to emphasize research work. 

The syllabus includes both in-depth knowledge Coursework that includes business case studies and solving approaches. 

Career Options

Professorship jobs, and academics and teaching. 

Academic Consultant, Research-Based Employment, Management Job Roles, Business Entrepreneur, Management Analyst, College Professor, Market Research Analyst and many more


Program Duration 

The duration for PhD is 5-6 years. 


The duration of DBA is usually 3 to 5 years.

Admission Criteria

Academic eligibility criteria with a research proposal. 


Academic eligibility criteria with relevant work experience.

Basis of Assessment

The thesis plays an important role in the completion of the PhD program. Only after the final review and submission of the thesis, you will be awarded the PhD. 

Assessed based on finding practical solutions to real-time business issues.

Study Program Fees

PhD is an affordable option compared to a DBA, as it can be pursued anywhere be it from India or abroad. 

DBA is a costly program as it can only be pursued from abroad universities, in online or offline mode.

Mode of Learning

Pursued Only in On-Campus and Part-Time mode. You cannot pursue PhD in Online or distance mode. 

Can be pursued in Online or on-campus mode. 

Doctoral Program (Working Professionals)

PhD for Working Professionals

PhD Online?

Distance PhD?

Part-Time PhD

What is the Main Difference between a PhD and a DBA?

1.) Research Scope - As discussed in the blog, a PhD is well suited for candidates who are initial stage of their careers and looking to have a research career. The scope of a research career is higher after pursuing a PhD compared to a DBA. During their program duration, the students focus on creating new work or finding out the loopholes in the existing theories. This is essential, as to deal with present-day business issues, we require new and modern solutions and for this, the PhD students read the existing works and then look for the scope of improvement or create a whole new theory. Their main aim is to create exceptional work and get their thesis published.

While, in DBA the students are not much into research. They study everything about the existing theories and research work and understand the right approach to use such theories with business issues. In their research work, they include a lot of business case studies and practical world issues. This course is for those, who already have prior work experience that helps them to understand the challenges of a business firm and organisation, but somehow lag in finding the solution due to the lack of knowledge and expertise. Also Available | Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Online!

2.) Future Career Goals-It's not always about the interest and research study. The course is opted for by the students based on their future careers and opportunities. If you are a working professional who is interested in the business and management field and looks up at the corporate world as your ground to grab top senior-level positions like CEO, COO, CFO and others, then choosing DBA is the best option for you. However, if you are a person with the passion to start a career in teaching, a PhD is the right course for you. Professors that are appointed in the universities and institutes always prefer candidates with PhD degrees be it India or abroad. Also if an individual is interested in becoming a researcher, can go for the PhD program, as this course gives in-depth knowledge about research methodologies. 

3.) Time management -If you have recently completed graduation and are ready to give 3-5 years of your life to only research work and studies, then there is no problem in choosing the PhD program. It is so because, a PhD requires a lot of hard work, time and rigorous efforts. Getting a strong grip on the concepts is what is essential in a PhD. While in DBA more focus is given to the concepts' applications. It is an applied-based study and mostly opted by the individual with prior work experience in the business and management field. DBA is specially tailor-made for working executives that can be even offered in online mode. So compared to a PhD, DBA is much more flexible for working executives. 

4.) Study programme fees -The fee for the DBA is high compared to the PhD programs. This is so because a DBA is a professional degree that is specially made only for working executives. The tuition fee for the DBA program can range between $20,000 to $30,000 per annum. However, various scholarships and grants are available for the students. The candidates can apply for them as well. However various other factors like mode of education, type of university(public or private), country selected for pursuing the program and various other factors are responsible for variation in the fee range.

Curriculum Difference in PhD and DBA

 In Both, my Doctorate in Business Administration and PhD in Business and Management, the curriculum highly focuses on improving the holistic knowledge of an individual related to business and management foundation theories, leadership, strategic management, research and innovative development. Both programs include essential concerts related to business, management, finance, marketing and human resource management. However, there are some key differences in the curriculum of DBA and PhD.

PhD in business is different from a DBA in business and management because PhD in Business includes- 

  • The evolution and the background of business & management with its relation to society and human development. 
  • Study of the core principles of evaluation management and evolution of the firms and the change in the business approach.
  • Understanding the relevance of the emerging and modern management theories and their practices from the perspective of societal change.
  • The focus of the curriculum is shifted towards finding the loopholes in the existing theories with the current market scenarios.

However, the curriculum of DBA is different because it includes-

  • The basic formulation of understanding the theoretical concepts and applying them to complex real-world problems. 
  • The development of the skills that can help in professional growth and career like leadership, strategic management, decision-making skills and analysis skills.
  • Using the recently existing skills research works to apply on the practical grounds. 
  • Working on unique and innovative research that can contribute not only to the knowledge body but also to solving real-world problem issues.

Top Specialization In DBA

DBA In Supply Chain Management Online

DBA Online In Artificial Intelligence

DBA Online In Human Resources

DBA Online In Emerging Technologies 

Careers that can be pursued after PhD vs DBA  

Both degrees can help you reach your career goal. But always choose between a DBA and a PhD based on your career goals. Here we have listed some of the job posts that can be pursued-

PhD Career Options 

  • University teacher 
  • Researcher 
  • Academic Consultant 
  • Public Policymaker
  • Leadership Job Roles

DBA Careers Options

  • Consultant
  • Entrepreneurs 
  • University Teacher
  • Management Analyst
  • C-Level Executives
  • Market Research Analyst

How You Enrol for a Doctoral Degree? Eligibility Requirements for DBA and PhD

Well, now that you have seen the key difference between a DBA and PhD the next question that comes to mind is how can we enrol to PhD or how can we enrol on DBA. The entry requirements can vary to get enrollment in these programs. Here we have mentioned some top requirements that have to be fulfilled to get admission. 

Eligibility Criteria for Enrolling in PhD

  • Candidates applying must have a master’s degree or equivalent from a recognised University.
  • Must have scored at least 55% marks in the qualifying degree. Relaxation for certain groups.
  • Must qualify the entrance tests like GATE, NET or other university-specific entrance and interview tests. 

Eligibility Criteria for Enrolling in DBA

  • Candidate with a master's degree or equivalent in any discipline from a recognised institute. 
  • Candidates with bachelor's degree can also apply considering the required work experience in the related field. 
  • The years of work experience required can vary for different specialisations.

Whether you want to go for PhD or DBA, the answer to this complex question can be found by taking your experience and passion into consideration. The candidate goes for a DBA to get lucrative job opportunities at the organisational level, while you can choose a PhD to make your strong career in the teaching field.

Top Trending Articles

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

You can go for DBA as it is specially designed for busy working professionals looking for upskilling and better career options. It allows the candidate to manage their work as well as studies, unlike a typical PhD student who has to devote all time to studies and research.

DBA can cost a little high compared to a typical PhD program as DBA can only be pursued from a foreign university. 

Yes, both DBA and PhD are equivalent and carry equal value. DBA is a course offered by a foreign university and is globally recognised, and valid throughout the world including India. 

To enrol in the DBA program, the candidate must have a master's degree or bachelor's degree from a recognised institute with some work experience in the related field.

Yes, as DBA is offered by foreign universities it is globally recognised including India.

Yes, the students get Dr. added with their names after completion of DBA.

Every query is essential.

Our team of experts, or experienced individuals, will answer it within 24 hours.

Ask any Question - CV Forum

Recommended for you

Tired of dealing with call centers!

Get a professional advisor for Career!


Rs.1499(Exclusive offer for today)


MBA 7 yrs exp


M.Com 4 yrs exp

Kapil Gupta

MCA 5 yrs exp


Talk to Career Experts