HomeDoctorate of Business AdministrationPost Graduation Vs. Doctorate in Business Administration: Career and Package Differences in...

Post Graduation Vs. Doctorate in Business Administration: Career and Package Differences in the US

Do you want to excel in your career in the business area? If so, you must have thought about pursuing a postgraduate degree in business administration at some point. 

If you research this subject matter on the internet, you’ll find people debating for and against DBA and MBA. 

While you may have already heard about MBA, you may wonder what DBA programs are. If you’re confused about post-graduation and a doctorate in business administration, this is the article for you. 

Here, you’ll learn the key differences between an MBA and a DBA while apprehending the right choice for you. 

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DBA: What Is It Exactly?

DBA, or Doctor of Business Administration, is a popular program that is often categorized as the highest level of degree in business management. 

This program is explicitly designed to further enhance, upgrade, and sharpen the skills, knowledge, and expertise you gained via an MBA program. 

DBA programs integrate professional expertise, theory, practical strategies, and scientific research altogether to let graduates and working professionals devise solutions to advanced problems while procuring in-depth insight into business administration. 

MBA: What Is It Exactly? 

MBA, or Master of business administration, is the most common business degree in the world that enables students and working professionals to grasp a comprehensive view of a business that includes subject matter like marketing, finance, and accounting. 

With this program, learners can adapt to new skills and enhance existing ones, such as their leadership qualities. You must have a bachelor’s degree to enroll in this postgraduate degree in business management. 

An MBA degree gives you a competitive edge over individuals who lack such a degree in the business world. 

DBA Vs. MBA: Career Opportunities 


It’s true that both these degrees have some similarities, but there are different reasons why people consider one over the other. With a DBA degree, you can acquire in-depth knowledge and expertise in research and theory that you can implement in multiple settings.  

With a doctorate or Ph.D. in business administration, you will be ready to work in various roles, notably senior management roles and those relying on research methodologies. For instance, anyone having a DBA can get positions in the following: 

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Management¬†
  • Private consulting
  • Government roles
  • Education administration

Likewise, anyone having an MBA can also operate in senior-level and executive positions. (However, their chances of getting the job are less when compared to someone interviewing with a DBA degree). Any MBA degree holder can find job roles as: 

  • Investment bankers
  • Marketing Manager
  • HR manager
  • Financial Advisor
  • IT manager
  • Operations Manager¬†

DBA Vs. MBA: Expected Salary Range


Any DBA and MBA degree holder can get managerial and executive jobs. It implies that they will definitely earn six-figure salaries on average. 

Even though the roles and responsibilities differ, both DBA and MBA degrees open the gateway to top-level job positions where you can earn higher salaries. 

Salary of an MBA Degree Holder: 

MBA graduates’ salaries are considered the highest in the current business world. Your salary after completing MBA will range from 5 to 6 figures, depending on what your company and job role are. 

Salary of a DBA Degree Holder: 

A DBA degree holder usually has the edge over MBA graduates due to their advanced level of expertise and skills. That’s why their salaries are often a bit higher than the margin salary of any MBA graduate. 

You can easily get a job in C-suite positions and earn up to $300,000 a year. 

DBA Vs. MBA: Key Differences 

Provided in advanced business & management subject matters Provided in business & management subject matters
Professional doctorate-level degree of NQF level 8 Professional master’s degree of NQF level 7
Typically studied part-time via distance learning (both offline and online) Typically studied full-time, but can also be pursued part-time or online
Comes with taught modules, along with  placement, practical projects, and associated masters dissertation task Comes with taught modules, along with extensive research on doctoral thesis work

DBA Vs. MBA: Which Is The Right Degree For Me?

It is an extremely subjective choice when deciding between a DBA and MBA. What you have to do is prioritize your career goals before anything else. Also, your experience in academia and practical business goals and settings will help you decide what’s best for you. 

If you’re planning to become an entrepreneur and build a startup, an MBA is the right choice. However, if you want to achieve the highest level of excellence, skills, and expertise in your specific field while working as a professional, a DBA is the ideal choice for you. 

Ending Note 

With this comprehensive guide, you now understand the difference between a postgraduate and a doctorate in business administration. 

So, consider your goals, see what fits your future plans, and go for the degree that best aligns with your goals and expectations. 

Shivangi Mishra
Shivangi Mishra
She is an experienced writer and journalist who has extensively covered the education sector in India and Abroad. Now helping Indian aspirants realise their foreign education dream by providing them with relevant content and information through upGrad Abroad. Amateur traveller, loves to read Architectural Digest!

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