What You Need to Know Before Starting a DBA Programme

A Doctor of Business Administration qualification can fast-track your career progression and increase your employability, particularly if you want to secure a leadership role. However, choosing the right programme is critical to your success.

Not all DBA programmes are alike, which means it’s essential to do your due diligence before you enrol. By taking the time to find the right course for you, you can increase the value of your qualification, improve your learning outcomes and enhance your enjoyment of the course. With this in mind, take a look at what you need to know before starting a DBA programme:

1. Is the School Accredited?

When you’re thinking about enrolling on any academic programme, it’s important to confirm whether or not the school is accredited. When a third-party, such as a professional body, accredits an academic institution or a particular course, it can increase its value. Potential employers will know that courses provided by an accredited university offer quality teaching, meaningful content and rigorous assessment. 

When it comes to choosing a Doctor of Administration degree, it’s particularly important to ensure the school you’ll be studying with has the relevant accreditations. If you choose to study an online executive DBA programme from Aston University, for example, you’ll be enrolled with a triple-accredited business school. This guarantees quality and ensures you’ll derive maximum value from your doctorate. 

2. What is the Course Duration?

It can take quite some time to complete a DBA, especially if you choose to study on a part-time basis. However, as most candidates continue working on a full-time basis while completing a business doctorate, choosing a course that can be completed over a long period of time can be beneficial. 

Part-time doctorates usually take a minimum of four years to complete, but you can give yourself some leeway by choosing a programme that allows you up to six years to submit your thesis. This allows you to plan your own schedule and adjust your academic itinerary in response to other obligations you may have. Life can throw up unforeseen obstacles at times, so having some flexibility in terms of how long you’ve got to complete your DBA will give you peace of mind and increase the likelihood of you successfully completing the programme. 

3. How Will You Study?

Although many universities provide face-to-face learning and on-site study facilities for DBA students, think carefully about whether this is the right method of study for you. If you have to spend a significant amount of time on campus, for example, this can affect your ability to work at the same time as completing your DBA. Similarly, having to be on campus for extended periods of time may mean extensive travel or even relocating to a new area so that you can be closer to campus. 

Fortunately, there are more convenient options available. When you study an online DBA, you can research and write your thesis from any location. The latest EdTech innovations ensure you can communicate easily with professors, instructors and fellow students, while the flexibility of online learning ensures maximum convenience. 

4. What’s the Cost?

Undertaking an advanced qualification can be a great way to invest in your career. After all, obtaining a Doctor of Business Administration degree can significantly increase your earning power and employability. However, it’s still important to consider the financial implications of enrolling in a programme. 

In most instances, studying online enables you to access lower programme fees, as well as increasing the amount of flexibility you’ll have. Furthermore, not having to relocate or attend campus on a regular basis can save you a significant amount of money too. By reducing the cost of studying via the type of course you choose to enrol in, you can reduce your outgoings and increase the return on investment your DBA will deliver. 

5. Rankings and Reputation

University and course rankings can tell you a lot about the calibre of a particular programme and how it will be viewed by prospective employers in the future. As well as looking at global university rankings, be sure to consider worldwide DBA listings too. These provide detailed information about various DBA providers and help you to find a school that’s right for you. 

Similarly, you should learn more about the reputation of a school and/or programme before you decide to apply. The Teaching Excellence Framework can tell you whether you’ll receive consistently outstanding instruction and whether students enjoy enhanced outcomes following graduation, while rankings in professional publications give you an insight into what employers value when interviewing DBA candidates. 

6. Research Supervision

As the DBA is a research-based programme, you should be assigned a supervisor who can assist you with developing the research skills you’ll need to succeed. However, it’s also important to work with a supervisor who has experience and knowledge of your chosen research topic. Not every school can guarantee this, so be sure to talk to advisers and professors in advance. 

By choosing a programme provider that offers a wide variety of specialisms and discussing your research proposal in advance, you can ensure that you’ll have the opportunity to work with a supervisor who has expert knowledge of the subject area and who can assist you in enhancing your thesis. 

Is a DBA Right for You?

Now that you know what to look for in a DBA programme, you’ll simply need to decide if a Doctor of Business Administration qualification is the right option for you. If you want to enhance your career, secure leadership roles and become a leader in your industry, a DBA can help you to achieve these goals. Arguably the most prestigious qualification in the business world, a DBA can enable you to fulfil your potential and broaden the scope of your career too. 

While there’s no doubt that successfully completing a Doctor of Business Administration programme requires hard work and dedication, graduating with a DBA offers a wide variety of benefits. From professional advancements to personal accomplishments, there is a lot to be gained from the right DBA programme. 

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