Is a position in academia a viable option

Career with a doctoral degree in management
  • Posted by plvasco on 12/25/16 9:02pm

    Im considering a career change into academia after several years in the corporate world. Is a DBA a viable option to allow for this to happen?

    • Posted by Thomas Graf on 12/26/16 11:51am

      Hi there,

      well, it can be. Staying within the business world and teaching occasionally is a viable option for sure. Achieving an academic position is more difficult and may require some characteristics of your specific doctoral program.

      First, formal requirements. For instance, in Germany you can only achieve an academic position with an official "Dr." degree. If you do a DBA at a university that is offically acknowledged as university by the respective state - e.g., Cranfield in the UK - you gain a DBA degree that is officially recognized as "Dr." in Germany - hence, you can apply for an academic position.

      If you do a DBA at a business school that is not officially acknowledged, you cannot gain an academic position at a state university in Germany. You may, however, gain a position at a private university.

      So far for the formalities that should be the same for all European Union countries. Outside the EU, things may be different though.

      Secondly, and beyond these formal questions, the reputation of your DBA (or the institution where you obtain your DBA) may play a role as well. If your institution has a strong recommendation for research, it may positively affect your chances of an academic position.

      Finally, your chances may also depend on the academic institution you want to work for in the future. Some may be more open to DBA graduates, some less..

      Bottom line: DBA is not DBA and chances for an academic position may differ strongly across institutions. But here are some advices:

      • Think about which institutions you would like to work for in the future and contact them. Ask them if they (1) know what a DBA is, (2) how they value it, (3) if they would be open to hire DBA graduates and (4) if yes, from which schools.
      • Contact your favorite DBA programs (the program managers) and (1) ask them how many DBA graduates achieved an academic position afcterwards - and (2) ask them to bring you in contact with them.

      Best wishes,

      By Thomas Graf
      Founder DBA Compass
      Author of the DBA Survey

    • Posted by murozel on 12/26/16 10:14pm

      Most of what Thomas has written is also true for a PhD as well, in my opinion. (e.g. the official recognition of the uni, the research reputation of the uni, etc.).

      As far as I know from my observations on the UK HE sector, an academic position with a professional doctorate such as the DBA and DProf is quite possible. This, especially if you focus on applied research and on the schools which put an emphasis on applied research.

      I cannot comment on the situation in other countries, though, perhaps with the exception of the US, where I know that it is possible again.


    • Posted by Dbaguest12 on 04/08/17 10:16am

      Hi All,

      As far as I understand, DBA graduates from UK universities may be eligible to carry a Dr. title in Germany and therefore work in academia in Germany. I believe this is because both the universities offering DBA programmes and the degree itself are recognised by the education council in the UK.

      What is the situation if a university that offers a DBA programme has an international accreditation and is recognised in its respective country as a university, but the DBA degree itself is not?


    • Posted by murozel on 04/09/17 4:49pm

      Well, let me add that even the issue of whether or not to be entitled to hold the Dr title seems questionable in today's rather connected, increasingly borderless world. (No, I do not think this tide has been reversed).

      I totally acknowledge the legitimacy of being or not being able to work in state universities in a given country, and the right of the relevant authorities to judge the official recognition of the university and the degree in that context, but that's it (Moreover, the same may apply to any employer).
      Other than that, e.g. if you work in private sector, and you hold a degree from an officially recognised university of an officially recognised country (i.e. by the UN), your degree must be valid across the world, enabling you to use your title on your business card, online profiles, etc., if you wish to do so. Otherwise, every degree and/or academic title holder would have to seek official recognition from every other country that he/she would travel to or be virtually visible in.

      (Think your LinkedIn profile, for example: It does not know any borders, as it is visible to anyone on the web, regardless of the countries. Probably your profile will sit on the servers which are physically located at another part of the world than where you are.)