The Differences Between an MBA and a Ph.D

Graduating with either an MBA or Ph.D can have a significant impact on your future, but each level comes with a different set of benefits, depending on your goals. Before deciding whether to pursue an MBA or a Ph.D, it is wise to consider factors such as your financial situation, time availability and ultimate career goals.

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An MBA (Master of Business Administration) and a Ph.D (Doctor of Philosophy) are both types of doctoral degrees. Receipt of an MBA means that a student has achieved mastery of a particular area in the business world, from accounting to finance to marketing MBA programs typically prioritize concepts and skills are useful in the corporate world. Ph.D program cover many of the same ideas, but put the emphasis on academics, such as study and theory of business.


Both degrees require a commitment of time and money, although MBA programs are often more flexible. Full-time MBA programs to run one to two years, depending on whether a student’s prior professional experience may be taken into account some of the required 30-60 points. Students who are unable to go to school full time, but can qualify for a part-time MBA program in which classes are divided over a number of years. Part-time training can help spread out the cost of teaching as well, and some employers are willing to share the cost of an MBA degree with a valued employee. Academic institutions tend to be stricter with Ph.D programs. Many departments are expecting a full time engagement, including on-campus residence, interaction with faculty and students, and participation in internships. An average Ph.D programs take four to six years to complete.

Career Considerations

Typically a Ph D is believed to be a better move for any plans to enter the academic world–say, as a University professor–while an MBA is the best choice for someone who needs to work in the private sector. But there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, a Ph.D degree can be useful for anyone interested in becoming a business consultant or take a researcher position in Government or business. While most universities prefer to recruit professors with Ph.D, an MBA is often suitable for teaching at a Community College or online University.

Monetary Considerations

MBA and Ph. D degrees are both costly efforts. The average tuition for a year of an MBA program is $ 40000 although that number will rise or fall depending on the prestige of the school. Ph.D programs require similar training, but much of the amount may be waived or applied with a stipend in Exchange for research and teaching services. In spite of the expense, both degrees has the potential to pay off in the long run. According to a 2008 Graduate Management Admission Council study, MBA students reported receiving job offer worth 73.6 percent more than those received before entering the program. For a potential professor, a Ph.D allows for a career as a tenured member of the University Faculty.

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