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Getting the Best Value From a Business PhD Program

written by: Ivy N. McQuain MBA•edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch•updated: 1/16/2011

When you enter into a PhD business program, you have to understand effective ways for getting the best value out of the program. Learn how to get the best value from PhD programs in business.

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    Getting the Best Value from PhD Programs in Business

    After completing your master's degree, you are ready to start a new venture of obtaining a PhD (doctorate) in business but you don’t know where to start. A PhD is the highest educational degree an individual can obtain in their academic pursuits. Doctoral programs are strenuous and require a lot of time to navigate effectively through the courses, doctoral or scholar level writings and the all-famous dissertation, which is a detailed and lengthy composition of your PhD studies as well as references from conducted research and your career achievements.

    But what is the true value of PhD programs in business? To honestly answer that question, it depends on the individual seeking the degree. Here are some simple tips for helping you get into and survive a PhD program.

    Understand the "why" in choosing a PhD business program. There are two distinctive PhD programs for business: Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) and a PhD in a specialized business field.

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    Check your selected school out first. PhD programs in business are strenuous, as with any PhD program, and often requires a great deal of hand holding from the academic staff. Traditional schools require you to take the GRE or GMAT, write essays and have several letters of recommendations from employers, business constituents and the like. You also have to have a certain GPA. Basically, applying for post graduate business schools at a traditional university is competitive but the experience of fellowships and access to your academic staff is invaluable. Also be sure you understand the final cost of the program.

    Knuckle down once you get in. Unlike undergrad and even your master's level pursuits, a PhD in business program is rigorous. When you enter into a business program on the PhD level, you now have to start thinking, responding and writing like a scholar. Your ideals of relating your life to your academic studies are gone and just to respond to a question requires cited resources. Knuckling down is the only way you will be able to focus and make the best grades possible. You may have to consider taking out substantive loans to fund your lifestyle and education as scholarships for business PhD programs are in short supply.

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    Ask and ask until you surpass understanding the question. I struggled with this during my doctorate studies because I thought I knew everything about business, after all, I have a MBA and 12 years of successful business experience but I was wrong. So when you get stuck on a problem, ask for help.

    Getting your PhD is one of the most rewarding endeavors in your business career but it is also a costly and time consuming one. You have to be prepared to either not work or work part-time. Never be afraid to ask questions and stay in contact with your professors. Check out both online and traditional PhD programs for business and make your decision after you have assessed the costs, admission requirements and access to staff. While the market for a PhD fluctuates depending on the need of the job market, having your PhD is a good decision and solidifies you as an expert in your field.