The master of business administration is the standard degree in the business world. There are those, however, who go on to obtain the Ph.D. in business. There are many benefits to obtaining a Ph.D. in business that many business professionals are simply not aware of.
A Career in Teaching and Research
The Ph.D. in business is primarily for those who intend to seek a career in teaching and research at the college or university level. A PhD is a research-oriented degree that requires students to embark upon an original research project or dissertation that contributes new knowledge to the student's field of study. Students within the business world have the opportunity to pursue research and teach in a number of important areas of specialization. Some of these include finance, accounting, human resource management, information systems, quantitative analysis, economics and operations management, among others. Some Ph.D. recipients go on to teach in smaller colleges and universities where ongoing research is not always necessary. Professors at these institutions benefit from nine-to-10-month teaching schedules that allow them to have long summer breaks and the opportunity to pursue other interests for significant periods of time without having to rush back to work after a short vacation. Professors holding a Ph.D. have the added advantage of being considered experts in their particular fields of study as well.
Other Career Options
The flexibility of the professor's work schedule also opens up the opportunity for those holding the Ph.D. in business to pursue other business interests or career options. The shortened work schedule afforded professors by the academic school year often leaves open the opportunity to work in other capacities. As an expert in one particular field of business (or several), Ph.D. recipients sometimes serve in advisory capacities for major corporations or government agencies. Some go on to pursue full-time careers outside of academia with these entities. Innovative and entrepreneurial-minded professors will teach full-time and operate a consulting business on the side that serves the needs of government agencies, corporations and even small businesses.
According to salary.com, the average salary of a business administration professor at a college or university was $100,626 as of November 2009. This compares favorably with a professor in another field like history whose average salary as of 2009 was $61,812. Business professors are in high demand and command higher salaries than other professors because it is easy for someone with a Ph.D. in business to go elsewhere and make more money than they could teaching. When all factors are considered, however, the pay for business professors coupled with additional income from entrepreneurial efforts and consulting fees can far outweigh or at least compare favorably with pay received working at the corporate level. When the academic school calendar is factored into the equation, business professors can make the same amount of money, or more, in a shorter period of time each year.
Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.