Most know that the full-form of PhD is Doctor of Philosophy. However, in most cases the nomenclature is misleading. The degree considered to be the pinnacle of learning has little to do with doctors or philosophy.
A PhD degree could be in various fields including law, medicine, humanities, physical sciences, literature, management – the list could go on.
It is the highest degree available in any given field and a majority of those pursuing their doctoral studies are interested in a career in the academic field though there are other job options as well.
In this post, we’ll focus on a specialisation that’s brings it closest to the business world while retaining its academic flavour – PhD in Management.
In the following sections, we’ll cover several aspects related to the PhD in Management degree – like the eligibility criteria, fees, duration of the course and the job opportunities after completing the PhD degree.
On an average, the completion time ranges from four to five years. The first two years cover the complete coursework. From the third year onwards, students are able to devote themselves to research and dissertation in their area of specialisation. There are also the qualifying exams which the students need to take.
Most of the colleges offer limited seats for the doctoral programs. This provides a good opportunity for the students to collaborate and seek guidance from the faculty members. This mentoring also helps students narrow down on the topics which they can propose for dissertation purpose.
The dissertation (thesis) is expected to be prepared on the basis of original research on part of the students. The students should be thorough in the field chosen and be able to defend it.
The dissertation is the final step and it is a testimonial to the fact that the person has done intense research and is an expert in his/her area of study.
The publication (dissertation) can also be co-authored which means that in addition to the student’s name, even the faculty member’s name can be added.
As per AACSB research report, 80% of the funding for the PhD programs is financed by the school’s own resources. Fellowship and assistantship take care of the remainder. Federal and corporate funding constitutes a very small element in the whole picture.
Colleges may assign teaching responsibilities to PhD students to be able to manage the funding they provide.
The program tuition fee is usually waived off and students receive a stipend that helps them manage their living expenses as well as supports their research-related costs. Students are expected to meet the program requirements inorder to be eligible for this financial assistance.
Students usually also receive additional benefits like health insurance. They can explore funding options, if any, from their home country as well. They can also take up positions for teaching and research assistantship. This would also be a training ground for them to take up teaching responsibilities in the future.
A bachelor’s degree (equivalent to four years of study) is usually good enough to be able to apply. There is a general perception that a PhD has to follow a master’s degree. But that’s not true. For many universities, having a master’s degree would help but is not compulsory. Some might have specific academic pre-requisities before you are allowed into their PhD program.
PhD applicants need to submit either the GMAT or GRE score. The requirement for the TOEFL or IELTS score for international applicants may vary depending upon the school. Some business schools may expect the TOEFL or IELTS score as a compulsory requirement for all international applicants whereas some may waive it off if your medium of study was English.
Then there are the essays, transcript, letters of recommendations (usually two to three) and the updated resume that need to be submitted. You may also be required to attend an interview call.
PhD in Management is usually offered by most business schools including Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Tepper, Columbia, London business School, Cornell, Berkeley Haas, Cambridge and Oxford.
The acceptance rate for a PhD in Management is as low as 3% for a top-notch b-school like Harvard, 5% for Yale and falls for the less popular PhD universities.
The salary offered to students completing their PhD ranges widely and is dependent on numerous factors like geography, experience in the chosen field, college (public or private) as well as the college reputation and popularity. Those who are offered positions in the private top brands would get the best possible offer. Following is the salary range for those with a doctorate degree:
|Jobs after PhD||Salary Range|
|Assistant professor||$46,942 – $96,845|
|Research scientist||$53,401 – $120,508|
|Associate professor-higher education||$54,741 – 121,415|
|Professor in higher education||$61,683 – 170,475|
|Post-doctoral research associate||$36,581 – 59, 866|
In the US, the cost of a PhD can range from $26,000 to $40,000 a year or even higher. However most of the PhD in management programs are funded by the institution and the financial burden is not a matter of concern for the students.
However, you need to check details of the amount of funding being provided and assess if it would allow you to continue with the lifestyle that you’re used to. If you’re married with kids you’ve additional costs that need to be accounted for.
There’s also the opportunity cost that’s involved. If you’d spent these five years in a job role instead of research, you’ll need to factor in the salary you’d have got for the number of years of experience you hold.
The various areas of specialisation include finance, accounting, marketing, organisational behaviour, operations and strategy. Most of the colleges have these options available for students.
Some b-schools may also have more areas to offer like information systems, business economics, business and public policy, healthcare management and entrepreneurship.
A doctoral degree needs rigorous research and business schools recruit them as faculty to maintain high quality standards of education. These highly-qualified PhD holders can support the b-school’s mission to engage in business research.
A career in academia seems to be the first natural choice for doctoral students. The majority of students who complete PhD in Management are offered teaching positions in b-schools globally.
However there are those who may opt for non-academics related career and decide to go back to the industry. Other positions that have been offered in the past include that of research associate, investment analyst or financial economist.
In fact, McKinsey has more than 1400 consultants with PhD degrees globally. Their vision is to use the problem solving skills acquired by those completing their doctoral programs to find a way through their client’s problems.
Others that have hired PhD students include Morgan Stanley, BlackRock Associates, Securities and Exchange Commission.
Completing a PhD may not guarantee a position in teaching. So instead of having a tunnel vision and just focussing on teaching jobs, PhD students can explore other options in the industry or government.
Considering the long duration spent by students completing their doctoral program, it becomes necessary to select a good program that can support you all the way with good mentoring from supportive faculty and provide you with the best resources possible. It’s also a fact that not everyone enrolling for a PhD program is able to successfully complete it.
The dropout rate of PhD students also needs to be considered while shortlisting the program. The subject that you wish to specialise in should be carefully chosen so that it can sustain your interest for years of research that you’ll spend and also have a wide scope for teaching in the future.
PhD applicants have to take into account several other factors such as geography, time requirement, financial position, job placement scenario before taking the plunge.
If you need help with your PhD applications, drop us an email: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com.