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What Can You Specialize In During A DBA?

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DBA specialization

A Doctorate in Business Administration is a PHD level, research driven qualification suitable for executives wanting to really delve deeply into cutting edge business practices.

Studying for a Doctorate in Business Education is the perfect way to hone your executive skills. Similarly to an MBA, a DBA is a rather open book. In order to make the most of your study, you need to choose an area in which to specialise. Business administration can cover all sorts of fields, and you’ll need to choose a specialism if you want to have a chance of completing some innovative research.

Here is a quick guide to some of the most popular fields available to doctoral students looking to level up their business acumen. This is by no means a complete list. DBA students can propose all sorts of novel research projects to their supervisors. If an idea sounds exiting, there is a high chance that it will be approved regardless of whether it fits into a conventional field.


Number crunching might not sound exiting at first glance, but it is essential that modern businesses hire and cherish talented executive accountants. Financial transparency, HR and investment all stem from good accounting practices.

You’ll need to master budgeting practices, financial reportage and operational cost management in order to succeed as a high level accountant. Businesses rely upon their accountants to stay profitable, legal and well staffed. Accountants are well paid – as befits the essential and specialist nature of their work.

Healthcare Administration

As the current pandemic has shown us, the way in which medical supplies and healthcare solutions are administrated can have an absolutely huge effect on society. Specializing in healthcare administration, you’ll be working on specialist methods of healthcare data analysis, product manufacturing flows, marketing and Human Resources.

The National Health Service is under huge amounts of strain – both from the pandemic and from a government intent on privatizing services. As a healthcare executive, you could have an important role to play in keeping healthcare available to everybody in the country.

You could also take your skills into the pharmaceutical industry, where administrative and strategic know how is greatly appreciated. Pharmaceutical business strategy is notoriously convoluted and involves the negotiation of long research timescales and international safety approval systems that differ hugely. In pharmaceuticals, business and politics tend to mix like milk and oil – badly.

Business Intelligence

Business intelligence takes many forms. During a Doctorate in Business Administration, you can choose to specialise in the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative intelligence. The business world is more data reliant than ever before, and it is the job of a business intelligence specialist to decide which data to analyse and how to make sense of the data that can be collected.

Business intelligence is usually delivered in one of three ways: unstructured investigative, structured investigative and embedded. Business intelligence innovators have embraced machine learning and artificial intelligence as they develop new ways to sort and make sense of the huge swathes of data available to modern organisations. Machine learning and AI can help build more accurate projections of what future trends might occur that will inform business strategy. The more data a projection is made with, the more accurate in can be. The more accurate it is, the more useful to a company for strategic planning it will be.

You will be focused on cutting edge data analysis and visualization concepts. You’ll be learning how the collection and utilization of data is one of the key influencing factors on the success of an organization.

Business Strategy

Whether you are taking an in person course or studying for an online DBA UK program, a specialization in business strategy is a wonderful choice. Business strategy is a multifaceted, long term planning field. It involves the close analysis of business intelligence, internal structures and technological shifts to create robust plans for an organization. During a Doctorate in Business Administration, all students are expected to have some preexisting knowledge of business strategy concepts. Honing your craft as a strategist during Doctoral study is a wonderful choice of focus.

Qualified business strategists are remarkably well paid. By mid-career, business strategists were earning an average of $150,000 (£106,000) per year. Part of the reason that business strategists earn so much money is that they have the power to completely change the fortunes of an organization. Business strategists have to learn how to take a step back and see the bigger picture surrounding a business. They need to be able to think outside the box whilst making shrewd analytic decisions.

Strategy specialists are required to have great interpersonal and negotiation skills. They work with all executive branches of a business to figure out the best way forward and need to communicate clearly and compellingly with decision makers and stakeholders alike.

Human Resources

Nothing is more important to a business than the people that work there. People are the lifeblood of any successful organization, and it is the duty of a Human Resources specialist to make sure that the right people are doing the right jobs. Modern Human Resources practices are complex. Psychology, statistics and strategy are all employed by HR innovators in order to secure the best talent.

If you choose to specialise in Human Resources during your ttmm there are plenty of areas in which vital research can be conducted. Research into risks and opportunities, talent hunting, gaps in company capability and conflict resolution is all very important.

The sheer importance of Human Resources to businesses means that doctors of business administration that specialise in HR will always be in demand. If you can demonstrate your willingness to conduct innovative research and put new ideas into practice in a fast paced business setting then you’ll be a real golden goose for any flourishing organization. Headhunting for head-hunters is relatively common. Head-hunters will scour Doctorate courses for quick thinking HR specialists and tempt them into their cohort once their studies are over.


I'm a passionate full-time blogger. I love writing about startups, how they can access key resources, avoid legal mistakes, respond to questions from angel investors as well as the reality check for startups. Continue reading my articles for more insight.

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