What is better: PhD in management or MBA?

What is better: PhD in management or MBA?

What is better: PhD in management or MBA?
Saru Niraula

Higher education is a substantial investment that can result in job prospects and long-term success. 

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Management may be realistic options for persons interested in pursuing a career in business or management. 

Both degrees have numerous advantages and can help graduates advance to leadership positions in their respective areas. 

This article will compare and contrast a PhD in Management with an MBA, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each degree.

PhD in Management vs MBA: What’s the Difference?

A PhD in management is a research-oriented degree that prepares graduates for positions in academia or research institutions. 

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The program emphasises original research, theory development, and hypothesis testing in business management. 

On the other hand, an MBA is a professional degree that qualifies graduates for leadership positions in various businesses. 

The curriculum equips students with fundamental business management skills and finance, marketing, and human resources expertise.

PhD in Management vs MBA: What’s the Difference?

Pros and Cons of a PhD in Management


  • Opportunities for original research: A PhD in Management enables students to perform original research in a specific area of interest, leading to publication in academic journals and boosting their credibility in the field.
  • Employment opportunities: PhD in Management graduates are qualified for work in academia, research institutions, and think tanks, among other places.
  • Intellectual stimulation: The program encourages students to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which leads to a better comprehension of the subject matter.


  • Time commitment: A PhD in Management typically takes 4-6 years, which might be significant for those looking to enter the field fast.
  • Limited practical experience: The curriculum gives students less practical experience than an MBA, which may limit their job options in some industries.
  • Funding: PhD programs can be costly, and funding options may be restricted, leaving the degree out of reach for some students.

Pros and Cons of an MBA


  • Employment opportunities: An MBA equips graduates with the skills and knowledge required to excel in various professions, including finance, marketing, and human resources.
  • Practical experience: Internships, case studies, and other hands-on learning opportunities are provided to students as part of the program.
  • Networking: MBA programs allow students to network with professionals in their area, which can lead to job possibilities and career progress.


  • Cost: MBA programs can be expensive, and many students may need to borrow money to finance tuition.
  • Time commitment: The curriculum is usually completed in 1-2 years, which may need to be altered for students wanting to gain a more in-depth grasp of the subject area.
  • Limited research prospects: An MBA program differs from a PhD program in research opportunities, which may limit job opportunities in academia or research institutions.

Choosing between a PhD in Management and an MBA is based on an individual's career goals and interests. 

While a PhD in Management may be a better fit for people interested in research and academics, an MBA may be better for those interested in seeking industrial leadership positions. 

Before deciding, weighing each degree's benefits and drawbacks and the future return on investment is critical. 

Furthermore, investigate and compare programs to best match your needs and career aspirations.


Is a PhD in Management better than an MBA?

Your career objectives and interests determine it. A PhD in Management may be better if you intend to work in academia or research. On the other hand, an MBA may be a better option if you want to enter the workforce immediately and pursue a leadership position in the business.

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Is an MBA worth the investment?

An MBA can be beneficial if it leads to job promotion and increased earning potential. However, assessing the program's cost and future return on investment is critical before deciding.

Can I get an MBA after completing a PhD in Management?

It is feasible to obtain an MBA after finishing a PhD in Management. Individuals with sophisticated research skills and expertise, on the other hand, may find it unnecessary. Before seeking another degree, assessing your job goals and hobbies is critical.

Can I get a PhD in Management without an MBA?

Yes, a PhD in Management can be obtained without an MBA. Some programs, however, may require students to have a master's degree or relevant job experience.

Can I pursue a career in academia with an MBA?

While an MBA can lead to a career in academia, obtaining a tenure-track position without a PhD may be more difficult. Individuals with an MBA, on the other hand, may be able to get teaching posts or adjunct faculty positions.

Will an MBA make me a better manager?

An MBA can provide students with practical business management skills and information, allowing them to become better managers. However, success as a manager necessitates excellent leadership, communication, and critical thinking ability.

Can I get a job in consulting with a PhD in Management?

While most consulting organisations prefer candidates with an MBA, persons with a PhD in Management may be considered for consulting employment, particularly in areas such as research and analysis.

What are the admission requirements for a PhD in Management or an MBA?

The requirements for admission to both degrees differ based on the program and school. PhD programs typically need a bachelor's or master's degree in a comparable discipline, excellent academic performance, and research experience. MBA programs often require a bachelor's degree, relevant work experience, and a high GMAT or GRE score. You must examine the exact admission requirements for the programs you wish to apply to.

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