A Higher Level of Business Education
By Sebastian Northside
As the global business world becomes more integrated, sophisticated and complex, the educational institutions that prepare both students and professionals have evolved as well. Over the last 30 years, the Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) has become the standard credential for business advancement. Today, a new degree is emerging to provide the highest level of business education for leaders in the corporate, government, healthcare, educational and non-profit sectors.
The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), now being offered at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL, is an intense, three-year, part-time program for senior business leaders and individuals seeking to enter academia. Its 42 credit-hour curriculum is focused on research, strategic management, entrepreneurship and critical thinking for decision-makers who want to apply relevant knowledge to contemporary business problems in their industry or workplace.
A Higher Standard
Developed by Florida Institute of Technology’s expert business faculty, the DBA program challenges experienced leaders to further cultivate their skills in strategic planning, organizational behavior, human resource management, financial management, innovation, and quantitative research and analysis.
“We designed the DBA to be the ultimate business degree,” said Annie Becker, Ph.D., who serves as dean of the Nathan Bisk College of Business at the university. “Our goal is to educate and empower leaders to manage innovation and change in the 21st century. The DBA program, by challenging already successful business professionals to take their skills to the next level, has the potential to make a positive impact on businesses in Brevard County and beyond.”
Florida Tech’s DBA first launched in 2014 at the university’s off-campus site in Huntsville, Ala., in response to strong demand for a terminal business degree. The success of the pilot in Huntsville, combined with a growing interest in a Florida Institute of Technology DBA among the Brevard County business community, prompted university leaders to launch the program in Melbourne. Students at Melbourne are about to complete their first year; applications are currently being accepted for a fall 2016 cohort.
“We have found that the DBA has been a welcome option for working professionals who want to advance their careers or transition into the higher education sector,” said program chair and assistant professor of business, Emily Martinez-Vogt, Ph.D. “Common career paths for DBA recipients are senior managerial consultants, chief executive officers, operations managers, college professors and business training professionals.”
Preparing for Tomorrow
With an emphasis on academic writing and research, the DBA program at Florida Tech requires applicants to have an MBA or master’s degree in a relevant field to be considered for admission. Once in the program, students are pushed to develop, enhance and expand upon their critical thinking skills and knowledge of pertinent theory. “All of the DBA faculty hold terminal degrees and are active in research and publishing,” said Dr. Martinez-Vogt. “This creates an ever-growing base of current knowledge and relevant research from which our students can learn.”
“We have found that the DBA has been a welcome option for working professionals who want to advance their careers or transition into the higher education sector,” Dr. Martinez-Vogt said.
Florida Tech’s DBA program culminates with a doctoral dissertation requirement, which helps each student make the step from expert to authority on a topic that they choose.
“The DBA program has given me a richer understanding of the intricacies that exist within the business environment,” said Robert Grant, an information security professional and Florida Tech DBA student. “Being able to align enterprise-wide information security objectives with my organization’s IT and business strategies provides significant benefit to the organization. The DBA program at FIT has improved my competitive advantage within the rapidly expanding cyber- security profession.”
This kind of outcome is precisely what both Dr. Becker and Dr. Martinez-Vogt want every one of their students to get out of the DBA. “Our ultimate concern is the success of our students,” concluded Dr. Becker.