Doing A PhD After MBA

PhD in commerce hasn’t been able to attract a lot of eyeballs because of one major reason- The return on investment for time invested (which varies anywhere between 3 and 6 years post masters) is very nominal. The opportunity cost of pursuing a PhD after MBA is also huge as an MBA in the USA makes a starting package of $ 95,000 on average. Above that, PhD has more academic use than a commercial one. Therefore, people prefer to keep enhancing their work experience and making heavy paycheques at the same time than pursue a PhD which just delays their glory.

Hence the big question that arises is:

PhD after MBA- Why Pursue It?

To sum up the answer in one sentence, it is the passion for conducting research in a field you love! The programme offers extensive research, thorough knowledge in a specialized field, and also independent study, which would never really be available to corporate slaves.

PhD graduates have lots of experience in data-driven knowledge and data analysis, which gives them an edge in solving business problems. They are skilled with research methods such as econometrics, experimental methods, field studies, modelling etc.

The most popular career path post a PhD after MBA is becoming a professor. Most PhDs in business or management pursue it in the first place to become a professor. Faculties already involved in research at the campus, prefer to hire PhDs as business school professors. They work in a vibrant intellectual atmosphere on the university campuses. Above all, the salaries of top business school professors touch millions!

PhDs turn out to be the best consultants for well-renowned companies or their own entrepreneurship ventures. PhDs derive wisdom from their theoretical and unique methodologies for analysis, which when combined with the pragmatic training obtained during MBA, marks for a marvellous body of knowledge.

Another area where PhDs have an advantage is hedge funds. Hedge funds are now inclined towards hiring PhDs for positions of analysts. Nearly 5% of hedge funds employees are known to have a done PhD after MBA.

phd after mba

Areas of specialization for the PhD after MBA

Areas of specialization for the PhD after MBA, but are not restricted to:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Accounting
  • Strategy
  • Decision Sciences (decision theory and decision analysis)
  • Economics
  • Ethics and legal studies
  • People management or Human Resource Management
  • Leadership
  • Operations management / Operations research
  • Marketing
  • Health care and management
  • Organizational behaviour
  • Finance
  • Management information systems / Information technology management
  • Statistics


PhD after MBA- Employment Opportunities

Majority of business PhD holders become professors at reputed business schools. Only a small proportion of them head towards industry or are known to continue post-doctoral studies. Companies like SEC, JP Morgan Chase, McKinsey and Morgan Stanley are known to hire PhDs frequently.

To give a statistical description, nearly 80% of business ‘PhD after MBA’ graduates become faculty members at business schools, and roughly 20% take jobs in the industry.

The following list includes employers of past PhD graduates from top business schools like HEC Paris, Wharton, and Chicago Booth.

Research Affiliates Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Federal Reserve Board Krossover Intelligence
Asian Development Bank Inter-American Development Bank
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Equity Derivative Research Group
Microsoft Research Chicago Partners
Citadel Global Retail Partners, Los Angeles
McKinsey & Co Barr Rosenberg Research Center of AXA Rosenberg Group
Air Liquide CRA International
IBM Econ One
Deloitte, NY Cornerstone Research
KPMG NYU Langone Medical Center
Putnam Investments RAND Corporation
Federal Reserve Bank of New York European Central Bank
Mingshi Investment Management Integrity Capital Management
Getulio Vargas Foundation CP Risk Management, Chicago
International Trading Group, Northfield Lehman Bros.
Risk Economics Ltd AIG

Some of the best schools to pursue your PhD after MBA are given in the table below.

Harvard Business School (USA) The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (USA)
Sloan, MIT (USA) Stern, New York University (USA)
Columbia University (USA) Naveen Jindal, UT Dallas (USA)
Marshall, University of Southern California (USA) Ross, University of Michigan (USA)
Kenan-Flagler, University of North Carolina (USA) INSEAD (France)
Rotman, University of Toronto (Canada) McCombs, University of Texas Austin (USA)
Stanford University (USA) Carlson, University of Minnesota (USA)
Booth, University of Chicago (USA) Fuqua, Duke University (USA)
Fisher, Ohio State University (USA) Kellogg, Northwestern University (USA)
Foster, University of Washington Seattle (USA) Smeal, Penn State University (USA)

FAQs about PhD after MBA:

Can I do PhD after MBA?

Anyone with an MBA degree can pursue PhD. In fact, it’s a good idea to do PhD after MBA if you are interested in research jobs, consulting firms or in teaching jobs. Most top B Schools such as Columbia University, Yale University, Harvard University, INSEAD, London Business School have most professors with a PhD degree. So, if you aim to teach at top business schools of the world, pursuing PhD after MBA is indeed a good decision.

How many years of course is PhD?

The exact duration of PhD depends on the specialization, university, the fact whether it’s a part-time or a full-time curriculum, and other factors. Doing a PhD after MBA usually takes 4-5 years but can take less than 3 years and as long as 7-8 years to complete.

Can I do PhD in psychology after MBA?

Yes. You can do PhD in Psychology after MBA. However, you need 55% marks in your MBA discipline to qualify for PhD in Psychology after MBA.

Is a PhD in Business worth it?

If you are planning to do a PhD after MBA, you can do PhD in Management, PhD in Business, etc. or you can consider DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) Program. DBA is usually considered as the sequel of the MBA and is the highest form of management education. Only after you weigh these options against your career goals, you would know if PhD in Business is worth it or should you consider DBA or any other PhD after MBA.

Is MBA eligible for PhD?

100%. You are eligible for doing PhD after MBA, considering you meet the minimum criteria of passing marks (55% in most cases).

A combination of MBA and PhD is one of the best education combinations in the world. We agree, it is not the easiest of programs to pursue but the benefits are going to be fruitful your entire life.

If you want to know how to leverage yourself a PhD after MBA, contact a leverage expert today!

– Team Leverage 

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