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Doing A PhD After MBA - A Step by Step Guide | Leverage Edu

Doing A PhD After MBA4 min read

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 is also huge as an MBA in the USA makes a starting package of $ 95,000 on average. Above that, PhD has a more academic use than a commercial one. Therefore, people prefer to keep enhancing their work experience and making heavy paychecks at the same time than pursue a PhD which just delays their glory.

Hence the big question that arises is:


Why pursue PhD after MBA?


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 after a PhD post-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, 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 PhD.

 PhD after MBA

Areas of specialization for the PhD in business


Areas of specialization for the PhD in business include, 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


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 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


Business Schools with Popular Research Programs


Some of the best schools to pursue your PhD 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)



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, contact a leverage expert today!

– Team Leverage 

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