For many people out there who obtained their MBA, MSc or MA degree in management or business, you probably thought that would be more than enough to get you into your dream job. Each of those degrees is highly regarded in the business world and certainly primes you for many careers, including a handful of senior roles. But in today’s competitive world, many are finding that it may not be enough to open the door to those executive-level jobs, the jobs that are a few steps above where you seem to have maxed out in your career. So, does that mean you have to settle for where you are? Is that the best it will get?

The short answer to that question is, no. In reality, no-one should ever feel like they have to settle and that they have reached the top; instead, it’s about considering your options and figuring out how you can break through this career plateau. This is where a Doctor of Business Administration can prove to be a very interesting and smart route to take. So, let’s dive in a little deeper and examine how a DBA could in fact open the door to those executive-level careers you’ve been eyeing.

What Will a DBA Education Give You?

Perhaps you’re not even familiar with this doctoral degree, as a Doctor of Business Administration is quite specific and not always mainstream. At its core, this is a degree that is meant for professionals who are already in the workplace and have the experience, as well as an existing MBA, MA, or MSc degree in the fields of management or business. It is meant to take what you have already learned through education and real-world experiences and then build on it in a big way. It’s truly meant to prepare those future executives out there.

Much of this programme focuses on research skills and really teaches you how to build them to apply in the business world. It’s the kind of programme that encourages you to look at things in a more in-depth manner – exactly what an executive would need to do.

Obtain Your DBA While Working

The great thing about this programme is that there’s no need to quit your job. This can be done as a part-time study option online, so it works with your existing schedule. The Doctor of Business Administration online programme takes four to six years, so it’s most definitely a commitment. The key is to keep your eye on the prize and focus on what this DBA will get you in the long-run.

Obviously, you will want to check the specific entry requirements, but in general, you’ll require one of those abovementioned degrees, plus real-world work experience in some kind of senior role. You can expect to require about five years’ worth of that working experience.

Your Resume Will Most Definitely Stand-Out

Once you do complete your DBA and add it to your CV, you can bet you will stand out and truly rise above the competition. Because the DBA is such a specific and incredibly respected designation to have, employers tend to look twice. It shows you not only have the all-encompassing skills that executive-level roles require, but that you also have the dedication to your career that is equally important.

On the other hand, maybe you don’t want to change companies; perhaps you like your current employer but you just want to be able to hold one of the most senior jobs there. If that’s the case, your employer will be able to see first-hand just how much work you have put into your education, training, and really furthering your skills, making you an excellent candidate for a promotion.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect to Get?

So, where exactly can a DBA take you? What kind of high-level, executive, and exciting career can you expect? The good news is that the famous saying of “the sky’s the limit” can really apply to you once you’ve got a DBA. Because so much of the programme hinges on personal development, perfecting your research skills, and teaching you how to look much deeper, you will in fact be seen as an asset to many.

Some of the more popular career routes you can take include:

COO – A chief operation officer (COO) is a very senior-level position that you may aspire to. In this job, you’ll be the one directing and supervising the operational functions and administrative functions of the company. Your direct boss would typically be the CEO, and most companies rank the COO as the second-most senior position. In other words, you’re right near the top. You’ll need to have excellent management, analytical, and communication skills to excel in this job.

CFO – The chief financial officer (CFO) is the one who handles all the financial aspects. This obviously means you need to have excellent financial management and analysing skills. You’ll be putting together the company’s financial plan as well as keeping close track of its cash flow.

CEO – Then we have the chief executive officer (CEO), who is the head of the company and often acts as the face of the company. You will be the one making those big decisions that affect the company’s future, and you will be the one liaising with the board of directors and making sure their message is heard by the corporate side of things. This can be a pretty stressful job, but it’s what you have trained for.

Think Tank Researcher – This particular job category is a really interesting one because it’s not just one job; it covers many areas. Research and think tanks will put to use the many skills they have developed during their education which would make them a perfect project manager, strategic planner, research associate, or research analyst. This also means you could work in a number of different industries including academia, government, private business, and more.

So, if you’ve got some pretty lofty goals in terms of how high up you want to go in your career, a DBA could make very good sense.