PhD after MBA

PhD After MBA – Step by Step Guide

Source: R3ciprocity Team

PhD after MBA can simply be called the ‘road less taken.’ Not many people pursue a PhD in Commerce, it is a field that is relatively unknown and does not attract many pursuers.

PhD after MBA is more useful in the academic field than a professional one. The ROI and opportunity cost for this course are also not up to the par initially, however, it does not mean that the course is not worth it, a PhD can be quite rewarding if done right.

PhD After MBA

PhD after MBA may not be as advantageous as one may expect it to be. After getting done with an MBA, many prefer to increase their work experience rather than pursue a PhD; but if you are interested in doing research in the field of your interest, PhD may be the perfect course for you to take up.

Apart from the extensive knowledge which the course provides, PhD researchers also get a chance to do individual research and study which puts them apart from other managers. 

  1. PhD is a rigorous course that requires a lot of dedication and hard work.
  2. It can be tedious as there is a lot of time one needs to invest in a PhD
  3. The PhD course combines theoretical knowledge with practical application.
  4. There are many practical approaches and methods like field studies, experimental methods, econometrics, etc. which are used during PhDs. 
  5. It is a course for those who want to teach Management
  6. The profession of the Professor is most reputable and sought after.
  7. PhD researchers also work as consultants in the top firms.
  8. PhD trains researchers and increases their analytical skills.
  9. Positions in analytics are offered commonly to PhD researchers because of their skillset.
  10. The growth is considerably slow and one may not earn much before getting tenure.

PhD in Management

PhD in management is one of the highest academic degrees awarded in the study of management. A PhD in Management degree was designed for those seeking academic research and teaching careers as faculty or professors in the field of management at business schools worldwide.

Following are the advantages of doing PhD in Management:

  • To gain a competitive edge: A PhD in Management is an immediately marketable asset that will give you a competitive edge in today’s workforce. A PhD in Management proves that you have an impressive level of credibility, proving expertise in your field of study and a lifelong commitment to learning which will help you fulfill your professional goals.
  • Helps you become a better thinker: A good PhD in Management program encourages you to do more than just consume what has been taught in the classes – it teaches you to create it and become a good thinker. By moving past passive learning, you’ll achieve newer levels of critical thinking that you can apply in new ways in your career and field of interest.
  • Skills enhancement: A PhD in Management can help you gain and enhance valuable skills that are universally applicable to any field. The degree can also empower you to make more of an impact in your current role by giving you expertise outside of your organization, which in turn which helps people around you as well. Once you begin your studies, you may find colleagues turning to you for guidance.
  • Become a scholar-practitioner: A PhD in Management will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to not only attend academic conferences but present at them. You’ll discover your scholarly voice, write a dissertation, and may find yourself authoring peer-reviewed articles published in your field’s leading journals.

PhD Course Duration After MBA        

The duration for PhD after MBA may vary depending on the research topic, methodologies, and investment of time and labour.

On average, the completion of PhD may take 4 to 5 years. The duration may also vary depending on the country and institution.

CountryDuration (Average)
India 3 years
USA5-7 years
UK3-4 years
Australia4-6 years
Germany3-5 Years

Eligibility For PhD After MBA

Eligibility for a PhD after MBA, as one may assume, must be an MBA degree. But that’s not so.

There are other eligibility criteria as well. To pursue a PhD after MBA, the following are the criteria one must fulfill to be eligible for a PhD after MBA.

  1. One must have a good IELTS or TOEFL exam score to prove their English language proficiency
  2. One must also have a respectable GRE/GMAT score, it may vary as per the university.
  3. Students must also submit their essays, SOP, and transcript.
  4. At least 2 to 3 Letters of Recommendation are required to be submitted by the student. 
  5. Often times, an interview is conducted either physically or online via video call to test student’s knowledge and eligibility.
  6. Students must have a dissertation ready and a thesis statement or an idea.
  7. It is important that the students are well versed with what they want to do and have a clear idea about their objectives.
  8. At top-rated Business Schools, the acceptance rate is around 3 to 5%

Can I do a PhD after MBA?

Yes, one can do a PhD after MBA. There are Various Business Schools all over the world that offer PhD programs that can be pursued after an MBA.

For the MBA itself, many schools require some years of work experience. By the time a student may choose to pursue an MBA, they may already have the direction they want to take in their life.

A PhD after an MBA is not a popular choice but many students still decide to pursue the research either out of interest or for better opportunities. To pursue a PhD, the eligibility criteria include 50% or more marks in the post-graduation, and students are also required to take up an entrance exam. For anyone who has done an MBA, the field of PhD is open for them.

Also Read: MBA Study Material

After MBA PhD Courses

There are several PhD courses after MBA which a student may choose. There is no dearth of specialization in the field of management due to its vast scope.

Each research in each area is equally important as the PhD in Management is quite an unexplored field.

There are several courses one may take, like:

  1. Finance
  2. Economics
  3. Entrepreneurship
  4. Accounting
  5. Decision Sciences 
  6. Human Resource Management
  7. Leadership
  8. Marketing
  9. Organizational behaviour
  10. Statistic

How to do PhD after MBA?

There are many options for students who want to do a PhD after their MBA is done. It is important that the MBA course the candidate has done is for the duration of 2 years.

It is also most important that the students must choose their field of interest and work in that direction only.

Students have the choice to pursue a PhD in India or abroad. The application for both remains more or less the same. To do a PhD after MBA abroad, one has to additionally give exams like GMAT or GRE and language proficiency exams like IELTS or TOEFL.

For India, exams like CAT are applicable.

PhD After MBA in India

  1. One must have a 2 year MBA degree and a good score in their CAT exam.
  2. GATE or even UGC NET may be required at some top IIMs for admission in their PhD courses.
  3. It is important to note that the duration of a PhD may vary from 3 to 5 years on average.
  4. The first year of PhD is mostly dedicated to the coursework where candidates are trained about research methodologies and subjects, etc.
  5. In the second year, one may choose their specialisation and the area in which they will be conduction research. 
  6. It is often advisable that students choose the area for research in which they have specialised during their MBA. It is however not compulsory.
  7. A PhD thesis is the most important part of any PhD and it is important that students start developing it during their second year only.
  8. It is in the third year that a student is asked to present their thesis statement after they have researched and collected data.
  9. After the first 6 months of the third year, students are free to do their research and write their research papers and PhD.
  10. The whole process can be time-consuming but the trick here is to be resilient

PhD After MBA In Distance Education

One can do a PhD after MBA in Distance Education but few things need to be taken into consideration.

It is important that the institution from where the candidate has pursued their MBA in Distance education form is recognised by the UGC or any other supreme commission, as relevant to the country.

Also, the degree must match the eligibility criteria as well for the PhD program one is applying to.

Can I do a PhD after Distance MBA?

  1. Yes, one can do a PhD after a distance MBA.
  2. The institute must be recognised by UGC.
  3. Universities cannot differentiate between the degrees.
  4. The degree earned must be in tandem with the degree mentioned in the eligibility criteria. 
  5. The application process is as same as the process for regular courses.
  6. Candidates must submit their mark sheets, documents, essays, SOPs, etc. like any other regular candidate.
  7. The admission in a PhD program is based mostly on entrance exams and interviews. 
  8. Some institutes may prefer regular students over the ones who pursue their degrees via distance education mode.
  9.  The decision to select a candidate or not is solely based on the discretion of the university.

PhD After MBA in USA

PhD after MBA in USA is the most popular place, it especially is a great place to pursue a PhD after MBA because of a highly research-friendly environment.

The USA is home to the top business schools and offers students with unlimited data and resources to facilitate their research. The amenities provided to PhD researchers are quite good here as well.

  1. University of Pennsylvania
  2. Harvard University
  3. Stanford University
  4. The University of California
  5. Columbia University
  6. Kellogg School of Management 
  7. The University of Chicago
  8. Washington University 
  9. Cornell University
  10. University of Michigan

Also Read: How to do PhD in the USA

PhD After MBA in Australia

PhD after MBA in Australia is a very pleasant place to be at and it is also home to many great universities.

There are many great B-schools that offer PhD programs after MBA. There is a lot of scope for applying practical methods here because of the way businesses and cor[orates are run here.

Students will have a lot of opportunities to conduct researches and collect primary as well as secondary data.

  1. University of Sydney
  2. University of Melbourne
  3. University of Queensland
  4. Australian National University
  5. UNSW Sydney
  6. University of Western Australia
  7. Queensland University of Technology
  8. University of Canberra
  9. Monash University
  10. University of Adelaide

PhD After MBA in Germany

PhD after MBA in Germany is probably the best place because of the many facilities like the grant which is available for students.

Germany boasts of some of the best universities in the world and has the best management programs as well. Many universities in Germany offer PhD in management and great guidance to students to help them in their research work.

  1. LMU Munich
  2. Technical University of Munich
  3. Heidelberg University
  4. University of Berlin
  5. University of Hamburg
  6. Humboldt University of Berlin
  7. University of Freiburg
  8. Bielefeld University
  9. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  10. RWTH Aachen University

PhD After MBA Finance

PhD after MBA Finance is one of the topmost and popular specializations. The scope is vast and the opportunities endless.

Though the subject may seem challenging, for those interested, it has a plethora of opportunities and research ideas.

PhD in Finance requires expertise in subjects like Mathematics and Economics. The top universities offering this program are:

  1. Harvard University
  2. Stanford University
  3. University of Adelaide
  4. Indian Institute of Foreign Trade
  5. Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies
  6. IIT Delhi
  7. Indian Institute of Management, Ranchi
  8. Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT)
  9. The Centurion University of Technology and Management
  10. Birla Institute of Technology and Science

Scope Of PhD After MBA in Finance

PhD after MBA in Finance has opportunities after opportunities. There is a wide scope of opportunities and many companies look out for such candidates to hire because of their skill and both theoretical and practical knowledge.

Top companies like the ones mentioned below seek to recruit the candidates who have completed their PhD in Finance.

  1. IBM
  2. Infosys
  3. HCL
  4. TATA Consultancy
  5. Adobe
  6. Airtel
  7. Accenture
  8. Genpact Technologies Ltd
  9. ICICI Bank
  10. Reliance


What PhD should I get after MBA?

Ans. There are many options for students who want to do a PhD after their MBA is done. It is important that the MBA course the candidate has done is for the duration of 2 years. The most common career path that is chosen is teaching.

Is MBA higher than PhD?

Ans. You can complete your MBA in 1- 2 years as compared to PhD which takes 4-6 years. So MBA is considered advantageous as it allows the student to start their career far sooner.

Can I do PhD while working?

Ans. Yes, you can do PhD while working, but this can only happen if you are keen to work. Working full time and doing PhD is not easy, you
won’t make progress without constant effort.

Can I do a PhD at 40?

Ans. Yes, you can do PhD at the age of 40, most of the person who do this are mostly in education sector. The only problem that comes up is that not all programs will be open for you.

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About the Author

Piyush values education and has studied from the top institutes of IIT Roorkee, IIM Bangalore, KTH Sweden and Tsinghua University in China. Post completing his MBA, he has worked with the world’s # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group and focused on building sales and marketing verticals for top MNCs and Indian business houses.

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Comments (29)

  1. Cheena :

    What are the benefits of a PhD in management?

    • Vishesh Chogtu :

      A business PhD will help you to hone up on your skills in an environment where you have ready access to experts which enables peer learning and high-quality learning resources so that you can stand out from the Crowd and earn even better salaries.

  2. Richa :

    Why should we consider doing a PhD in management?

    • Vishesh Chogtu :

      In today’s workforce, a PhD in Management is an immediately marketable asset that gives you a competitive advantage over those who do not have it. A PhD in Management proves that you have an impressive level of credibility, proving expertise in your field of study and a lifelong commitment to learning which will help you fulfill your professional goals.

  3. Harsha :

    Is a PhD better than a master’s?

    • Vishesh Chogtu :

      According to a study done by BLS, someone with a master’s degree has the power to boost earnings by 17% when compared to a bachelor’s degree, while someone with a doctorate can fetch you a salary that is 30% higher than a bachelor’s degree.

  4. Yaami :

    Is a PhD harder than a master’s?

    • Vishesh Chogtu :

      The PhD is much harder, in general, though some Master’s programs may be difficult also with a thesis option, however, masters are nowhere near as rigorous as PhDs.

  5. Jasica :

    Can I do PhD while working?

    • Vishesh Chogtu :

      There would be no point in doing PhD while working because there would be no learning, you’ll barely get a degree nothing else.

  6. Nipun :

    Is MBA better than PhD in management?

    • Vishesh Chogtu :

      There is no comparison between MBA and PhD as MBA is a professional course and PhD is an academic course.

  7. Gitika :

    What PhD should I get after the MBA?

    • Vishesh Chogtu :

      You should get a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) which is a highly beneficial doctoral program after an MBA.

  8. garima :

    Does having a PhD in management will increase salary?

    • Vishesh Chogtu :

      According to a study conducted by Bernard Casey, male PhDs earn 26% more than those who did not do PhD.

  9. Kritika :

    How long is a PhD?

    • Vishesh Chogtu :

      Full-time PhDs typically last three to four years and on the other hand, a part-time PhD last six or seven months.

  10. Rakshit :

    Which country is best for doing a PhD in management?

    • Vishesh Chogtu :

      Here is the list of best countries for doing PhD in Management:

      1. Germany
      2. Denmark
      3. France
      4. Finland
      5. Sweden
      6. Belgium
      7. Hungary
      8. Italy
      9. Norway
      10. Ukraine

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