Is a DBA worth it

Christian Euteneuer is a man of action. The 28-year-old has never been able to do much with gray theory and academic l'art pour l'art. Nonetheless, the hands-on practitioner will be doing a doctorate in business administration next year. This is made possible by a study model imported from England and America, which is also finding more and more friends in Germany. Because the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is the highest title win for solution-oriented managers and entrepreneurs. It can be acquired part-time and does not require persistent scratchy feet in front of German professors. The price for this is foregoing leisure and consumption. And tuition costs of a good 30,000 euros, plus roughly the same amount for flights and hotel accommodation.

"I see that as a good investment," says Euteneuer. "Besides, I didn't want to be a professional's slave for years and make copies for him." The young business economist has absolutely no time for that. Together with his father, he owns and operates a number of retirement homes near Neuwied. When he's not in business, he's got a book in front of his nose or is writing one of several 40- to 50-page term papers called "Electric Management Report" that will lead straight to the topic of his dissertation.

Euteneuer acquired the basic business knowledge required for this at the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel in Hesse. He then obtained an MBA while working, and since September 2004 he has been participating in the DBA program at the Dutch University of Nimbas, which is allowed to offer the British DBA. According to the resolutions of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs on the management of foreign university degrees of April 14, 2000, only a British DBA in the form of "Dr." be conducted in Germany without a subject supplement. In view of the flood of extremely obscure titles from the USA and Eastern Europe, this is exactly what the future German Doctores attach great importance to.

Longing for the title

In America and Great Britain, the DBA has been recognized for years on an equal footing with the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). While the PhD requires specialization in a narrow subject area and therefore mostly leads to academic research and teaching, the DBA testifies to broad and cross-departmental management training. It is the highest academic degree in Anglo-Saxon university executive development. The admission requirements are regulated in the doctoral regulations of the universities. A very good master’s degree (Master of Business Administration, MBA, or Master of Science, MSc), several years of management experience and an occupation with economic theory proven through publications are required. This requirement is of course less than that for practical management experience. This makes it easier for managers to bridge the gap between long-gone theory and everyday practice.