The Best Online Doctorate in International Business Programs

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As the expansion of internet commerce continues and the global accessibility of goods and services improves, the demand for qualified professionals with expertise in international business is on the rise. Students who earn a Ph.D. in international business online can pursue a variety of growing career options such as market research analyst, economist, or postsecondary professor. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment opportunities for market research analysts will grow by 23% by 2026.

There are two options for earning a doctorate in international business. There are Ph.D. programs dedicated specifically to international business, as well as doctor of business administration (DBA) programs with a concentration in international business. While Ph.D. programs are more research-based and typically lead to careers in academia, DBA programs generally focus more on field-based experience and serve as a good foundation for careers in the corporate sector.

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The Best Online Doctorate in International Business Programs

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Liberty University
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What Else Can I Expect from an Online Doctorate in International Business Program?

Student experience can vary widely for those earning their Ph.D. in international business online. Some programs can be completed in as few as two years, while other programs may take up to eight years to complete. These variations can be attributed to different dissertation requirements as well as discrepancies among program curricula.

Curriculum for an Online Doctorate in International Business

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Doctorate in International Business?

On average, students must complete 60 credits to earn their online doctorate in international business. The time it takes for a full-time student to graduate can vary widely by program. Some programs can take as few as two years to complete, while others require 5-8 years for students to earn their degrees.

One factor that can heavily influence program duration is the inclusion of a research dissertation requirement. Most online international business degrees require students to complete one or two years of formal research on a supervisor-approved topic, formulate a final project or presentation, and conduct a defense of that dissertation before a panel of supervisory officials.

Another programmatic element that can affect program length is learning structure. Some programs use individually paced learning in which students complete their assignments asynchronously at the rate they choose. Other Ph.D. in international business online programs use a cohort learning style, in which students participate in class discussions synchronously at prearranged times.

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Accreditation for Online Doctorate in International Business Degrees

Accreditation is the process by which a particular program is inspected by an approved agency and awarded a certification proving compliance with certain requirements. Agencies that bestow national accreditation usually do so for vocational and trade schools and often don't apply the same rigorous standards as those favored by regional accreditation agencies. Employers may give preference to regional accreditation status when considering prospective employees. Students who want this competitive advantage in the job market may seek out regional accreditation status when earning an international business degree online.

There are multiple organizations involved in the accreditation of institutions of higher learning. Two of the most prominent agencies that award accreditation to doctorate in international business programs are the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Students should look for accreditation by one of these agencies when enrolling in a Ph.D. in international business online.

Established in 1980, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is a federal government body dedicated to improving student achievement and ensuring the high quality of education in the nation's learning institutions. The ED forms educational policies, allocates the necessary funding, conducts research, and works to ensure that all students have access to the education they seek. Additionally, the ED recognizes various accrediting agencies; in order for an institution to receive federal funding, they must be accredited by one of these ED-recognized accrediting bodies.

Another organization involved in the accreditation of institutions of higher learning is the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). With over 3,000 degree-granting institutions as members, CHEA advocates for quality assurance in education through scrutiny and affirmation of different accrediting organizations. CHEA also promotes education initiatives, consolidates research data, and provides a national forum for discussion of ways to strengthen the accreditation process and cement its importance in higher education. The ED and CHEA both maintain lists of all accredited institutions of higher learning.

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Employment Outlook for Doctorate in International Business Graduates

Doctorate in International Business Careers

Students who graduate with an online doctorate in international business typically pursue careers in either the corporate sector or academia. Typically, these positions require an ability to see the big picture and make calculated long-term decisions. Because the field of international business is dynamic, professionals in various roles like market research analyst or economist often focus on trends and other data in an effort to evaluate the current business environment and conceive forward-thinking policies.

  1. Top Executive: Top executives are responsible for the development of corporate strategies to move companies closer to their established goals in terms of profit or production. They usually monitor and analyze the budgetary and performance activities of the company and consult with other staff and executives to implement corrective measures to improve output. Most top executive jobs require a master's degree, though some prefer a doctorate degree.
    • Median Annual Salary: $103,950
    • Projected Growth Rate: 8%
  2. Market Research Analyst: Market research analysts study market trends to predict the potential sale of a product or service. They conduct surveys and other research to determine public interests and values for the purpose of refining marketing strategies to increase profitability. An advanced degree may help a market research analyst achieve leadership positions.
    • Median Annual Salary: $62,560
    • Projected Growth Rate: 23%
  3. Economist: Economists collect, analyze, and interpret data for the purposes of understanding the manufacturing and dissemination of goods and services. Economists work for governmental institutions and private companies alike, researching economic issues and forecasting trends. Most economist jobs require a master's degree or Ph.D., both of which boost employability and facilitate upward mobility.
    • Median Annual Salary: $101,050
    • Projected Growth Rate: 6%
  4. Postsecondary Teacher: Postsecondary teachers provide instruction to students in a variety of subjects beyond the high school level. These professionals also conduct original research and publish scholarly articles and books. Teachers must stay abreast of advances in the field of study they teach, develop lesson plans, and counsel students with regard to their educational paths. Most postsecondary teaching positions require a doctorate degree.
    • Median Annual Salary: $75,430
    • Projected Growth Rate: 15%
  5. Postsecondary Education Administrator: Postsecondary education administrators supervise faculty research, student services, and academics at institutions of higher learning. These professionals may specialize to work in admissions, the registrar's office, or student affairs. They may also serve as provosts or deans, professions which usually require a Ph.D.
    • Median Annual Salary: $90,760
    • Projected Growth Rate: 10%

Doctorate in International Business Salary

In addition to factors such as experience and education level, geographic location impacts the annual earnings of graduates who have earned an international business degree. The next table features data from the BLS regarding reported employment numbers and salary information for economists by the top five U.S. states. Unsurprisingly, the states with the highest numbers of economists are more urban and populous with an accompanying higher rate of international business transactions. Areas like Washington, D.C., and New York are large international hubs, so it stands to reason that economists would be needed to fulfill the essential function of market analysis and policy formation.

Top 5 States for Economists
State Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
District of Columbia 7,680 $60.29 $125,400
California 1,470 $59.12 $122,960
Virginia 1,350 $59.76 $124,300
New York 700 $61.89 $128,740
Texas 670 $49.22 $102,380

International Business Professional Organizations

Professional organizations offer a variety of resources to both current students and recent graduates who have earned a degree in international business. Common benefits include reduced membership rates for students, online libraries of academic journals and other scholarly publications, and invitations to annual conferences where students can interact with their peers and network with potential future employers. These professional associations give members a chance to form symbiotic business relationships and leverage their studies into professional success.

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Paying for Your Online Doctorate in International Business

Students earning their online doctorate in international business have many funding options to choose from at the federal, state, local, and private levels. As a foundational step, most college and graduate students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which determines eligibility for federal as well as many forms of private financial aid. Other sources of financial aid include scholarships and loans, which can come from public or private organizations. Additionally, students who are continuing to work while earning their Ph.D. in international business online can explore tuition reimbursement programs, which helps them recoup tuition and other educational expenses up to a certain amount each year from their employer.

Some forms of financial aid cater to students earning a degree in international business. These include school-specific scholarships, which may be based on financial need or academic merit, and private grants from associations in the field. In addition to financial and academic considerations, other criteria for grant eligibility may include residency status and community involvement. Because there are so many options available from so many different sources, students should explore every avenue for the financial aid they need to complete their Ph.D. in international business online.

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