Ph.D. in Management

October 7, 2021

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Who Gets One & What to Expect

Completing a Ph.D. in management online catapults graduates into the highest echelons of the discipline and qualifies professionals to take on advanced, highly specialized roles in areas of business, research, and academia. Ideal candidates possess a master's degree in addition to ample experience in the field.

Prospective doctoral students in management must also demonstrate a commitment to furthering the field and engaging in original research. If this sounds like you, read on to learn more about the benefits of a Ph.D. in management online, common careers and salaries, typical coursework, graduation requirements, and professional organizations. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Online Ph.D. in Management Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Reasons to Pursue an Online Ph.D. in Management

There are numerous reasons an individual may pursue a management doctorate online. Some may want to boost their salaries, while others simply want to gather more knowledge and skills in the arena. We take a look at some of the most popular reasons for gaining this qualification below.

Career Advancement
Ph.D. in management online programs qualify graduates to work as professors, research scientists, consultants, and executive leaders — roles typically unavailable to those without a doctorate.
Higher Pay
As research continually demonstrates, individuals who possess advanced degrees commonly earn substantially more than their colleagues with bachelor's or master's degrees.
Career Change
Though you may already possess an advanced degree, it could be in an unrelated topic. Pursuing a Ph.D. in management online allows you to enter the field without starting over academically.
Networking Opportunities
Even while still in school, you can build professional relationships with your professors, peers, and visiting lecturers who possess experience in the field.
Ability to Specialize
Ph.D. in management online programs prepare graduates to be experts in their field. Students explore advanced topics in the field that are largely unavailable to them in baccalaureate programs.

What Can I Do With an Online Doctorate in Management?

Graduates of Ph.D. in management online programs compete at the highest levels for careers that require a mix of practical experience and advanced education. Some individuals may want to stay in the business world as senior-level executives or management consultants for large companies. Others may decide to educate the next generation of management professionals by working as a university professor or pursuing original research to advance the field.

Job titles can vary widely, but all require applicants who have spent years honing their knowledge and skills to perform tasks that those with bachelor's or master's degrees may not understand.

Common Career Paths & Salaries

A Ph.D. in management online helps you compete for the most in-demand and highest paying jobs in a variety of fields. Whether working in retail, education, real estate, finance, or manufacturing, a Ph.D. signals to employers that you possess advanced knowledge of managerial concepts.

Management Analyst

Also known as consultants, these professionals help companies identify management issues, and propose methods and frameworks for improving effectiveness and efficiency.

Average Annual Salary: $83,610

Management Professor

Working in colleges and universities, professors give lectures, assign readings, grade papers and exams, offer mentorship, and help students decide on professional paths.

Average Annual Salary: $78,470

Chief Management Officer

As a C-Level executive, CMOs work alongside CEOs and other top professionals to guide their organizations. They provide managerial oversight and ensure other department heads adequately serve the needs of the company.

Average Annual Salary: $104,980

Management Researcher

These professionals engage in high-level, independent, and unique research that helps advance the discipline. They conduct surveys and interviews, gather data, and develop new methodologies.

Average Annual Salary: $78,507

Financial Manager

Financial managers oversee the monetary health and growth of their organizations, set departmental budgets, create financial goals, and set strategies for income growth and retention while lowering costs.

Average Annual Salary: $127,990

Management Ph.D. Program Requirements & Outcomes

Before committing a substantial amount of money and time to a Ph.D. in management online, most prospective students may want to know how long it takes and what to expect from their program. Most schools require applicants to supply an application, letters of recommendation, official transcripts, a personal essay, and an outline of research goals. Particularly competitive programs may also require an interview with a faculty member or alumnus.

The majority of these programs are 70-90 credits, and take approximately 4-5 years of full-time study. Part-time learners usually need seven years to graduate. While almost all coursework can be completed through distance learning, some departments may require degree-seekers to visit campus occasionally to take part in learning intensives and meet their peers and professors. Check with your admission counselor if unsure about in-person requirements.

Common Courses

Courses highlighted in this section give prospective students a sense of what they might learn while enrolled in a Ph.D. in management online. Individuals looking for a more detailed plan of study should reach out to their prospective schools. Some programs may also offer specializations.

Organizational Behavior

This course readies learners to identify common organizational and human behaviors that can affect a company's productivity and efficiency. Students explore topics around group dynamics, motivation, managerial styles, the role of power and politics, and how to effectively engage conflict resolution techniques.

Strategic Management

This course introduces students to the benefits of strategic planning when it comes to management and leadership. They discuss topics around creating competitive advantages, formulating effective organizational strategies, and how members of boards can help or hinder growth.

Cross-Cultural Management

This course emphasizes the importance and power of diverse workforces, while also tackling some of the behavioral and cultural differences to be aware of when managing staff. Individuals planning to work in multinational companies greatly benefit from course content.

Utilization of Business Analytics

Learners discover the powerful roles that raw data and information can play in both identifying organizational issues and creating a competitive advantage. Students consider the role of data analysis in both everyday and strategic decision-making processes and build skills in managing data experts.

Managing Corporate Responsibility

With a focus on the ethics of business, this course looks at how organizations and leaders can help their companies grow morally. Learners consider questions around giving back to the community, developing local partnerships, and creating volunteer programs for staff members.

Other Requirements

While coursework is an important component of the online Ph.D. in management, students must meet several other requirements in order to graduate. Not all schools mandate each of the steps outlined below; some may allow learners to choose from a culminating project or dissertation, depending on how they plan to use the degree after graduating.

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Also known as an internship, these experiences help students build skills and network with others in the discipline. Field experiences usually last 1-2 semesters and require learners to write reflections about the company, organizational issues, and hands-on application of knowledge.

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Typically favored by those who want to work in professional settings, culminating projects leverage the knowledge gained in the program to address an issue or problem related to management. These may involve creating case studies, interviewing employees and employers, and analyzing data.

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Favored by those who want to work in research and/or academic positions, dissertations require students to research and write a long-form paper filled with original, primary research. Learners must defend their dissertation before a panel of readers and provide answers to any outstanding questions.

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Skills and Competencies

Online Ph.D. in management programs prepare graduates to succeed in a myriad of professional and academic settings. The list below outlines a few of the skills and competencies students develop during their time in a doctoral program.

Time Management

Doctoral graduates work in high-pressure and high-paying roles that require them to use their time wisely and effectively. Doctoral programs build these skills through assignments and projects.


Whether communicating with a client verbally or writing a strategic brief, graduates must communicate clearly and effectively while using discipline-specific vocabulary.

Top-Tier Work

Because professionals at this level commonly make six-figures, their employers and clients expect them to produce high-quality work that speaks to both their education and their rates.


Students learn to find the relevant research to make a point or strengthen an argument. If they cannot find existing research, they commission researchers to produce a study.

Analytical Reasoning

Decisions are rarely black and white, especially in business. Doctoral graduates possess analytical and reasoning skills to blend sometimes opposing viewpoints or goals into a path that satisfies all stakeholders.

Data Synthesis

Unless they possess advanced knowledge and experience, many individuals struggle to take action based on raw data. Graduates can translate this information into actionable steps for an organization.

Management Professional Organizations

Joining a management professional association benefits individuals across the spectrum. As you review the list of organizations below, take time to find the association that best speaks to your interests and career goals. Some may focus more on continuing education and certification programs, while others maintain local chapters and networking events.

If you want to get the most out of your membership, look for ways to get involved. Many of these groups allow members to serve on committees, become board members, present at the annual conference, or speak to student groups about various managerial careers.

The AMA offers management courses, the Women's Leadership Center, certificate programs and professional credentials, case studies, skills assessments, webcasts, whitepapers, and a resource library. Members of HFMA can take advantage of industry initiatives, professional topics, continuing education, certifications, a job bank, career self-assessments, regional and national events, community groups, and a member directory. ACMP provides standards of excellence, multiple certifications, opportunities for professional development, conferences, webinars, a career center, and a resource library. After joining NAPO, you can attend the annual national conference, attend NAPO University, become certified, search the job board, take advantage of industry research, listen to the NAPO podcast, and join a searchable database of productivity and organizing professionals. ASAP offers access to industry certification, multiple conferences and symposiums, learning summits, workshops, webinars, assessment tools, job boards, and in-house publications.

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