Earning a DBA degree to become a Professor

I am currently in the second year of my DBA program, and I have already recognized many benefits to my life and career. To start with the obvious, I have a much better understanding of how to conduct a research study. My quantitative skills are greatly improved, and I am better equipped to analyze the data collected. I am being guided by renowned scholars, each with a remarkable record of publications. Finally, I have benefited from studying with amazing classmates who are leaders in their fields.

I work as an instructor at Miami Dade College (MDC), where I teach programming courses. A colleague, who recently finished his doctorate, told me about a year ago that I should consider working on a doctorate myself because research connects you to scholarship in a deeper and more meaningful way. His words still resonate with me as I learned about all the concerns you need to address while designing a research study. Reading academic journals, the source of so much new knowledge, is a different experience from reading a summary of findings in a textbook. The experience of reading so many remarkable articles has given me a better understanding of the process of discovery.

The DBA program introduces both quantitative and qualitative analyses in a sophisticated but accessible manner. As an instructor, my belief is in learning by doing, and that is exactly how we learned statistics. Linear regression, exploratory factor analysis and inferential statistics are not learned by just watching a video. The student needs an opportunity to conduct the analysis and write up a scholarly summary. We have had ample opportunities for meaningful feedback and growth in quantitative analysis.

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When I have had questions about any of the content, my professors have been incredibly responsive. Class time is always used productively and filled with intellectual discussions and debates. Students are given ample opportunities to lead discussions with our instructors, ready to offer their insights. Furthermore, the DBA program has given me numerous ideas that I can use in my classroom. If you are an instructor at a two-year or four-year higher learning institution without your doctorate, you will be doing yourself a favor by enrolling in this program  . Not only will you gain incredible quantitative and qualitative research skills, but your pedagogy will improve. The professors in the DBA program deeply care about instruction and take teaching seriously.

My classmates are so incredibly ambitious and thoughtful. During the time together, I feel I have learned so much from their wisdom and experience. They represent many different industries: real estate, retail and hospitality - to name a few. Having so many different views makes for lively discussions! The group projects have been so memorable. A current project I am working on with three other classmates involves creating a model for international real estate investment. Learning and growing with my classmates has been a highlight of the program.

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"If you are an instructor at a two-year or four-year higher learning institution without your doctorate, you will be doing yourself a favor by enrolling in this program."

For my career, finishing my doctorate will open many doors. In a year, I will be applying for tenure at MDC, and the addition of the degree will certainly help the application. Furthermore, the only way to achieve the title of professor at MDC is to get your doctorate. Finally, the DBA will open the possibility of moving into administrative roles that were previously out of reach. Professionally, the DBA will certainly advance my career.

Reflecting on my time in the program, I have joined a community of scholars. I have improved—and continue to improve—my own skills as a researcher. I have enhanced my own professional development possibilities. But as I see it, one of the most exciting times in the program is about to begin in 2021: the dissertation. The training I have received so far, the community surrounding me, and the experience working on the summer research project have given me a great deal of confidence as I begin this exciting process. The prospect of creating a scholarly work that helps to increase our understanding of the world fills me with a great deal of pride. This is my chance to take what I have learned and use it to make more sense of the world.

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For this, I am grateful for the FIU Business DBA program.

About the Author:

David Freer is a full-time professor in Miami-Dade College with a focus in management systems and programming. He teaches courses in Android Programming, Java, Advanced Java, Introduction to Microcomputer Applications, C++ and Visual Basic .NET.

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