The job that pays you the most when you hold a Ph.D. in business depends on where you work. Some universities and corporations are front-runners when it comes to the salaries they pay their professors, researchers or leaders who have doctoral degrees in business. At the top, however, are hedge funds and private equity firms offering some of the highest-paying opportunities.
Teaching Your Way to the Top
In academia, having a Ph.D. in business could qualify you for a professorship at a research university or business school. Of all who held teaching positions in colleges and universities during the 2012 to 2013 academic year, tenured or tenure-track business professors were among the highest paid. The average business professor at a public institution earned $153,267, according to a 2013 survey by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. In 2012, Harvard Business School paid its business professors the most, at $198,400, according to "Business Insider."
Advising Your Way to Affluence
Many of the highest-paid management consultants hold business doctorates. For example, as of 2013, at least 1,400 consultants working for McKinsey and Company hold doctorates. McKinsey also offered its Ph.D. consultants the second-highest management consultant compensation packages in 2013, to the tune of at least $192,000, according to a 2013 survey of top consulting firms by Management Consulted. The highest-paying firm in the survey was Boston Consulting Group, which offered at least $197,000 to newly hired consultants with advanced degrees.
Suiting up for the C-Suite
Applying your Ph.D. toward a climb to a top executive position in industries such as health care, energy or technology can earn you millions of dollars in total compensation per year. In 2012, the median starting salary among chief executive officers, chief operations officers and company presidents was $203,000, according to a 2013 survey by Michal Matejka of Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.
Flying High for High Finance
Your Ph.D. could help you land a lucrative job as an investment professional at a hedge fund. Just an average, entry-level analyst’s salary at a hedge fund was $335,000 in 2013, according to the 2014 Glocap Hedge Fund Compensation Report. A doctorate could help you get into a hedge fund as a researcher, a position that can command $2 to $3 million on the low end and climb into the tens of millions for senior research positions, according to Executive Recruiter Steve Potter, in a 2011 interview with "Business Insider."
- College and University Professional Association for Human Resources: Faculty in Higher Education Salary Survey for the 2012-13 Academic Year
- McKinsey and Company: Ph.D. Frequently Asked Questions
- Management Consulted: 2013 Management Consulting Salaries -- From Undergraduate and MBA to Interns and More
- Business Insider: Can’t Be CEO? Here Are 9 Other Super High Paying Wall Street Jobs
- CNBC: This Industry Has An Entry Level Salary of $335,000
- Business Insider: This University Has the Highest Paid Professors in America
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants: CFO Compensation Survey
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